MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- — Joel Soriano scored a career-high 24 points to lead St. John’s to a 79-73 victory over West Virginia on Friday night in the Big East-Big 12 Battle.
Quinn Slazinski, who played under St. John’s coach Rick Pitino for the past two seasons at Iona, scored 19 points to lead West Virginia (3-4). Jesse Edwards added 15 points before fouling out and Kobe Johnson had 14 points.
The teams combined for 46 fouls and 63 free throws. Soriano appeared to lose a tooth when he was hit with an elbow under the St. John’s basket in the second half. West Virginia outscored St. John’s 31-14 in free throws but the Mountaineers went 4 of 8 at the line in the final minute.
Jordan Dingle’s layup four minutes into the second half put St. John’s ahead for good and Soriano’s layup gave the Red Storm their largest lead, 63-54, with six minutes left.
Slazinski followed his own three-point play with a bank shot to pull West Virginia within 70-68 with two minutes left. But the Mountaineers got no closer. Alleyne hit a layup and a 3-pointer after that to give St. John’s a cushion.
West Virginia jumped ahead 22-15 midway through the first half before Soriano sank a layup and three free throws and Ledlum made a dunk and a 3-pointer during a 10-0 run. The Mountaineers recovered from the six-minute scoring drought to forge a 36-36 halftime tie.
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- Pat Driscoll
- Bert Smith
- John Gaffney