Going into Tuesday night's game at number 22 Butler it looked as though St. John's had a chance to bolster their NCAA Tournament hopes and, in turn, save their season. After an impressive 75-66 victory at home on Saturday against Providence, the Red Storm would have an outstanding opportunity for another marquee victory on the road against the nationally-ranked Bulldogs.
But what followed was an uninspiring, undisciplined, and just plain poor performance in an 85-62 loss that had many fans feeling like things could not get any worse this season for this team and this program.
The Red Storm's high-scorer for the week was once again Sir`Dominic Pointer, who scored a team-high 20 points against Providence on Saturday and followed that up with a 19-point performance on Tuesday night.
Pointer also grabbed down a combined 13 rebounds and dished out five assists over the past week as well, further solidifying himself as the St. John's MVP over the past few weeks.
In other positive news, D`Angelo Harrison became only the third member of the St. John's 2,000-point club on Tuesday night, joining Chris Mullin and Malik Sealy as the only other Red Storm players to achieve this feat.
Harrison appeared to have his shot back over the weekend against Providence when he scored 15 points on 5-12 shooting, however on Tuesday he scored just 10 points on 2-6 shooting before fouling out after only 28 minutes of play. Going into the final nine games of the season, St. John's will need Harrison to be at 100% if they'll have any chance at saving what has so far been a very disappointing final season for these seniors.
As for the negatives, and there are plenty of them, the number one thing that has to have St. John's fans fuming was the undisciplined play of Chris Obekpa on Tuesday night at Butler. After playing one of his best games of the year on both ends of the floor against Providence where he had eight points, 10 rebounds, and six blocks, Obekpa let himself and his teammates down against the Bulldogs.
Midway through the first half in Hinkle Fieldhouse on Tuesday night, Obekpa let his emotions get the best of him when he dealt a running elbow to the head of Butler's Tyler Wideman, causing him to receive a flagrant 2 foul and be ejected from the game. Because this incident did not involve fighting, it doesn't appear that he will be suspended for any period of time, but this act has St. John's fans wondering if they will ever see their star shot-blocker mature during his Red Storm career.
The Week Ahead
After the 1-1 week, St, John's now sits at 14-8 overall and 3-6 in the Big East. For a veteran team that many thought would finish at least in the top half of the conference, they are currently in eighth place in the Big East just one game ahead of 10-11 Marquette.
This week however, they will get a bit of a break when they take on Creighton on Saturday and DePaul on Wednesday, both at home. If this team has any sort of tournament aspirations, one would have to think that those are both must-win games for them.
Tweet of the Week
Remember when St. John's was ranked? Remember when St. John's was relevant? Memory fading to black at Hinkle right now.— Dana O'Neil (@ESPNDanaOneil) February 4, 2015