Dressed in white, Rick Pitino orchestrates a St. John's win

St. John's extends lead on slam by Jordan Dingle (0:16)

Jordan Dingle slams home a dunk to give St. John's a double-digit lead over No. 15 Creighton. (0:16)

NEW YORK -- Dressed in white from head to toe, Rick Pitino and his St. John's players handed No. 15 Creighton a humbling defeat.

Daniss Jenkins scored a season-high 27 points and St. John's shredded the Bluejays 80-66 on Sunday for its best win yet under the Hall of Fame coach.

Jordan Dingle added 18 points and the Red Storm (16-12, 8-9 Big East) finally closed out a quality conference opponent following a string of blown leads. They put together a clinical performance from start to finish in front of a roaring, chanting crowd of 12,061 at Madison Square Garden, making all 10 free throws and racking up 24 assists to only three turnovers while holding the Bluejays (20-8, 11-6) to 6-for-26 shooting (23%) from 3-point range.

"I think we learned a lot tonight, what great basketball looks like," said Pitino, in his first season at St. John's.

On the sideline, the 71-year-old Pitino looked a little like Colonel Sanders in his all-white suit and shoes as the Red Storm encouraged a "whiteout" among fans on Johnnies Day at MSG.

"I actually wasn't going to wear it. It was a last-minute thing," Pitino said, explaining that his wife prodded him repeatedly. "My players were going to get a big kick out of it, and that's why I did it."

So on Saturday afternoon, he strolled over to the Armani store a half-block from his apartment and asked for a little help picking out some new digs.

"I couldn't fit in the old one," Pitino said, drawing laughs.

"He came out with that on, you can't lose," said Jenkins, who shot 12-for-18 and added six assists, two steals and two blocks.

Joel Soriano had 12 points, seven rebounds and five assists for the Red Storm, who entered 0-5 against Top 25 opponents this season. Glenn Taylor Jr. finished with a team-high 10 rebounds and six assists.

"Anytime we tried to be a little bit more aggressive, they made the extra pass and turned a good shot into a better shot," Creighton coach Greg McDermott said. "They moved it so well today."

Trey Alexander scored a season-best 31 points for the Bluejays, who had won four straight and seven of nine. They were coming off an eye-opening blowout of UConn at home Tuesday night that ended the Huskies' 14-game winning streak and marked the program's first victory over a top-ranked team.

Ryan Kalkbrenner had 12 points, 10 rebounds and eight blocks for Creighton, which won the previous seven meetings between the schools.

St. John's led by nine in the second half Jan. 13 at Creighton before losing 66-65 in a game that featured 18 lead changes and seven ties.

"I'm not surprised. I was impressed with them the first time we played," McDermott said. "They can beat anyone on any given night."

A week ago, Pitino publicly tore into his players after they blew a 19-point lead in a home loss to Seton Hall, saying that "if I said I was disappointed, that would be the understatement of the year. Our lateral quickness and our toughness is just something I've never witnessed in all my years of coaching."

He apologized and clarified some of those comments following Wednesday night's victory at struggling Georgetown, but the Red Storm have responded with two consecutive wins after dropping eight of 10.

"It's about time," Dingle said. "We had too many that we gave away."

Whether a strong finish could still be enough to earn an at-large NCAA tournament bid remains to be seen.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.