Indianapolis, IN (SportsNetwork.com) - Kellen Dunham's 21 points led the way as 22nd-ranked Butler rolled to an 85-62 victory over sliding St. John's in a Big East matchup from historic Hinkle Fieldhouse.
In a game it never trailed at any stage, Butler (17-6, 7-3 Big East) got strong contributions from all five starters in winning its fourth straight conference test.
Alex Barlow went 5-of-5 from the field in a 15-point effort for the Bulldogs, who shot 56.4 percent as a team. Andrew Chrabascz tallied 14 points and Roosevelt Jones added 13, with Kameron Woods pulling down a game-high 12 rebounds in the rout.
"I was impressed with our guys' poise for the most part," said Butler head coach Chris Holtmann. "There are things we still need to work on, but this was a very big win for us."
St. John's (14-8, 3-6) shot just 37.3 percent and played the majority of the contest without top rebounder Chris Obekpa, ejected for elbowing Butler's Tyler Wideman in the head with 8:26 remaining in the first half.
"We were disappointed with our lack of poise and composure in a tough environment against a quality team," said Red Storm head coach Steve Lavin. "Our team didn't answer the bell."
Sir'Dominic Pointer paced the Red Storm with 19 points and Rysheed Jordan had 17 in the loss. St. John's has now dropped seven of 10 after an 11-1 start.
D'Angelo Harrison had 10 points for the Red Storm while surpassing the 2,000- point mark for his career.
The Bulldogs started well and finished even stronger, beginning the game on an 8-0 run as St. John's missed its first six shots and closing it out on a 15-0 tear after the Red Storm had cut a 20-point deficit down to 70-62 with 5:27 remaining.
Jones put up eight points over the opening nine-plus minutes of play to lead Butler to an early 15-6 advantage, and the lead reached double digits shortly after following a four-point possession created by Obekpa's undisciplined foul. Chrabascz sank the resulting free throws in front of Austin Etherington's cutting layup that made the score 19-9.
St. John's, which shot just 33 percent for the first half, was able to get within six late in the period before Jones fed Woods for a dunk that sent Butler into the break up 36-28.
The Red Storm continued to struggle offensively -- and lose their composure -- during the initial stages of the second half, with Dunham accounting for 10 points of a 14-2 surge that extended the Bulldogs' margin to 50-30 with around 16 1/2 minutes to play. Four of those points came on free throws resulting from a technical foul called on Pointer.
"We took it upon ourselves to come out strong," Dunham remarked.
St. John's was able to close the gap, putting forth a 10-2 spurt capped by Felix Balamou's steal and layup that trimmed the margin to 63-55 with 8:20 remaining.
It remained an eight-point differential when Jordan scored underneath to get the Red Storm within 70-62, but St. John's turned it over five times while going scoreless the rest of the way.
Harrison joined Chris Mullin and Malik Sealy as the only players in St. John's history to eclipse 2,000 career points ... Dunham had 28 points in Butler's 73-69 win over the Red Storm at Carnesecca Arena on Jan. 3 ... The Bulldogs improved to 11-1 at home this season and own an average margin of victory of 20.7 points at Hinkle Fieldhouse ... The Red Storm have dropped 14 of their last 15 meetings with ranked teams.