The Red Storm never got it. You never did enough to take command. They had an early 16 point lead. They couldn’t be done with a lead in the final seconds. They were played out in overtime.
This six-game winning streak, which attracted national attention, ended in disappointment. St. Johns lost to Butler for the seventh time in a row, this time between 76 and 73 in overtime, as almost everyone in red had problems at some point.
Posh Alexander had his worst game in weeks, poorly surpassing Butler’s Aaron Thompson has been. Julian Champagnie scored 19 points but didn’t get nearly enough touches. The Johnnies went ice cold from 3-point reach and went 4-on-17. Their defense went south, allowing Thompson and Butler to dominate inside.
« They drove all of our people on. We didn’t do well to keep the ball out of the paint, ”said Red Storm coach Mike Anderson. « The defense wasn’t up to the standards we played. »
Even so, St. Johns was late in stealing the game. Dylan Addae-Wusu’s 29.2-second run gave the Red Storm a two-point lead and after Bo Hodges’ shot rolled off the edge for the Bulldogs, the Johnnies were in great shape. But revenue on the inbound when Rasheem Dunn couldn’t handle a low pass from Addae-Wusu enabled Thompson, who ended up with 17 points and 10 assists, to pull Butler 2.3 seconds ahead and force overtime. « We started the game with sales and closed the regulation with sales that haunted us, » said Anderson. “We had another time out when we needed it. Just one mistake, that’s all. «
In the extra session, St. John’s (13-8, 7-7 Big East) led 2:25 from one after a three-point game from Champagnie, but Butler (7-10, 6-8) scored the last four points of the additional session.
Dunn and Marcellus Earlington both missed the front end of One-and-One before Champagnie and Alexander missed desperate blows in the final seconds.
Alexander’s attempt to pull irons failed , and brought to an end a game that kept the Big East leader in single digits (eight points) with no support for the first time this year, and wasn’t his usual annoying self on the defensive either because he struggled and had no more theft after halftime.
Now St. Johns has a week to regroup before next Tuesday’s Xavier, a must-have on the NCAA’s résumé -Tournaments. The winning streak brought the Red S tower to be part of March Madness. Now they have to finish well at home (four of their last five planned conference games are in Queens) and forget about the dire setback on Tuesday night.
« They’re hurting right now, but they’ll learn from it, » said Anderson. « A game doesn’t make a season. A game doesn’t kill your season. We know we can play better. »
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