St. John's basketball lands signature win against No. 15 Creighton in complete effort

The St. John's basketball season could be salvaged by its victory against No. 15 Creighton

Feb 25, 2024; New York, New York, USA;  St. John's Red Storm guard Daniss Jenkins (5) goes up for a
Feb 25, 2024; New York, New York, USA; St. John's Red Storm guard Daniss Jenkins (5) goes up for a / Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

"No question," Rick Pitino said when asked if Sunday afternoon was the best performance of the season for the St. John's basketball team.

Given the stakes of trying to grasp hope for an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament and the opponent, No. 15 Creighton, who was in Madison Square Garden, everything finally came together for the Johnnies.

The Red Storm expanded upon a late first half lead, which it rarely does. It answered a Bluejays run midway through the second half with massive shots from Jordan Dingle and Daniss Jenkins, which it rarely does.

It all resulted in multiple standing ovations inside The Garden during the 80-66 signature victory.

"It was about time," Jenkins said, who finished with a season-high 27 points and a personal 9-0 run to ice the game.

St. John's (16-12, 8-9 Big East) put on a clinic, committing just three turnovers and dishing out 24 assists while holding the dynamic shooting duo of Baylor Scheierman and Steven Ashworth to 2-of-16 from 3-point range.

Creighton (20-8, 11-6 Big East), as a team, shot 6-of-26 from distance and a lot had to do with the rejuvenated defensive showing from Glenn Taylor Jr.

Pitino said he met with Taylor Jr. and told him that he needed to play better defense and rebound if he wanted to become a better player and if the Johnnies were going to win. It happened this day as the Oregon State transfer ended with 10 rebounds and six assists.

"There was no doubt in our heads we were going to win this game," Taylor Jr. explained. "We have to continue to do that, stack games, and who knows were we could go."

However, it looked like the same script was going to be executed as previous games. The 'Jays were within five, 57-52, before Jordan Dingle eased the Red Storm faithful with six straight points and pushed the lead back to nine, 63-54.

"If I would've came in and did anything but give my all, it would've been all for nothing. The way [his teammates] were playing, it was inspiring," Dingle explained.

He finished with 18 points on 8-of-13 shooting, his second consecutive game scoring double figures after not reaching the feat in four of his previous five games.

It sets up a fascinating matchup on Wednesday night (8:30 p.m. ET, CBS Sports Network) as the Red Storm travel to Indianapolis to battle Posh Alexander and Butler (16-12, 7-10 Big East), a Quadrant 1 opportunity for the visitors, as both teams are clinging to its NCAA Tournament hopes.

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