INDIANAPOLIS -- Mike McCall Jr. scored 18 points and Dwayne Evans added 17 to help Saint Louis defeat No. 15 Butler 65-61 on Friday night at Hinkle Fieldhouse. Kwamain Mitchell added 12 points for the Billikens (21-5, 10-2 Atlantic 10), who won their ninth straight overall and swept the regular-season series with the Bulldogs. Kellen Dunham scored 14 points for Butler, but he was scoreless in the second half. Rotnei Clarke and Roosevelt Jones each scored 13 points for the Bulldogs (22-6, 9-4). Saint Louis, which was coming off a 76-62 win over No. 24 Virginia Commonwealth, now leads VCU by a game in the conference race. Butler led by five at halftime, but Saint Louis opened the second half on fire. Two baskets each by Evans and Mitchell highlighted a 10-2 run as the Billikens took a 39-36 lead. Saint Louis continued to attack. Two more buckets by Mitchell, including one on a lightning-quick fast break after a missed 3-pointer by Dunham, gave the Billikens a 48-41 lead. Saint Louis' Jake Barnett was fouled on a 3-point try, and he made two of three free throws to put the Billikens up 53-44. Butler rallied, beginning with a 3-pointer by Clarke. A layup by Andrew Smith helped the Bulldogs cut the Billikens' lead to 55-51. A pair of free throws by Jones cut Saint Louis' lead to 59-58. Saint Louis held on, despite making 2 of 6 free throws in the final 37 seconds. Smith got the home crowd going early. He was on the ground when he delivered a perfect pass to an open Khyle Marshall, who dunked to give Butler a quick 4-0 lead. Saint Louis countered, and a bucket by Evans gave the Billikens a 9-7 edge. Clarke and Dunham each made a 3-pointer during an 8-0 run that gave Butler a 15-9 lead, and the Billikens called timeout. Saint Louis rallied, and a bucket by Jordair Jett cut Butler's lead to 22-20. Smith scored on a putback, then a left-handed hook as part of a 7-0 run that helped the Bulldogs push their lead back out to 29-20. Saint Louis got a quick four points from Evans to trim Butler's lead to five. McCall scored, was fouled and made the free throw to make it a two-point game again. Dunham's 3-pointer with 54 seconds left in the first half helped the Bulldogs lead 34-29 at halftime. Dunham had 14 points at the break. Butler shot 52 percent in the first half. Saint Louis shot 36 percent and made just 1 of 10 3-pointers. NOTES: Saint Louis was the first team in the others receiving votes category of the Associated Press top 25 poll this week. ... Saint Louis committed just two turnovers in the first half. ... Butler coach Brad Stevens has the second-most wins by a coach in the first six years of his career. ... Smith was named a second-team Academic All-American.
- Sports & Recreation
- Dwayne Evans