The Bulldogs hadn't scored over 70 points in their last 3 games or in 5 of their last 6. Scoring wasn't a problem tonight. The Bulldogs torched the Red Storm for triple digits in a 110-86 victory at Hinkle Fieldhouse. Avery Woodson and Andrew Chrabascz led all scorers with 20 points, while Kelan Martin scored 19.
Player of the Game - Avery Woodson
Woodson got the Bulldogs going in the 1st half, scoring 15 points on 5-8 shooting from 3. Shooting from deep has been a huge reason for Butler's recent skid, but Woodson stepped up tonight, and Butler fed off of that momentum. He finished 6-10 from 3 with 20 points and 4 rebounds to lead the Bulldogs. Honorable mentions to Tyler Lewis with 9 assists and Andrew Chrabascz with 20 points of his own.
Better Coach Won
The biggest mismatch in this game was in the coaching box. The level of execution offensively from the two sides was night and day. St. John's looked absolutely lost trying to fight through numerous screens and lost Avery Woodson for 3-pointers multiple times. The Red Storm are talented but looked misguided out there. The overall defensive numbers don't look pretty for Butler, but it was hard to get stops with the way this game was called. The Bulldogs weren't spectacular but were solid on the defensive end tonight.
Offensive Explosion...Kind Of
The offensive numbers in this one are ridiculous. St. John's scored 1.06 points per possession and got blown out of the gym. Butler put up 1.38 points per possession, and that was dragged down the final few minutes of the game. The Bulldogs shot 58% from the floor, 50% from three, and 73% from the line. Kelan Martin was 1 point away from 3 Bulldogs having 20 points.
It's great to see Butler's offensive finally wake up, but the environment was a major factor. St. John's simply isn't good on defense, and the officiating favored the offense heavily. The Bulldogs got to the line 40 times in this one and St. John's was in foul trouble all game long. I'm sure Coach Holtmann will take 110 points anytime he can get it, but it's important to keep things in perspective.
Butler Cleans Up Boards
Butler destroyed St. John's on the boards in the first half. Butler had more offensive rebounds (9) than St. John's had total rebounds (8) before halftime. The Bulldogs finished with a 40-25 advantage on the glass for the game. St. John's was extremely aggressive going after blocks and it created huge lanes for offensive rebounds. Wideman in particular hit the glass hard, including a few highlight tip dunks. Butler's guards did a great job of breaking down the St. John's defense and the Red Storm were never very effective at recovering and helping each other. That was evident in several areas, and rebounding was a major one.
Big East Standings
There was no shortage of panic amongst Bulldog fans after losing 3 out of 4. But there's no reason to look for the ledge. It's after Valentine's Day and the Bulldogs are all alone in 2nd place in the Big East standings. Every one of us would have taken that to start the year. The regular season is a marathon, not a sprint, and the Bulldogs are doing just fine.