Daniss Jenkins scored 19 points and Jordan Dingle had 18 points as St. John’s recovered from a sloppy stretch early in the second half to defeat Utah 91-82 in the third-place game of the Charleston Classic on Sunday in Charleston, S.C.
Chris Ledlum added 15 points and Joel Soriano provided 12 points and 15 rebounds as St. John’s matched its best tournament finish in an eight-team event since 2010.
The Red Storm (3-2) didn’t solve many of its defensive concerns, but perimeter shooting made up for that. St. John’s connected on 13 of 26 shots from beyond the 3-point arc, with Dingle and Ledlum each making four of those. Overall, St. John’s shot 53 percent from the field in the first meeting between the teams since 1977.
Branden Carlson poured in 22 points, aided by 8-for-10 shooting on free throws, and pulled in a team-high eight rebounds but Utah (3-2) lost its second game in a row. Carlson averaged 23.3 points in three tournament games.
Utah’s Cole Bajema had 14 points, Rollie Worster posted 12 points and Gabe Madsen supplied 11 points for the Utes, who shot 44.1 percent from the field. They were 11-for-25 on 3-pointers, making only four from long range in the second half.
St. John’s led 52-43 at halftime, with the teams combining for 15 baskets from 3-point range.
Utah began the second half on an 11-0 burst to grab the lead before the Red Storm got rolling again. Bajema had five points in that run before Ledlum began reversing the momentum with a jumper in the paint.
Dingle had a dunk and a 3-point basket for a personal 5-0 run as the Red Storm began rebuilding a lead. Jenkins hit back-to-back jumpers as part of the second-half surge to make it 77-67.
Dingle finished 7-for-13 from the field, making half of his eight 3-point attempts to help the Red Storm respond from Friday’s semifinal loss to Dayton.