Javon Bess scored 18 points on 5-for-10 shooting, and host Saint Louis held on for a 64-52 win over Butler on Saturday.
Hasahn French added nine points and eight rebounds for Saint Louis, which boosted its record to 6-1. Tramaine Isabell added 10 points on one basket and eight free throws.
Sean McDermott led the Bulldogs with 12 points on 4-for-10 shooting. Aaron Thompson had 11 points for Butler (5-2), which lost its first true road game of the season.
Poor backcourt shooting hurt Butler. Guards Kamar Baldwin (3 of 17) and Paul Jorgensen (2 of 13) combined to shoot 16.7 percent (5 of 30) for the game.
Saint Louis led by 15 points with six minutes remaining before Butler went on an 11-3 run to close the deficit to 54-47 with 2:43 left. Thompson and Baldwin hit back-to-back shots to cap the run.
The comeback bid fell short as Saint Louis closed the game by scoring 10 of the final 15 points. Bess drained four free throws in the final minute to preserve the victory.
A layup by Henry Baddley cut Butler’s deficit to 41-35 with 10:40 to go. But the Billikens promptly responded with a 10-1 run to increase their advantage to 51-36.
Saint Louis led 30-24 at halftime.
Butler jumped to a fast start and grabbed a 21-13 lead with 9:18 remaining in the first half. A layup by Thompson boosted the Bulldogs’ advantage to eight points.
The Billikens closed the half on a 17-3 run, scoring the final 12 points in a row before the break, to gain the upper hand. D.J. Foreman and Fred Thatch Jr. each had a slam dunk during the outburst.
The game marked the conclusion of a two-year, home-and-home series between the programs. A year ago, host Butler overpowered St. Louis for a 30-point win.
Saint Louis has a three-day break before it makes the brief trip to visit Southern Illinois on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, Butler will return home to Hinkle Fieldhouse to host Brown on Wednesday.
—Field Level Media