Cold fourth quarter sinks Butler versus St. John’s

Genesis Parker shoots a 3-pointer in a game earlier this season. Parker scored 9 points in the Bulldogs’ loss at home to St. John’s on Feb. 13. Photo by Butler Women’s Basketball on Twitter.

HENRY BREDEMEIER | ASST. SPORTS EDITOR | hbredeme@butler.edu

The Butler women’s basketball team lost their seventh game in a row, this time at home to St. John’s by a score of 47-35 on Feb. 13. Butler was unable to get anything going offensively; no Bulldog scored in the double digits. Genesis Parker led Butler with nine points — all coming in a three-minute stretch in the third quarter — and Okako Adika and Jaia Alexander added seven and eight points, respectively. The Bulldogs fall to 1-14 on the season.

The start of the game could not have gone worse for the Bulldogs. They failed to put the ball in the net for the first seven and a half minutes, missing their first eight shots and turning the ball over numerous times. St. John’s capitalized, scoring 10 points over that stretch. Jaia Alexander finally got the Bulldogs on the board with a mid-range jumper near the free throw line. As the final seconds of the first quarter ticked away, Adika made a tough layup to cut the Red Storm’s lead to 14-4.

The second quarter was much better for Butler. Through the first five minutes, the two teams traded buckets, but St. John’s was able to extend their lead to 20-8. After two minutes of scoreless basketball, St. John’s scored again to extend their lead to 14. At this point, it looked like another lost quarter for Butler.

However, on the next possession Alexander converted an and-one layup, and after a Red Storm turnover, Tenley Dowell hit a three to cut the lead to single digits. Just like at the end of the first quarter, as the final seconds ticked off, Butler scored again. This time, it was a clutch 3-pointer from Emilia Sexton, cutting the Red Storm lead to 22-17 at halftime.

Butler’s offense did not play very well in the first half outside of the late nine-point explosion. They shot just 21.4% from the field in the first half and just 16.7% from beyond the arc, missing their first 10 shots from deep. In contrast, the Bulldog defense was very good. They held St. John’s to 35.7% shooting from the field, forced turnovers, and limited fouls which has been a problem for them this season.

The third quarter was another positive one for Butler. Through the first seven minutes of the quarter, Butler went on a 13-6 run to take the lead. It started with an Adika three one minute into the quarter. Outside of an Alexander free throw, Parker did the rest of the scoring damage for the Bulldogs, scoring nine points in just over three minutes, all coming from beyond the arc. This burst from Parker gave Butler their first lead of the afternoon, 30-28.

The Red Storm came right back with a three of their own from junior guard Kadaja Bailey. Freshman forward Nyamer Diew hit a pair of free throws right after to take the lead back, but Bailey scored a layup with a minute to play in the third. Junior forward Rayven Peeples made a layup with two seconds left to give St. John’s a 35-32 lead with 10 minutes to play.

For the Bulldogs, the fourth quarter resembled the first; they could not buy a bucket. The Bulldogs did not score until under a minute and a half to play in the game, and by that point, any hopes of a Butler win had diminished. The St. John’s defense played well, as they did the entire game, and made every offensive possession difficult for Butler. The Red Storm racked up 12 blocks, compared to only one Bulldog block. They also held Butler to just 23% from the field and forced 19 Butler turnovers. 

In the middle of the game, it felt like Butler was on track to pick up their second win of the season. But, scoring just one field goal in the fourth quarter of a close game is not a recipe for success, and the cold fourth quarter — as well as the poor start to the first — was the Bulldogs’ downfall.

Butler returns to action this Tuesday, Feb. 16, on the road at 11-3 Villanova. The game starts at 6:00 p.m. and will be aired on FS2.

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