Julian Champagnie scored a game-high 18 points and host St. John’s never trailed Tuesday night in recording a 69-57 victory over Butler in Queens, New York.
Coming off a career-high 33-point showing in Saturday’s 97-79 loss at Creighton, Champagnie made four 3-point shots in the victory while adding five rebounds, two steals and two blocks.
Posh Alexander added 10 points for the Red Storm (7-6, 2-5 Big East), which shot 44.6 percent and set their season-low for points allowed. Josh Roberts and Vince Cole contributed eight points apiece for the Red Storm.
Jair Bolden led Butler with 17 points. He shot 6-of-10 but only scored three points after halftime.
St. John’s led by 10 at the half and never trailed after that, although Butler closed to within four midway through the second half.
Bryce Golden added 12 points for the Bulldogs (3-7, 2-5), who committed a season-high 16 turnovers and shot just 43.4 percent from the floor. Aaron Thompson contributed 10 points while Bryce Nze grabbed 14 rebounds for Butler.
In the first half, St. John’s shot 58 percent, hit seven 3-pointers and scored the last nine points of the opening half to take a 41-31 lead at the intermission on a long buzzer-beating 3-pointer by Cole.
Nze took an elbow in the mouth defending Marcellus Earlington’s layup with 14:06 remaining that put St. John’s up 50-38. Butler responded by making seven straight shots, ripping off an 11-2 run and was within 55-51 on a dunk by Golden with 9:23 left, prompting a St. John’s timeout.
Butler committed six turnovers while struggling with St. John’s pressing defense over the next five minutes and the Red Storm ripped off a 10-1 run to get a 65-52 lead on a layup by Dunn with 4:34 remaining.
Butler had a chance to get within 65-59 but Bolden missed a 3-point attempt with 1:42 remaining and St. John’s made four free throws the rest of the way to ice the win.