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St. John’s falls to 0-10 in Big East as Butler runs away with victory

Butler forward Kelan Martin (30) drives against St.

Butler forward Kelan Martin (30) drives against St. John's guard Justin Simon (5) in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Indianapolis, Saturday, Jan. 27, 2018. Credit: AP / Michael Conroy

INDIANAPOLIS — Kelan Martin scored 19 points and Butler handed St. John’s its 10th straight loss, 70-45, on Saturday.

Martin scored 13 points and Kamar Baldwin 10 in the first half when the Bulldogs (15-7, 5-4 Big East) made 8 of 17 three-pointers and took a 37-15 lead after the Red Storm (10-12, 0-10) shot just 18.5 percent in the half and finished at 29 percent.

Martin made four three-pointers and Paul Jorgensen, with 13 points, three. Baldwin added 12 points. Tyler Wideman’s 11 boards led a 42-32 rebounding advantage.

Tariq Owens scored 13 points, the only St. John’s player in double figures, and had nine rebounds and two blocks. The Red Storm made just 5 of 21 treys (23.8 percent).

“Eighteen percent [shooting in the first half] is probably going to put a little dent in your day,” St. John’s coach Chris Mullin said. “I thought we had some layups, open shots, free throws, you name it.”

St. John’s dropped seven of its nine previous conference games by seven points or fewer but was quickly out of this one. Butler opened on a 19-2 run and St. John’s didn’t get closer than 19 in the second half.

The Storm’s 45 points was a season low and its lowest output since a 66-40 loss at Notre Dame on March 5, 2013.

St. John’s top scorer Shamorie Ponds played 30 minutes on a balky knee but shot 0-for-12 and ended up with two points, three assists and two steals.

“He seemed to feel OK before the game,” Mullin said. “I didn’t think he was moving great, but he came in OK.”

Mullin was impressed with Butler’s Baldwin: “He’s the leader of their team. He gets them out in the open floor and is dangerous pushing the ball in transition. He’s probably the No. 1 guy offensively to contain when he’s out in transition. He has good experience and is a physically strong player. He plays good defense. He’s a really good player.”

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