Indianapolis, IN (SportsNetwork.com) - The 22-ranked Butler Bulldogs will look to improve on a three-game win streak as they play host to the St. John's Red Storm Tuesday in a Big East Conference showdown at Hinkle Fieldhouse.
Butler has won three straight decisions, and five of its last six games altogether to settle in the Top-25. The Bulldogs are coming off a hard-fought 72-68 overtime victory against Marquette on Saturday, and now own a 6-3 mark in league play. The team has been dominant at home as well, sporting a 10-1 record at Hinkle.
St. John's put a stop to a two-game skid on Saturday with a 75-66 victory over Big East foe Providence at Madison Square Garden. The 14-7 Red Storm are below .500 in conference play (3-5), and are just 2-3 away from home this season.
The Red Storm are hoping to use their series lead over the Bulldogs to their advantage. St. John's owns a 3-1 mark over Butler all-time, but it was Butler that came away with a 73-69 win over St. John's in Queens earlier this season.
St. John's used a strong shooting performance in the first half against Providence to take a commanding 44-32 lead into the intermission on Saturday. The Red Storm connected on an impressive 54.5 percent of their shots from the field, and finished the game shooting 47.4 percent. Sir'Dominic Pointer netted 20 points to pace the squad, adding in seven rebounds and five assists. Phil Greene IV scored 16 points, D'Angelo Harrison chipped in with 15 and Rysheed Jordan added 14 points. Chris Obekpa grabbed a team-best 10 rebounds and blocked six shots in the win.
It's been a strong season for Harrison, who leads St. John's and ranks second in the Big East in scoring per contest, netting 18.9 ppg. Jordan (13.4 ppg), Greene (12.6 ppg) and Pointer (12.2 ppg) all contribute to a balanced scoring effort for the Red Storm, who are netting 71.2 ppg. Obekpa (7.9 rpg) leads the team on the glass and ranks fourth in the Big East in the category, while POinter chips in 7.4 boards per outing. St. John's uses a strong defensive effort, especially in the post, to hold opponents to 64.6 ppg this season.
The starters for Butler were dominant against Marquette Saturday in the team's close-call. The Bulldogs pulled ahead at the end of the first half by three points, but gave the lead away in the second period. In overtime, the Bulldogs netted 14 points - an offensive pace with which the Golden Eagles could not keep up. Andrew Chrabascz netted a team-high 30 points for Butler, adding eight rebounds. Kellen Dunham scored 17 points, and Alex Barlow contributed 15 in the winning effort. Kameron Woods pulled down a team-high 18 rebounds for the Bulldogs, who got only four points from their bench in the game.
Dunham leads Butler in scoring, netting 16.1 ppg on 43.1 percent shooting from the floor. Roosevelt Jones, who contributed just two points in the team's overtime win over Marquette, is second on the squad with 12.7 ppg, and Chrabascz rounds out a trio of double-digit scorers for the Bulldogs with 10.9 ppg. Butler as a unit checks in right around the middle in the Big East in scoring offense at 70.7 ppg, but the team's defense has been stellar in limiting opponent scoring. The Bulldogs allow a Big East-best 60.5 ppg on just 40.9 percent shooting.