St. John's beats No. 15 Creighton 80-66 at MSG for biggest win under Pitino


NEW YORK — Daniss Jenkins scored a season-high 27 points and St. John’s shredded No. 15 Creighton 80-66 on Sunday for its biggest victory under Hall of Fame coach Rick Pitino.

Jordan Dingle added 18 points and the Red Storm (16-12, 8-9 Big East) finally closed out a quality conference opponent following a string of blown leads.

They did it by putting together a clinical performance from start to finish in front of a roaring crowd of 12,061 at Madison Square Garden, holding the Bluejays (20-8, 11-6) to 6 for 26 (23%) from 3-point range, making all 10 free throws and racking up 24 assists to only three turnovers.

Pitino, in his first season at St. John’s, looked a little like Colonel Sanders in his all-white suit as the Red Storm encouraged a “whiteout” among fans on Johnnies Day at MSG.

Trey Alexander scored a season-best 31 points for Creighton, which had won four straight and seven of nine. The Bluejays were coming off an eye-opening blowout of UConn at home Tuesday night that ended the Huskies’ 14-game winning streak and marked the program’s first victory over a top-ranked team.

Ryan Kalkbrenner had 12 points, 10 rebounds and eight blocks for Creighton.

St. John’s led by nine in the second half Jan. 13 at Creighton before losing 66-65 in a game that featured 18 lead changes and seven ties.

BIG PICTURE

Creighton: The Bluejays will be back at MSG in 2 1/2 weeks looking to win the Big East Tournament for the first time. They still have a little work to do to clinch a first-round bye.

St. John’s: A week ago, Pitino publicly tore into his players after they blew a 19-point lead in a home loss to Seton Hall. He apologized following Wednesday night’s victory at struggling Georgetown, but the Red Storm have responded with two consecutive wins.

UP NEXT

Creighton: Will host Seton Hall on Wednesday night. In their first meeting, the Bluejays won 97-94 in triple overtime on Jan. 20 behind Kalkbrenner’s 28 points and seven blocks in 54 minutes on the floor. Kadary Richmond had a triple-double for the Pirates.

St. John’s: Plays at Butler on Wednesday night. St. John’s won the first meeting 86-70 in early January at Carnesecca Arena on campus.

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AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-basketball-poll and https://apnews.com/hub/college-basketball



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