After Rick Pitino’s wild rant, St. John’s knocks off No. 15 Creighton in biggest win of the season

St. John’s stunned Creighton and took an 80-66 win on Sunday afternoon in New York

Rick Pitino led St. John's to a massive win over No. 15 Creighton on Sunday afternoon.
Rick Pitino led St. John's to a massive win over No. 15 Creighton on Sunday afternoon. (Wendell Cruz/USA Today)

Rick Pitino’s wild rant seems to have worked.

Pitino led St. John’s to the program’s biggest win since his arrival on Sunday afternoon at Madison Square Garden. The Red Storm stunned No. 15 Creighton, 80-66, just days after the Bluejays knocked off top-ranked UConn.

Just last week, after St. John’s fell to Seton Hall, Pitino erupted on his program. He laid into the university's “sh***y facilities,” called out players by name and blamed his staff’s “lost” recruiting efforts.

“This is the most unenjoyable experience of my lifetime,” Pitino said last week. “This has been so disappointing.”

Pitino stood by his comments the next day, too. He said he “truly wasn’t ripping anybody,” and that he was “fine with what I said.” The comments both days turned plenty of heads in the college basketball world, especially since Pitino isn’t even done with his first season at St. John’s. Pitino eventually apologized on Thursday.

The words did seem to have their intended impact though. The Red Storm, after taking a 13-point lead into halftime, fended off the Bluejays in the second half to grab the 14-point win. They held Creighton to just 6-of-26 from behind the arc and forced the Bluejays to commit 13 turnovers while only committing three themselves. Dannis Jenkins led the way with 27 points and six assists, and Jordan Dingle added 18 points after he shot 8-of-13 from the field. St. John’s, which now holds just a 16-12 record, only made two 3-pointers as a team.

Trey Alexander dropped a season-high 31 points for Creighton. Ryan Kalkbrenner added 12 points and 10 rebounds. Creighton’s loss came just four days after it had knocked off UConn in Omaha. The Bluejays rolled to a massive 85-66 upset win over the Huskies, which marked the program’s first win over a No. 1 team in history. It also ended what was a dominant stretch of basketball for UConn, which hadn’t lost in two months before Wednesday night.

Creighton now holds a 20-8 record with three games left in Big East play. The Bluejays host Seton Hall on Wednesday before hosting No. 7 Marquette next weekend.

St. Johns, though now on a two-game win streak, sits at seventh in the Big East standings. It’ll take on Butler next on Wednesday night. While Pitino clearly isn’t happy with how the year has turned out when looking at the bigger picture, Sunday’s win has to help him feel at least a little better about how his first season with the program has gone.