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Joel Soriano’s double-double fuels St. John’s past Nebraska

Nov 17, 2022; Queens, New York, USA; Nebraska Cornhuskers forward Wilhelm Breidenbach (32) and St. John's Red Storm center Joel Soriano (11) battle for a rebound in the first half at Carnesecca Arena. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

Joel Soriano collected career highs of 17 points and 18 rebounds as host St. John’s started slowly before dominating the second half of a 70-50 victory over Nebraska in the Gavitt Tipoff Games Thursday night in New York.

St. John’s (4-0) earned the Big East’s second win in the event this season thanks to a massive reversal in the second half when it outscored Nebraska 50-23.

Soriano shot 7 of 13 from the floor and scored 12 of his points in the second half, when St. John’s shot 52.5 percent. He also finished with three blocks and helped St. John’s total 40 points in the paint and outrebound Nebraska 52-46.

David Jones reached double figures for the fourth time by adding all 15 of his points in the second half to go along with eight rebounds. Jones missed his first three shots and made 6 of 12 shots after halftime.

Posh Alexander survived a few minor collisions and contributed 13 points for the Red Storm, who shot 39.2 percent overall.

Keisei Tominaga led Nebraska with 15 points but was the only player to reach double figures for the Cornhuskers (2-1), who shot 25 percent in the second half and 29.7 percent overall. Juwan Gary added eight points and 11 rebounds but leading scorer Sam Greisel was held to six points and also committed eight of Nebraska’s 17 turnovers.

In a slow paced first half, Nebraska began getting separation by using a 14-4 run to get a 22-12 lead on a 3-pointer by C.J Wilcher with 5:07 left. The Cornhuskers survived shooting 34.4 percent and held a 27-20 lead by halftime.

St. John’s missed its first 10 3-pointers before Andre Curbelo’s 3 put the Red Storm ahead 30-28 to give them their first lead of the second half about three minutes in. The Red Storm opened a 38-30 edge on a putback by Jones with 13:20 left and consecutive 3s by Jones hiked the lead to 44-33 nearly two minutes later.

St. John’s clinched the win when Jones knocked down a 3-pointer with 5:52 remaining before Curbelo hit a spinning reverse layup for a 61-42 lead with 5:19 left.

–Field Level Media