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Tuesday, February 7, 2023
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St. John’s bounces back in big way to beat DePaul to open conference play

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It was Sunday, only in reverse. Instead of a poor start, there was a fast one. Rather than rushed possessions, there was patience. When the opponent turned up the pressure, St. John’s performed its best.

So, three days after a disappointing, 11-point loss at Iowa State, Mike Anderson’s team showed it’s greatest strength so far this season: perseverance.

The Red Storm answered their ugly loss to the No. 20 Cyclones with their best performance of the year, a thorough, 86-67 victory over DePaul to open the conference season in style.



Joel Soriano took advantage of the absence of the Blue Demons’ top two big men with his eighth double-double of the season — a dominant 17-point, 14-rebound, two-block performance. Posh Alexander was all over the floor — notching 13 points, six rebounds, six assists and three steals — and Andre Curbelo had 15 points and five assists. David Jones added 11 points and eight rebounds against his former team. Zion Cruz led DePaul with 14 points.

SJU
David Jones and St. John’s defeated DePaul in their Big East opener on Wednesday night.
Paul J. Bereswill

St. John’s (9-1, 1-0 Big East) got off to by far its best start of the season, taking a 12-0 lead 4:32 in. It scored on its first three offensive possessions and held DePaul (5-4, 0-1) scoreless over the first 5:15.




St. John’s was focused, sharp and intense from the outset. It played that way for most of an impressive first half, taking a 40-29 lead into the break after leading by as many as 16.

Soriano was the best player on the floor in the first half, notching 12 points, six rebounds, two blocks and one monster slam in transition that drew oohs and aahs from the large crowd. Pinzon and Jones each added seven points in the opening 20 minutes in which St. John’s dominated points in the paint, 24-14, held DePaul to 38 percent shooting and forced nine turnovers that led to 12 fast-break points.

SJU
Paul J. Bereswill

DePaul started the second half strong, and went on a 12-5 run to get within nine. St. John’s wasn’t defending with the same precision, and was leaving openings from beyond the arc. But the Blue Demons could not get closer, and Dylan Addae-Wusu keyed a 12-5 spurt with six points to push the lead to a game-high 17 with 8:27 left.







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