The six-game winning streak is over, and Mike Anderson will have to wait another week for the chance for his 400th career win.
After leading by double digits, St. John’s struggled to fend off Butler in Indianapolis. After a run by the Butler guards, the Red Storm fell in overtime, 76-73.
St. John’s falls to 13-8, 7-7 in the Big East. Butler improves to 7-10, 6-8 in the Big East. It was St. John’s first loss since January 16th.
St. John’s started off with a burst after the opening minutes. Butler played a smart floor game, going for scores in the paint and from beyond the arc, but could not connect on their shots.
Meanwhile, St. John’s bench powered a big run. Dylan Addae-Wusu and Marcellus Earlington started by slowing Butler down, and then Isaih Moore put on a two-handed dunk show, dunking five in the first half — with Addae-Wusu delivering some solid feeds.
St. John’s was up by as many as 16.
Foul trouble loomed large. Posh Alexander picked up his second foul with six minutes left in the first half, with St. John’s enjoying their largest lead. After that foul, St. John’s missed on five straight possessions while Butler went on an 9-0 run. Butler was solid at keeping St. John’s out of the paint for easy scores, and keeping Julian Champagnie tightly covered.
Bryce Nze kept things going with a pair of layups down the stretch, and Butler cut the deficit to 40-32 at the half.
In the second half, Butler was much more effective in the paint, with Aaron Thompson leading the way. Nze of Butler was strong inside, and a late insertion of Myles Tate — who had not played all game — gave Butler the burst they needed. The quick guard hit a three after a turnover. Bo Hodges hit a three and on the next possession, drove past Dylan Addae-Wusu for a dunk.
From there, the Johnnies and Bulldogs would battle back and forth, with the lead changing hands five times. Butler was doing a good job making St. John’s take tough jump shots off the dribble to score, while continuing to hold the Red Storm to under 30% from outside the arc.
St. John’s would take the lead on a Dylan Addae-Wusu layup against Bryce Nze. With eight seconds left and the lead, St. John’s stopped wing Bo Hodges on a drive, and thought the game might be salted away. The following inbounds pass went awry, and Butler forced a turnover. Aaron Thompson drove in for a layup to send the game into overtime, tied at 68.
St. John’s forces a shot clock violation down one in overtime to give themselves another chance. But when Julian Champagnie drove to the middle of the lane, Myles Tate snatched the ball from his hands with 30 seconds left.
Still, Addae-Wusu forced Butler to rush a pass after a Rasheem Dunn miss, giving them a couple more tries. Butler’s defense held, and the Red Storm fell once again in Indianapolis. St. John’s has not won at Butler since 2014.
Next for St. John’s (for right now) is a week off and a match against Xavier at home.
St. John’s was led by 19 from Julian Champagnie with a team-leading eight rebounds. However, he had two turnovers in the last four minutes of the second half, along with a miss, and another turnover in overtime, along with a big make and a free throw. He finished with a season-high 5 turnovers in 42 minutes.
Isaih Moore added 13 points and Rasheem Dunn scored 12.
Posh Alexander had 0 assists; Rasheem Dunn had five and Dylan Addae-Wusu had six. Addae-Wusu also had three turnovers.
In the second half, Butler grabbed almost half of the possible offensive rebounds. Butler also got better at scoring in the second half, scoring 1.17 points per possession in the half, compared to 0.89 points/ possession in the first half.
Butler placed four in double figures: Bryce Nze with 19, Aaron Thompson with 17, Bo Hodges with 12 and Bryce Golden with 11. Thompson had 10 assists, five turnovers and two steals; Nze had 10 rebounds.