NEW YORK (AP) — Da'Sean Butler scored a season-high 33 points, hitting all seven 3-point attempts, and No. 6 West Virginia rallied for a 79-60 victory over St. John's on Saturday.
The Mountaineers trailed 43-30 more than 4 minutes into the second half before storming into the lead behind a trapping defense and a barrage of 3-pointers.
Wellington Smith had a putback sandwiched between two 3s to pull West Virginia within 45-40. Then Butler hit four 3-pointers in about 5 minutes as the Mountaineers (19-3, 8-2 Big East) pulled away.
West Virginia has won 10 straight against the Red Storm (12-10, 2-8).
Butler's seven 3-pointers were a career high.
Paris Horne and Justin Burrell led St. John's with 12 points each. The Red Storm have lost five in a row.
West Virginia hit three of its first seven shots to take a 10-4 lead. The Mountaineers were 4 of 22 the rest of the half, scoring just nine points over a stretch of nearly 16 minutes.
The St. John's defense had a lot to do with it, forcing seven turnovers and blocking three shots as the Red Storm took a 33-19 lead into the final minute of the half. But West Virginia wasn't helping itself, missing several layups and making just three of its first nine free-throw attempts.
Holding the 14-point lead, St. John's had a chance to run down the clock almost to halftime, but Dwight Hardy took a quick 3-pointer and missed. Then Anthony Mason Jr. fouled Butler on a 3-point attempt, and he hit all three foul shots to pull the Mountaineers within 33-22 at the break.
The 22 points were still the fewest West Virginia scored in a first half this season.
Burrell came off the bench to score 10 points and pull down seven rebounds in the first half for St. John's, but had a quiet second half.
Mason hit a jumper to give St. John's the 13-point lead early in the second half. One possession later, he went to the locker room with a dislocated right middle finger. By the time he returned with 10:55 left, the Mountaineers were within 45-43.
Devin Ebanks had 12 points and 10 rebounds for West Virginia.