In a season where bright spots have been few and far between for them, the DePaul Blue Demons found another one Saturday night, picking up an 88-83 victory over the St. John’s Red Storm, snapping a five game losing streak and dealing a severe blow to St. John’s NCAA Tournament hopes.
Big East leading scorer Julian Champagnie had a game-high 29 points. The issue, which has happened infrequently for St. John’s this year, was that they got crushed both in bench points and points in the paint. The Red Storm came into the game averaging 25 bench points per game, tops in the Big East. DePaul exploded for 49 points off the bench, 24 of which came from leading scorer Charlie Moore. Additionally, 58 of DePaul 88 points came in the paint, where the Red Storm had just 18 such points.
To St. John’s credit, other parts of their game still worked as usual. They forced 24 turnovers and scored 26 points off of those turnovers. Another issue, though, was the struggles of Big East Freshman of the Year frontrunner Posh Alexander, who had just five points.
In addition to Moore for DePaul, Darious Hall (11), Ray Salnave (11) and Oscar Lopex (10) all finished in double figures.
The Blue Demons improve to 4-10 on the season and 2-10 in Big East play. They’ll head to Omaha on Wednesday to face Creighton. The Red Storm fall to 14-9 on the year and 8-8 in Big East play. They’ll head to Villanova on Tuesday.