Butler’s Aaron Thompson and Bryce Nze posted double-doubles, leading the Bulldogs to a clutch 76-73 overtime win over St. John’s Tuesday night at Hinkle Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.
Thompson had 17 points, including the basket with two seconds remaining in regulation that sent the game to overtime, to go along with 10 assists. Nze had a game-high 19 points and 10 rebounds.
The Bulldogs overcame a 16-point deficit to improve to 7-10 (6-8 BIG EAST). Four of Butler’s seven wins have included a double-digit comeback. Butler was able to end the Red Storm’s six-game winning streak.
“I’m really proud of our group for staying with it,” said Butler coach LaVall Jordan. “We had a really good energy and spirit. There were times when we held each other accountable but being encouraging at the same time. Hinkle Magic still exists no matter how many fans are here.”
St. John’s led 30-14 with 6:53 remaining in the first half before Butler went on an 18-4 run to climb back into the game before the half. The Red Storm led by nine (49-40) with 13:25 remaining in regulation, and once again the Bulldogs mounted a rally. Eighteen of the next 23 points were scored by the home team in taking its largest lead of the game at 58-54 with 7:11 remaining in regulation.
With the game tied 66-66, a driving lay-up by Dylan Addae-Wusu gave St. John’s a two-point advantage with 28 seconds remaining in the second half. After a Butler miss, St. John’s was in-bounding the ball with a two-point lead and 12 seconds remaining. Freshman Myles Wilmoth picked up a steal to give the Bulldogs a chance to even things up. Thompson sent the game to the extra session with a lay-up with two seconds to play.
Butler scored the first four points of overtime before St. John’s fought back to take a 73-72 lead with 2:25 left. A Thompson lay-up followed by a Myles Tate steal and two free throws gave Butler the 76-73 lead that would ultimately be the final score.
Nze’s 19 points came on 8-of-13 shooting. He and Thompson are the first Bulldogs to register double-doubles in the same game since those two same Bulldogs accomplished the feat against New Orleans Nov. 9, 2019.
Butler was able to overcome 6-of-24 shooting from three-point range with 46 points in the paint. Bo Hodges had 12 points and eight rebounds, while Bryce Golden had 11 points. Tate added nine points.
Julian Champagnie led St. John’s (13-8, 7-7 BIG EAST) with 19 points and eight rebounds.
The Bulldogs are back at it Saturday afternoon, traveling to the nation’s capital for a 1:30 p.m. tip against Georgetown. CBS Sports Network will air the game.