ST. LOUIS – Jordair Jett matched his career best with 19 points and Saint Louis pressured No. 9 Butler into a season-worst 23 turnovers, recording the program’s biggest upset in nine years with a 75-58 victory Thursday night that had fans storming the court to celebrate.
Dwayne Evans added 15 points on 6-for-8 shooting and five rebounds for the Billikens (15-5, 4-2 Atlantic-10), who fed off just the fourth sellout at 5-year-old Chaifetz Arena and led by double digits most of the game. Saint Louis shot 50 percent.
Rotnei Clarke had 17 points for Butler (17-4, 4-2) but also had five turnovers. Andrew Smith added 12 points and six rebounds for the Bulldogs, who have lost four games this season, three by 15 or more points.
Butler is the highest-ranked opponent to play at Saint Louis, led by interim coach Jim Crews with a roster assembled by the late Rick Majerus, since No. 2 North Carolina in 2006-07. The Bulldogs are Saint Louis’ biggest victim since a 1-point upset over No. 2 Louisville on Feb. 12, 2003 at the Scottrade Center.
Jett, who was 8 for 12 with two 3-pointers, also scored 19 points against Villanova on Nov. 25, 2011.
More important was the other end of the court. Saint Louis leads the conference in scoring defense, allowing 57.8 points.
Butler was saddled with 16 turnovers in the first half, only two shy of its season high, combined with 37.5 percent shooting that added up to a 34-23 halftime lead for Saint Louis. Clarke had nine points and four turnovers and Kyhle Marshall was held to two points with five turnovers.
On its first 29 possessions, Butler had six baskets and 16 turnovers. Down 17 points late in the half, the Bulldogs finally woke up with nine quick points in a stretch of 1:07 before Jett, a reserve who had 13 points in 13 minutes on 5-for-6 shooting, answered with a 3-pointer with 7 seconds to make it 34-23.
Butler was down 14-12 when Clarke scored off a drive with 8:14 to go. The Bulldogs had just one more basket over the 7 1/2 minutes and not that many chances, either, with an uncharacteristic rash of mistakes forced by Saint Louis’ aggressive, overplaying defense.
Jett had a layup and 3-pointer in a 14-0 run capped by Rob Loe’s 3-pointer with 3:20 to go that put the Billikens up 31-14.