Kamar Baldwin scored a season-high 30 points and Jordan Tucker chipped in with 24 to lead Butler to an 80-71 victory over St. John’s Saturday in Big East action in Indianapolis.
Baldwin hit 10 of 18 shots and 8 of 10 free throws for the Bulldogs (12-7, 3-3 Big East). Tucker, who came off the bench, hit 6 of 11 3-point shots. Sean McDermott contributed a team-high 12 rebounds for the Butler.
Mustapha Heron and Shamorie Ponds each scored 20 to pace St. John’s (15-4, 3-4). Heron and Marvin Clark II each had eight rebounds. The Red Storm’s LJ Figueroa fouled out with nine points while Clark scored 10.
Ponds hit a 3-pointer to close the deficit to 73-67 with 1:30 remaining. Following a missed layup by Baldwin, Heron hit two free throws to make it 73-69 with 50 seconds to go.
Baldwin hit two free throws to make it 75-69 with 42 seconds left. Justin Simon followed with a dunk to trim lead to 75-71.
Butler’s Paul Jorgensen sank one of two free throws, but the Red Storm’s Clark missed a 3-pointer.
Baldwin’s two free throws with 17 seconds left effectively sealed it.
For the game, Butler shot 45.9 percent compared to St. John’s 38.1 percent from the field. Butler held a 40-36 rebounding edge.
In a game of spurts, Butler’s largest lead was 22 points at 58-36.
The Bulldogs scored the first basket of the second half to push its lead to 41-27. The Red Storm followed with a 7-0 run.
Following a timeout, Tucker sank a 3-pointer as Butler responded with nine unanswered points to take a 50-34 advantage.
The Bulldogs’ 58-36 lead was short-lived as the Red Storm followed with 12-0 spurt and eventually got as close as 66-60 with 6:25 to go.
Butler sank 16 of 30 shots for 53.3 percent en route to a 39-27 halftime lead. In contrast, the Bulldogs limited the Red Storm to 32.1 percent shooting (9 of 28).
Butler’s bench outscored St. John’s reserves 22-0 in the first half, including 13 by Tucker. The Bulldogs held a 37-4 edge in bench points.
With the score tied at 8, Butler used a 14-2 run to take a 22-10 lead.
Butler’s largest first-half lead was 14 points at 39-25 with 1:36 left.
—Field Level Media