St. John’s used the power of overtime to get over the hump against Butler. When in doubt, if you fail to win in regulation, just keep extending the game until you find a way to win which is what St. John’s did in a paraphrased sense, but thankfully there is more to this recap than a paraphrased recap.
Yes, St. John’s won tonight in a thrilling yet slow burning double overtime game against Butler by a score of 75 to 68 without the exploits of Shamorie Ponds - their high flying high scoring point guard - to lead the way as he was sidelined with an abdominal strain.
Without Ponds, the Johnnies found other ways to win by taking Butler down with them and playing some stubborn defense along the way. St. John’s definitely did not want to lose given it was their final home game of the season and senior night for both Bashir Ahmed and Amar Alibegovic, both of whom had fine nights in different ways to cap off careers in red for the Johnnies.
It felt inevitable that the Red Storm’s 28-25 lead at half time was unsustainable, yet with the pace to their liking, they were able to keep it close throughout the second half.
The Johnnies main source of production this game was from a trio of Justin Simon, who had a double-double game of 24 points and 10 rebounds, Bashir Ahmed with 22 points, and Marvin Clark II with 20 points.
Getting production from trios has been nothing for St. John’s this season as they tend to max out production from a few players to float by. As mentioned Amar Alibegovic, while not active on the offensive end, tag teamed the post with Tariq Owens in providing defensive support under the basket, stifling Butler’s abilities to cut to the basket.
As a team, St. John’s shot the ball at a rate of 47% from the floor, 33% from three point range, and 83% from the foul line. One of the better foul shooting nights for the Johnnies. They lost the battle on the boards 38 rebounds to Butler’s 41 this game.
On the Butler side of things, they had a more well rounded offensive approach to this game thanks in part to having the benefit of multiple options. The leading scorers tonight were Paul Jorgensen with 17 points, Kelan Martin with 17 points, Kamar Baldwin with 11 points, and Nate Fowler with 10 points. Paul Jorgensen also got into interesting foul trouble with a technical fowl for let’s say chatting with the crowd around the court.
As a team, Butler shot the ball at a rate of 35% from the floor, 29% from three point range, and 50% from the foul line. As mentioned they out rebounded St. John’s by a difference of two rebounds. It is also worth mentioning that Butler got 32 points off of their bench tonight which is pretty great especially compared to St. John’s who had 0 points from their bench and all production coming from starters. On another note turnovers were prevalent this game with Butler coughing up the ball 17 times and St. John’s committing 24 turnovers on their own merit.
With this one in the books now both teams turn to their final game of the season before heading off to the Big East Tournament.