St. John's was unable to build on an impressive victory earlier this week and pick up their second straight marquee win tonight in Hinkle Fieldhouse, as their comeback attempt fell short and they were pummeled by the 22nd-ranked Butler Bulldogs, 85-62.
It was Sir`Dominic Pointer and Rysheed Jordan who carried the Red Storm for much of the night, with Pointer scoring 19 and grabbing six rebounds, and Jordan scoring 17. D`Angelo Harrison added just 10 points for the Red Storm on the night after fouling out with over six minutes left in the game.
Kellen Dunham led the way for Butler with 21 points on 6-12 shooting, including 2-6 from 3-point range and seven rebounds. He was followed by Alex Barlow, who had 15 points on perfect 5-5 shooting, and Andrew Chrabascz, who added 14 points and seven rebounds.
Kameron Woods was dominant down low for the Bulldogs, who dominated the paint for much of the night, as he added nine points and 12 rebounds.
Butler shot 56% from the field and out rebounded St. John's 31-17 in a game that they led from start to finish.
The Red Storm came extremely slow out of the gate in this one, as they were held scoreless for over five minutes to start the game before Sir`Dominic Pointer finally got them on the board at the 14:33 mark of the first half. Knocking down just two of their first 12 shots from the field, the Red Storm dug themselves into an early hole on the road, trailing by as many as 11 points in the half.
Things went from bad to worse for the Johnnies after Chris Obekpa threw an elbow at Butler's Tyler Wideman while running down the court and picked up a flagrant 2 foul, which caused him to be ejected from the game with 8:26 to play in the half. This was the second game that Obekpa has been ejected from this season as his lack of discipline continues to plague him even in his third, and possibly final season, at St. John's.
Despite picking up two early fouls, D`Angelo Harrison did have three points in the half as he became the third player in St. John's history to join the 2,000-point club. However, the Red Storm allowed Butler to shoot 50% from the field in the first, and they trailed by eight points at the half, 36-28.
Butler opened up the second half on a 14-2 run, and the Red Storm continued to show a lack of composure in this one when Sir`Dominic Pointer picked up a technical foul after fouling Kellen Dunham on a 3-point shot, which gave Dunham five straight free throws and gave the Bulldogs a massive 50-30 lead.
St. John's was able to claw their way back into this one and make it a game, cutting the Butler lead to as little as eight in the second half, but that would be the closest that they would get, as the Bulldogs ended the game on a 15-0 run. Although they played a much better offensive second half, the Red Storm had no answers on defense with Obekpa out, and they fell 85-62 in Hinkle.
The win improves Butler to 17-6 overall and 7-3 in the conference. St. John's drops to 14-7 overall with the loss and just 3-6 in the Big East. They will try to rebound from this one on Saturday when they return home to face Creighton at Madison Square Garden.