The St. John’s Red Storm staged a massive rout. In a Friday night Big East affair, the Red Storm defeated Butler, 91-57. The win was the Red Storm’s second victory in three days, having collected a win against Xavier in Cincinnati earlier this week.
St. John’s did trail early but weathered an early storm. They scored a whopping 32 points in the final 10 minutes of the first half. They engineered a victory from there, scoring 45 second-half points to Butler’s mere 27.
Julian Champagnie once again starred for the Johnnies. The excellent junior scorer put up 31 points on 22 shots from the floor. He made four 3-pointers, tying him with teammate Aaron Wheeler and Butler’s Jayden Taylor for the most in the game. It was Champagnie’s sixth straight game of double figures and the fourth in the last six of at least 20 points. It’s the third time this season he’s scored at least 30. Champagnie had earlier scored 32 points against Indiana in November and 34 points against DePaul back on January 5.
Also joining Champagnie in double figures were Aaron Wheeler and Posh Alexander. The senior Wheeler had 16 points, 12 of which dropped in on 3-pointers. Alexander scored 13 and was an efficient 5-for-6 from the floor.
The only other player on the court Friday evening to score more than 10 points was Butler’s, Jayden Taylor. The freshman peeled off his first streak of at least two games in double figures since a four-game run from Dec. 18-Jan. 4. Taylor scored 19 points versus the Red Storm, the most he’s scored since matching that total against UConn last month.
Both teams will need a lot of March magic to make something happen for them this year. But quietly, the Red Storm have pieced together a nice run. 4-2 over your last six and 5-4 over your last nine games will put you in a better spot. The meat of their schedule is over. They have three very winnable games next against Creighton, DePaul, and Xavier in that order. They close on the road at Marquette, but netting 10 conference wins isn’t so far-fetched right now.
For Butler... time’s probably run out. Assuming no miracle happens, they are likely to have their worst finish in Big East play in quite some time. They draw Providence, Seton Hall, Marquette, and Villanova now to end the season. It will be quite the swim for them to undertake, but hopefully, for them, they are mostly spared of any crazy results like this evening’s, as losing by 34 points is quite demoralizing.