Lost in the eye of the Red Storm: Beyond the Box Score

Junior forward Sydney Jaynes led the team with 13 points and three assists off the bench against St. Johns. Photo by Grace Hensley

DAVID JACOBS | SPORTS REPORTER | drjacobs@butler.edu 

As the majority of Butler students were getting reacclimated to campus on the second day of classes, the Bulldogs traveled to St. John’s and suffered a 60-42 loss to the Red Storm. 

The evening match-up on Jan. 17 was the Dawgs’ fifth straight loss and kept them winless in conference play. 

Junior forward Sydney Jaynes paced the squad with 13 points off the bench while senior guard Caroline Strande and first-year guard Karsyn Norman each chipped in 11 points. 

Butler shot 43% from the field and 45% from deep — on the surface those splits do not typically seem like a recipe for a loss. For a chunk of the game, the Dawgs were even winning or within five points of the Red Storm. 

So, what keeps going wrong during these Big East games? 

Ball movement

Since the turn of the year, the Dawgs have yet to see a positive assist-to-turnover ratio. Averaging just under 10 assists in their five games in 2024, the efficient jump shooters on the team go to waste with limited catch-and-shoot opportunities. 

Not usually the case in games past, but against St. John’s, Butler simply did not have the volume of shots to have the potential to score. The Red Storm outshot the Dawgs by 11 attempts and turned the ball over seven less times. 

Second chance points 

Securing an offensive rebound is one of the harder things to do in basketball, so you cannot fault a team for getting so few opportunities. However, you could fault a team for giving up those opportunities and that was the case against St. John’s. 

The Red Storm finished with seven offensive rebounds compared to just three brought in by the Dawgs. Of course not every single offensive rebound led to points for either team, but St. John’s got 14-21 potential extra points while Butler secured 6-9 potential bonus points. 

Therefore, unsurprisingly, despite sitting at just a four point deficit with six minutes left in the third quarter, the game started to get out of hand for the Dawgs who wound up in an 18 point defeat. 

Control the controllables 

This squad has competed and showed fight against impressive teams such as Iowa State, UConn, Villanova and now St. John’s. The problem is they have lost each of those games handily. 

Whenever Butler is well into a game and are right there within five against a high-caliber team, it seems they stop doing what they were and start losing control. The Dawgs will have a chance to right the ship in a home noon tip off against Providence on Jan. 21. 


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