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St. John’s gets defensive, knocks off Butler 69-57

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The Red Storm breaks a 2 game losing streak with a solid defensive performance.

Wendell Cruz/ Finish First Photos

St. John’s fought through a spirited comeback from Butler to win their first game at home in the calendar year, 69-57.

St. John’s improves to 7-6, 2-5 in the Big East. Butler drops to 3-7 on the season and 2-5 in the Big East.

The Red Storm started the game without Isaih Moore, out for “not meeting team standards.”

Josh Roberts, who had played 19 minutes in the last seven games, got the call. It was Posh Alexander who shined early, making his presence known. The Johnnies had offensive flow, getting shots at the rim and shooting well from outside the arc.

With Butler guard Aaron Thompson sidelined with two fouls, St. John’s struggled to slow down Brooklyn guard Jair Bolden, who scored 14 — mostly on some tough, challenged threes.

The Johnnies led by ten at the half after a Vince Cole buzzer-beater from just inside the halfcourt line. Butler fought back with an 11-2 run in the second half, and with better ball movement. But a stretch of six turnovers between the nine minute mark and the four minute mark spelled doom; St. John’s ripped off a 10-1 run.

Closing out games, of course, comes with challenges — especially for a team that has struggled with that part of the game. Some clock-chewing possessions came up empty, but Butler was not able to capitalize.

Julian Champagnie had 18 points and two blocks; Posh Alexander scored 10, Josh Roberts and Vince Cole each added eight. Marcellus Earlington and Rasheem Dunn chipped in seven points each.

Butler ended with 16 turnovers and were held to 25% shooting from beyond the arc. Jair Bolden led the Bulldogs with 17, three of those in the second half. Bryce Golden added eight.

Next game for St. John’s is Saturday at 2 pm against Marquette in Queens.