January 1, 2020 / 3:18 AM / 24 days ago

No. 11 Butler avoids last-second upset attempt by St. John’s

EditorsNote: changes style for city in lede; revises second and eighth grafs

Dec 31, 2019; Queens, New York, USA; Butler Bulldogs forward Sean McDermott (22) scores against the St. John's Red Storm in the first half at Carnesecca Arena. Mandatory Credit: Nicole Sweet-USA TODAY Sports

Christian David hit a corner 3-pointer off a scramble with 43 seconds left, and No. 11 Butler made a key defensive stop to pull out a 60-58 victory in the Big East opener for both teams on Tuesday night in New York.

Kamar Baldwin paced the Bulldogs with 19 points, making five 3-pointers, while Sean McDermott added 12 points and 10 rebounds. Jordan Tucker also scored 12 points.

The Bulldogs (13-1, 1-0 Big East), who were ranked seventh in the nation with an average just 10 turnovers per game, turned the ball over 24 times.

The Red Storm (11-3, 0-1) missed an opportunity to knock off their second straight ranked opponent after beating then-No. 16 Arizona on Dec. 21. On Tuesday, St. John’s LJ Figueroa missed a potential winning 3-point attempt at the buzzer.

Nick Rutherford led the Red Storm with 15 points, and Rasheem Dunn added 12.

The Bulldogs led by 23 points in the first half but endured a second-half scoring drought.

After falling behind by 21 points at halftime, St. John’s battled back to cut the deficit to 46-33 on Marcellus Earlington’s slam with 13:15 remaining.

Rutherford energized the crowd with a steal and breakaway dunk to cut the gap to 46-43. David Caraher drilled a long 3-pointer from the wing to tie the score at 46-46. Earlington gave the Red Storm a lead at 48-46 by scoring on a turnaround in the lane with 6:49 left to cap a 19-0 run.

Baldwin canned a 24-foot 3-pointer to end a scoring drought that lasted just over nine minutes to allow the Bulldogs to regain the lead at 49-48.

The Red Storm built a 58-53 lead with 3:08 left before Baldwin hit a hanging layup to lower the gap to 58-57 with 1:54.

In the first half, the Red Storm failed to a score in the final 2:25 to trail 37-16 at halftime. The Bulldogs shot 7-for-16 on 3-point attempts to dominate the first half, with Baldwin scoring 14 points.

—Field Level Media

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