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St. John’s final: Red Storm fall to Butler, 80-71

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Red Storm could not overcome a 20-point deficit, fall to 3-4 in the Big East

NCAA Basketball: St. John at Butler Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports

It’s a good time for a week off, because most of this game is something the St. John’s Red Storm will want to forget.

The Red Storm dropped their fifth-straight at Hinkle Fieldhouse to Butler, this time by the score of 80-71. The Johnnies fall to 3-4 in the Big East, 15-4 overall; Butler improves to 3-3 in the league.

After a competent first few minutes where St. John’s played Butler evenly, not a lot went well for the Red Storm in the first half. Offensively, St. John’s went into halftime with a paltry 9 of 28 shooting percentage from the field.

Butler succeeded in forcing its lethargic pace onto St. John’s in the first half. Coming into the game, Butler ranked 315th in the country in possessions per game with 68.5, a significantly slower pace than St. John’s which ranked 58th with 75.2 possessions per game.

The Bulldog’s pace prevented St. John’s from getting out in transition, holding the Red Storm only to only 4 points off turnovers.

Defensively, the Red Storm did not fare any better. Butler converted 6 of their 14 attempts from deep, many of which were quality looks for the Bulldogs.

Butler’s Jordan Tucker led the way for the Bulldogs with 13 points (5/9 FG, 3/6 3PT) off of the Butler bench. Conversely, the Red Storm bench attempted only 1 field goal in the half and missed.

In the second half Butler got up as many as 22 points.

The Bulldogs maintained their first half advantages in the second half, including holding St. John’s to only 11 points off turnovers, outscoring St. John’s bench 15-4, and going 5 of 11 from beyond the arc.

Despite the seemingly insurmountable deficit, St. John’s showed some resiliency, going on a 13-1 prior to the 10-minute mark to cut the lead to single-digits.

From there, Butler let St. John’s hang around, in large part because of Mustapha Heron. Heron scored 12 (4/8 FG, 2/5 3PT) of his 20 points in the second half.

Despite the late push, St. John’s deficit, paired with LJ Figueroa’s foul trouble, proved to be too much for the Red Storm. St. John’s was able to pull within 4 points, and was the better team for the final 10 minutes. However, ultimately St. John’s dug themselves into too big of a hole early and simply ran out of time, falling to Butler, 80-71.

St. John’s Red Storm

Shamorie Ponds: 20 points (8/19 FG, 2/9 3PT), 2 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 turnovers

Mustapha Heron: 20 points (6/13 FG, 2/6 3PT), 8 rebounds, 1 assist, 4 turnovers

Marvin Clark II: 10 points (3/9 FG, 3/6 3PT), 8 rebounds

Butler Bulldogs

Kamar Baldwin: 30 points (10/18 FG, 2/6 3PT), 8 rebounds, 3 turnovers

Jordan Tucker: 24 points (8/17 FG, 6/11 3PT), 6 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 turnover