Junior guard Rasheem Dunn produced a team-high 19 points, eight rebounds and five assists in his first start to guide St. John’s to a 74-67 victory over DePaul on Saturday afternoon in New York.
Senior guard Mustapha Heron contributed 15 points as St. John’s (12-5, 1-3 Big East) won the battle between the conference’s two winless teams. Freshman forward Julian Champagnie, who was moved to the bench to make room for Dunn, added 11 points for the Red Storm.
Junior center Jaylen Butz paced DePaul (12-4, 0-3) with 17 points and nine rebounds. Senior shooting guard Jalen Coleman-Lands notched 15 points and junior point guard Charlie Moore posted his fourth double-double of the year with 14 points and 12 assists.
All-league junior forward Paul Reed, however, missed double figures for just the second time this season. He finished with a season-low four points to go with 12 rebounds.
The Red Storm earned assists on all 15 of their first-half baskets while taking a 39-34 lead into the break.
St. John’s used a 10-0 run over a 2:32 stretch late in the first half to grab the lead for the first time since the opening moments. Dunn started the spree with a jumper, fed junior swingman LJ Figueroa for a 3-point play and made it 30-24 with 4:38 to go when he set up Heron for a 3-pointer.
St. John’s extended its lead to 45-34 in the opening three minutes of the second half after Heron canned a 3-pointer and a pair of free throws, but DePaul gradually worked its way back into the mix. Moore pushed the ball in transition and fed Butz and sophomore guard Darious Hall for back-to-back dunks to pull the Blue Demons within 53-47 with 12:07 to go.
St. John’s restored a 12-point lead with 6:23 left on sophomore swingman David Caraher’s pair of free throws, but then the Red Storm went cold as DePaul made one more run.
The Blue Demons pulled within 71-66 on Reed’s putback with 2:23 to go and had several chances to get within one possession.
Coleman-Lands was fouled on a 3-point attempt with 41 seconds left, but he only hit one free throw. St. John’s hit three free throws in the final 41 seconds to wrap up its first conference win of the season.
—Field Level Media