Butler and their tournament hopes are taken down by St. John’s: Beyond the Box Score

Senior guard Posh Alexander put up 15 points on his former team. Photo by Makenna Frias. 

SARAH HOHMAN | SPORTS EDITOR | shohman@butler.edu

In their fourth-straight double-digit loss, Butler was dominated by St. John’s 82-59. 

With the Dawgs only lead being 3-2 at the start of the game, Butler was climbing out of a hole for nearly 40 minutes. The Bulldogs cut the Red Storm’s lead to just six at halftime, but came out slow in the second half once again. 

Eventually St. John’s just dominated and Butler essentially looked like they gave up. 

Senior Posh Alexander played one of his better games in a while. The former Red Storm guard put up 14 points, seven rebounds and three assists. Junior guard Pierre Brooks was the only other Bulldog in double-digit points, as he scored 13. Fifth-year center Jalen Thomas started off strong, but got into foul trouble quickly, limiting his minutes. 

In another crushing loss, let’s go beyond the box score. 

The same old story 

The game ended on a St. John’s offensive rebound. That about sums up the game’s entirety. 

This team has made no noticeable improvements on rebounding the basketball. It especially did not help when Butler’s starting center was out with early foul trouble. The Dawgs were outrebounded 23-15 by St. John’s in the first half. This inevitably dug Butler into a hole that they could not recover from — especially with their awful second half play lately. 

Head coach Thad Matta did make a noticeable adjustment, sending first-year Boden Kapke in for Thomas instead of sophomore Andre Screen for the majority of the minutes. Kapke only put up three points and snagged four rebounds in his 18 minutes of play. 

Turnovers were again in the double-digits at 15, whereas St. John only gave the ball away six times. 

Matta’s message to the team is simple; Butler is not playing March basketball and that has to change in their final games. 

“We’ve got to realize we are at the point of the season, there’s no secrets,” Matta said. “Your favorite move is gone. Your favorite play is gone … We made mistakes tonight like it was November.” 


At the beginning of February, hopes were skyrocketing for Butler. On Feb. 2, the Dawgs beat No. 13 Creighton on the road just after a thrilling double-overtime win over Villanova at home. Tournament hopes were the talk of the town, and fans were more excited about March than they have been in years. 

An away loss to No. 1 UConn was very understandable and the Dawgs even put up a hard fought game. Then, Providence came to town and almost blew a big Butler lead, but the Bulldogs fought back, winning another down to the wire game. The Dawgs showed weaknesses in this game, including 16 turnovers, but they still showed resilience. 

That resilience has diminished. In these last five games, turnovers, rebounds and an overall lack of effort have shown that this team is not ready for the NCAA Tournament. 

Even Matta had no answers after this game. 

“We were doing things I have never seen us do in my life,” Matta said. 

Butler’s next contest is at 3-25 DePaul in Chicago on March 2. Although tournament chances are incredibly low, the Dawgs have a lot to prove to both themselves and Butler fans in their final two regular season games and the Big East Tournament. 

“We have to get ourselves back to playing Butler basketball the way that these guys have shown that they can play,” Matta said. “We have to be a better team in Chicago, that’s for sure.” 


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