Things get harder for STJ
Jan 30, 2018 | 3025 views | 0 0 comments | 190 190 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Playing its final unranked opponent before a three-game stretch featuring three top-10 opponents, St. John’s struggled offensively on Saturday afternoon at Hinkle Fieldhouse, falling to Butler, 70-45.

Tariq Owens was a bright spot on an otherwise lackluster afternoon, tallying 13 points on 6-of-8 shooting and grabbing nine boards. The redshirt junior also blocked a pair of shots on the afternoon.

Owens was the only member of the Red Storm to reach double figures, as Bashir Ahmed finished with nine points while Justin Simon added eight points, five rebounds and five assists.

The team’s 45 points marked a season-low and the program’s lowest output since a 66-40 loss at Notre Dame in 2013.

The Red Storm went 5-of-27 from the floor in the opening half on Saturday, including a 2-of-16 effort from two-point range.

“Eighteen percent shooting in the first half] is probably going to put a little dent in your day,” said head coach Chris Mullin. “I thought we had some layups, open shots, free throws, you name it.”

Shamorie Ponds, who has been fighting through a knee injury, went 0-for-12 from the field during 30 minutes of play.

“He seemed to feel okay before the game,” Mullin said. “I didn’t think he was moving great, but he came in okay.”

There were high hopes that St. John’s could build on last season’s modest success, but the team is currently 10-12 overall and 0-10 in the Big East. Still, Mullin is postive about his squad.

“We feel like the players we have, the five or six core players, have all improved individually,” he said. “With a game like tonight, there’s no moral victories, but we’ve been pretty close in seven of these 10 Big East games.

“I’ve been around the game long enough to know that if you have good health and talent, you do well,” he added. “We’ve got some good talent, have to mesh them together, get some continuity, and things will turn.”

The Red Storm was scheduled to kick off a grueling stretch of schedule on Tuesday night, welcoming sixth-ranked Xavier to Carnesecca Arena.
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