Butler survived a review of a potential buzzer-beater and defeated St. John’s 68-66 on Tuesday night in Indianapolis.
Joel Soriano seemingly tied the game at 68 by scoring on an inbounds play to force overtime. It was initially ruled a basket on the floor, with the Red Storm prepping for overtime, but a review declared the ball was still on Soriano’s fingertips when the clock expired.
It was the final blow of a frustrating ending for St. John’s (14-11, 4-10 Big East), which has now lost three straight.
Jayden Taylor had a game-high 19 points for Butler (12-13, 4-10 Big East), which snapped a five-game skid. Manny Bates added 15.
Posh Alexander led the Red Storm with 17 points, nine rebounds and six assists. Rafael Pinzon added 14 points off the bench.
The Red Storm led for most of the second half but made their last basket with 3:50 remaining; a dunk by Soriano gave them a 66-61 lead.
From there, Butler finished the game on a 7-0 run, taking a 68-66 lead with 1:31 remaining on a layup by Simas Lukosius.
St. John’s had multiple chances in the final 91 seconds. With 16.7 seconds remaining, Soriano missed a layup and grabbed the rebound, but he stepped on the baseline for a turnover.
Butler then missed two free throws with four seconds remaining but fouled as St. John’s went down the floor to slow any chance for a fast break. With the stoppage, St. John’s got Soriano back into the game and ran the inbounds play to him in the post, but his shot was a millisecond too late.
St. John’s gained some separation in the first half, going on an 8-0 run after trailing 22-21. Pinzon made a jumper and Dylan Addae-Wusu nailed a 3-pointer on the next trip down the floor. Pinzon then added his own 3-pointer to give the Red Storm a 29-22 lead.
St. John’s held a seven-point lead for much of the remainder of the half, going into the break with a 41-34 advantage.
–Field Level Media