It was a tale of two halves on Tuesday night as Butler visited St. Johns (18-9, 8-6). A hot first-half Butler offense went ice cold as the game wound down, and Butler (12-14, 2-12) fell 77-52.
Butler played one of its better halves in recent memory in the first 20 minutes Tuesday.
Senior forward Khyle Marshall dominated in the opening period, as he led all scorers with 16 points. Marshall also grabbed seven rebounds.
Butler started slow, allowing the Red Storm to jump out to a 4-0 lead. However, the Bulldogs scored seven unanswered points to gain momentum.
Butler scored the ball efficiently, shooting 48 percent in the half.
St. John’s struggled to find offensive consistency, shooting 39 percent from the floor.
Marshall finished the half with a flourish, slamming home a missed layup to send the Bulldogs into the half with a 33-30 lead.
Butler struggled out of the gates in the second half, as St. John’s opened on a 14-2 run and took a commanding 44-35 lead with less than 15 minutes to play.
Butler shot 1-of-9 to start the period.
Junior guard Alex Barlow sparked the Bulldogs’ sputtering offense after converting a four-point play with a 3-point basket and a made free throw.
The play cut the deficit to 46-41.
St. John’s stormed back and regained the double-digit advantage.
The Bulldogs continued to falter on the offense, and the deficit continued to grow as the clock wound down. Butler failed to score for more than eight minutes in the middle of the period and missed 14 straight shots at one point.
Butler shot 20 percent from the floor in the second half.
After scoring a game-high in points in the opening half, Marshall scored zero points in the final period.
Sophomore guard Kellen Dunham added 13 points.
With 11 points, Barlow posted a double-figure scoring output for the third consecutive game. It is the first time in his career he has done so.
Junior forward Kameron Woods did not make the trip to New York. Miller said after the game Woods is temporarily suspended, but he would not say why.
Woods is the fourth player to be suspended for disciplinary reasons this season.
Butler will return home on Sunday to face Providence. The Friars defeated Butler in Rhode Island 65-56 on Jan. 21.
Providence has lost four of its last five contests. The Friars are coming off an 82-79 double-overtime loss at Villanova.
The game will tip at 6 p.m.