The St. John’s basketball program got a much needed victory over Butler on Saturday afternoon.
After a two and a half week break, the St. John’s basketball program was finally back on the floor at Carnesecca Arena for a matinee with the Butler Bulldogs (0-6, 0-5 Big East).
The Red Storm (4-5, 1-3 Big East) had been sidelined following their holiday break with COVID-19 issues within its program had last played on December 22 against St. Bonaventure.
Following a sluggish start, St. John’s found themselves in a 14-point hole, 40-26, with 6:30 to go in the third quarter.
Led by a balanced scoring attack, the Red Storm outscore the Bulldogs 38-16 over the remaining 16:30 en route to its second straight victory, 64-56.
“I was glad we were able to grind this out and do the things that we needed to do. Some players did things outside of their comfort zone which I thought was great, and a big way to finish a Big East game that I thought was crucial for us after a number of days of not playing,” head coach Joe Tartamella said after the victory.
St. John’s was able to secure a much needed victory despite its shooting woes from the outside, going just 5-of-21 from 3-point range.
“There was no way that we could let a team come into our home gym and have us not play our hardest. [Tartamella] just gave us a push and told us to go out there and put everything on the line and play hard,” Hoppie said following the win.
Rayven Peeples was the only other player on the team that reached double-digits with 13 points and six rebounds on a perfect 5-of-5 shooting.
Genesis Parker led Butler with 11 points in the defeat.
Competition about to get tougher for St. John’s basketball
After securing its first conference victory, the Red Storm will have to navigate a brutal upcoming schedule that includes No. 20 DePaul, Marquette, Seton Hall, Creighton, and Villanova, with three of those games coming on the road.
St. John’s is back in action on Wednesday night against No. 20 DePaul Blue Demons (6-3, 3-1 Big East) in Wintrust Arena (7:00pm EST, Fox Sports 2).