It wasn’t always that way though.
Butler was in a gridlock with St. John’s at the end of the first half, trailing the Red Storm 32-31.
In particular, St. John’s guard Julian Champagnie was a thorn in the Bulldogs’ side at halftime with 16 points–including four for four from the 3 point arc.
However, the Bulldogs battled back and most importantly, got hot shooting (56%)–scoring a scorching 46 points in the second half–including an 18-2 scoring run.
Their defense got better too, as Champagnie would hit no more three point shots in the second half, and St. John’s went from shooting 41.9% from the field and 57.1% from 3 PT range at halftime to 36.7% and 37.5% at the game’s end respectively.
Butler redshirt senior wing Sean McDermott led the way for the Bulldogs with a double-double–having 16 points (6-11 FG, 3-7 3 PT) and 14 rebounds–along with 2 assists and 2 blocks.
Meanwhile, his senior partner in crime, All-Big East guard Kamar Baldwin added 12 points (5-12 FG, 1-2 3 PT), 5 rebounds, and an assist.
Also having big nights for the Bulldogs were starting point guard Aaron Thompson (13 points and 5 assists), starting power forward Bryce Nze (11 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists, a steal, and a block), and super sixth man Jordan Tucker (14 points, 2 assists, and 2 steals).
The best part of the night was that every senior meaningfully contributed to the Bulldogs’ victory.
The Bulldogs (21-9, 9-8 Big East) won two straight games for the first time since January 28th and will travel to Xavier (19-11, 8-9 Big East) on Saturday night (8:30 PM EST, FS1) for the Musketeers’ senior night–which figures to be a highly contested game.
Currently, Butler is #26 in the KenPom rankings.