No. 23 Butler uses emotions to put away St. John's 78-58
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) Kellen Dunham scored 24 points and Kelan Martin added 22 as No. 23 Butler pulled away from struggling St. John's for a 78-58 victory Saturday.
The Bulldogs (13-4, 2-3 Big East) ended a two-game losing streak on an emotional day that included a pregame tribute to former center Andrew Smith and a halftime speech from his young widow, Samantha. The 25-year-old Smith died Tuesday after a two-year battle with cancer.
Dunham is one of two players on Butler's current roster who played with Smith.
St. John's (7-12, 0-6) was led by Federico Mussini with 14 points and Felix Balamou with 13. But the Red Storm lost their school-record ninth straight.
The Bulldogs were sloppy early, but finally seized control by scoring the last 10 points of the first half to take a 39-25 lead. They never allowed St. John's to get closer than 11 points in the second half.