Butler pulled off the near-impossible on Tuesday night, getting drubbed by 25 points by St. John’s at Madison Square Garden.
A loss at the hands of the Johnnies isn’t all that remarkable in and of itself.
What makes the loss noteworthy is the fact that the final score was 77-52 after Butler went into the half with the lead.
Think about that. With 20 minutes left in the game, the Bulldogs were beating Steve Lavin’s club, and they still somehow managed to lose by 25 points.
“I thought we played better in the second half,” Lavin told reporters after the game, “and I was pleased.”
So how did Butler manage to do it? Well, St. John’s started giving the ball to JaKarr Sampson, who the Bulldogs could not stop. He finished with 23 points on 11-for-15 shooting. They gave up a 24-2 run and, at one point, were just 4-for-30 from the floor in the second half. They finished the game by hitting three of their last five shots, which allowed them to finish with a crisp 20.0% FG and avoid getting beaten by 30. The Johnnies, in contrast, shot 60.7% from the floor in the second half.
According to Fox Sports Live, this has only happened twice this season. Sacramento State lost to UC-Irvine by 26 after leading by one at the half, while Long Beach State beat UC-Davis by 25 after trailing by four at the break.