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Saint Louis knocks off No. 9 Butler 75-58

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Saint Louis knocks off No. 9 Butler 75-58

ST. LOUIS (AP) 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.

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John Wall and Bradley Beal sport Elena Delle Donne’s face mask in WNBA Playoffs

John Wall and Bradley Beal sport Elena Delle Donne’s face mask in WNBA Playoffs

The newest celebrity fashion statement in Washington D.C. is sporting Elena Delle Donne face mask.

Just ask Washington Wizards John Wall and Bradley Beal.

The two Wizards superstars made it out to the Entertainment and Sports Arena supporting their fellow D.C. athletes Thursday evening. The Mystics were playing Game 2 of the WNBA Semifinals against the Las Vegas Aces.

Wall attended Game 1 as well with the Wizards first-round draft pick Rui Hachimura. Several other Wizards were spotted throughout the first two games of the series. 

Since mid-July, Delle Donne has worn a face mask after suffering a nasal fracture in a game. The injury forced the 2019 WNBA MVP to miss two contests until being cleared for play. Even though she no longer is required to wear the mask, medically, Delle Donne continues to wear it for the remainder of the year.

Earlier in the regular season, Redskins running back Derrius Guice also took in a Mystics game in a Delle Donne mask.

Just next time, someone give John a hand. He’s recovering from an injury after all.

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Elena Delle Donne celebrates second WNBA MVP award by crediting others

Elena Delle Donne celebrates second WNBA MVP award by crediting others

WASHINGTON -- A lot can change in four years, and for Elena Delle Donne, that has certainly been the case. As she stood at the podium on Thursday at St. Elizabeth's Arena to accept the 2019 NBA MVP award, she reminisced on her journey since 2015, the first time she got the honors.

Back then she was 26 years old, playing for the Chicago Sky and "wide-eyed," as she put it. A blockbuster trade, several injuries and a wedding later, she is MVP again.

"I've definitely grown so much," Delle Donne said. "It's a different vibe now. I just have a different feel being so settled and happy where I am." 

Delle Donne is quick to deflect compliments and spent much of her press conference tipping her cap to others. She thanked her teammates and coaches and said she wouldn't be able to win MVP without them.

She also thanked the Mystics front office and ownership group as they were getting set for Game 2 of the WNBA Semifinals against the Las Vegas Aces.

"Thank you to the organization. This is a first-class organization that really makes coming to work nice," she said. 

"You get to show up and we have a chef cooking for us. It's just a phenomenal place to be a part of. It feels like a family and I absolutely love D.C."

Delle Donne's most effusive praise was reserved for her wife, Amanda. Delle Donne went into detail about how her support makes the success she has on the court possible.

"She's the one I get to go home to and she keeps my head straight. She has to deal with all my craziness. She makes my pregame meals and basically gets everything in order for me," Delle Donne said.

Though Delle Donne talked mostly about others, the occasion was to celebrate her. Whether she is comfortable talking about herself or not, her accomplishments speak for themselves. She is now one of six players in WNBA history to win multiple MVP trophies and the first to do so with two different teams.

She got 41 of 43 first-place votes this time around after placing second in the league in scoring (19.5 ppg), fifth in rebounding (8.3 rpg) and 11th in blocks (1.29 bpg). She was the first player in WNBA history to shoot at least 50 percent from the field, 40 percent from three and 90 percent from the free throw line.

Delle Donne is in the midst of a historic career. And now at 30 years old, she understands her place in the sport has context that goes way beyond trophies at stats.

"It's always incredible to know that something you've done will go down in history. It's even more inspiring to know that there are little girls looking up to me that maybe can do the same or do more. That's what I did when I was younger because I had them to look up to," she said.

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