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Joel Soriano nabs 15th double-double to lead St. John’s past Butler

Jan 10, 2023; Queens, New York, USA;  St. John's Red Storm guard Rafael Pinzon (24) drives past Butler Bulldogs guard Simas Lukosius (41) in the first half at Carnesecca Arena. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

Joel Soriano posted another double-double on Tuesday night for St. John’s, which began pulling away midway through the first half on its way to a 77-61 win over Butler in a Big East game in Queens, N.Y.

Soriano finished with 20 points and 10 rebounds for his 15th double-double of the season — the most among Division I players.

AJ Storr had 12 points while Andre Curbelo (11 points) and Rafael Pinzon (10 points) also scored in double figures for St. John’s (12-6, 2-5 Big East), which snapped a five-game losing streak.

Chuck Harris scored 17 points, Simas Lukosius had 15 and Ali Ali added 10 for Butler (10-8, 2-5), which has lost four other league games by at least 20 points.

The Bulldogs committed 22 turnovers Tuesday, tying a season high set against Tennessee on Nov. 23.

On Tuesday, the teams weren’t separated by more than four points until Curbelo’s jumper with 11:18 left in the first half that was part of an 11-3 run. The surge put the Red Storm ahead for good, giving them a 26-18 lead with just under 10 minutes left until halftime. Five different players scored during the outburst.

The Red Storm took their first double-digit lead at 35-24 on a pair of free throws by Storr with 3:39 left. Butler got as close as six before St. John’s ended the half with a pair of free throws by Posh Alexander and a dunk by Dylan Addae-Wasu to extend its lead to 39-29.

Butler pulled within seven just once in the second half, where the Red Storm opened a trio of 13-point leads before Curbelo’s 3-pointer put them up 66-50 with 8:13 remaining. St. John’s committed turnovers on its next four possessions, a stretch in which the Bulldogs attempted just two field goals and turned the ball over three times.

Soriano’s dunk with 2:15 left gave St. John’s its biggest lead at 75-56.

–Field Level Media