St. John's takes 6-game winning streak to Butler

·2 min read

As the song goes, if you can make it in New York you can make it anywhere. And after six straight victories, the St. John's Red Storm might be on the cusp of making something bigger -- the NCAA Tournament, for just the fourth time since 2002.

"I think this team fits the city of New York. It's blue-collar, they play hard, they play exciting, they play fast," Red Storm coach Mike Anderson said. "It's fun -- and it sure is fun when you're winning."

The Red Storm (13-7 overall, 7-6 Big East Conference) will look to continue their streak Tuesday when they face Butler (6-10, 5-8) in Indianapolis, the host city of this year's NCAA championships.

St. John's showed no letdown after its victory last week against then-No. 3 Villanova, defeating Providence 92-81 Saturday as Julian Champagnie scored 24 points and grabbed 10 rebounds. Posh Alexander added 21 points and Rasheem Dunn had 13 points and equaled his career-high with 10 assists.

The Red Storm had to rally after blowing a 17-point lead against the Friars and found themselves down five early in the second half.

"I'm pretty sure there were comments like Villanova had a bad game and St. John's took advantage of it, but I really feel like this team here is something special," Dunn said. "Everybody is on the same page. Like Coach always says, we're in the hunt for something."

The Red Storm is just percentage points behind Connecticut after winning a fourth straight road game in conference play for the first time since 1999.

Butler snapped a three-game losing streak with a 68-58 victory against visiting DePaul on Saturday afternoon at Hinkle Fieldhouse. Bryce Nze and Chuck Harris each scored 22 points for the Bulldogs.

"There's no better place to be than Hinkle for a noon tip," said Butler coach LaVall Jordan. "We dug ourselves a hole again early, but I thought we had good looks that we just didn't finish at that point in the game. Our guys found a rhythm in the second half with Christian David in there, helping us get some stops in a row. We didn't play great, but we played well enough to figure it out."

Wednesday's game was originally scheduled for Dec. 14 but was postponed because of coronavirus concerns.

The teams met Jan. 12 in New York, with the Red Storm coming away with a 69-57 victory as Champagnie scored 18 points and Alexander had 10. Jair Bolden led the Bulldogs with 17 points.

--Field Level Media