St. John’s basketball demolishes Butler in eye-popping performance

St. John's basketball guard Julian Champagnie (Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports)
St. John's basketball guard Julian Champagnie (Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports) /

The St. John’s basketball team put together an eye-popping performance against Butler. 

“It was a good, old fashioned butt kicking,”  LaVall Jordan said after Butler (13-14, 6-10 Big East) was walloped by the St. John’s basketball team on Friday night, 91-57.

The Johnnies (15-11, 7-8 Big East) carried all of its momentum from upsetting Xavier on Wednesday night in Cincinnati into Queens in a rescheduled Friday night showdown behind 31 points from Julian Champagnie.

Champagnie became the first college basketball player in the last ten years to have at least 30 points, seven rebounds, and seven steals in a game without a turnover, according to ESPN.

The Big East Player of the Year candidate was 11-for-22 from the field, 4-of-9 from the 3-point range, and 5-of-5 from the free throw line.

St. John’s trailed by one, 20-19, with 7:17 left in the first half before Mike Anderson inserted Posh Alexander and Joel Soriano and the Johnnies were off and running.

Soriano had two dunks and an Aaron Wheeler 3-pointer, part of his 16 points, keyed a 14-3 run as the half was punctuated by an Alexander banked 3-pointer at the buzzer.

It was the first 3-pointer that point guard made since January 5, missing his last 18 attempts.

“He’s that dude,” Champagnie said of Alexander.

“We have no choice but to keep up with [Alexander], and I feel like that helps us as a team…He’s the point guard, he’s the head of this train.”

Posh Alexander, in his second game back from a sprained ankle, went for 13 points, three rebounds, 10 assists, and two steals on 5-of-6 shooting.

“Their talent matches anybody in our conference,” Jordan explained of the potential of the Johnnies.

The margin of victory matched the largest Big East win in St. John’s history since the Red Storm beat Providence, 104-70, on February 15, 1999.

It was also the first time St. John’s swept the regular season series against Butler since 2013-14, the first year of realignment in the conference.

St. John’s basketball looking to put together last season charge

St. John’s will continue its home-stand against Creighton (17-8, 9-5 Big East), a team that dusted the Johnnies by 23 points in Omaha on January 19.

“I’m excited to play every team. I feel like everyone doubts us a lot…I drool over it,” Champagnie said.

“I feel like those are games that we can show people, and the [NCAA Tournament] committee, that we can play.”

The back-to-back victories gives the Red Storm hope of a late season push to the postseason with winnable games on its schedule the rest of the way.

The Johnnies will travel to DePaul (12-13, 3-12 Big East), host Xavier (17-8, 7-7 Big East), and finish the regular season in Milwaukee against Marquette (17-9, 9-6 Big East) before the Big East Tournament begins on March 9.

Tip-off between St. John’s and Creighton is slated for 6:30 p.m. (FoxSports 1) on Wednesday, February 23.