Bulldogs Fall In Overtime To Milwaukee, 86-80

Bulldogs Fall In Overtime To Milwaukee, 86-80

INDIANAPOLIS, IND. -- Visiting Milwaukee turned a 13-4 scoring run in overtime into an 86-80 victory over Butler in a rematch at Hinkle Fieldhouse on Sunday (Jan. 23) afternoon.  The loss kept Butler from gaining a share of first place in the Horizon League.

The Panthers (10-11, 5-5 Horizon League), who defeated Butler 76-52 earlier this month, overcame a six-point deficit and forced an overtime when senior Tone Boyle’s two free throws with 0:25 left tied the game at 72-72.  Butler had a chance to win the game in the closing seconds, but guard Shelvin Mack’s jump shot missed at the final buzzer.

Butler (14-7, 6-3 HL) quickly grabbed a three-point lead in the extra period on a pair of free throws by Mack and a lay-up by freshman Khyle Marshall around a single free throw by Boyle.  But the lead didn’t last.  Boyle hit a lay-up to cut the margin to one and freshman Kyle Kelm put the Panthers ahead for good, 77-76, with a lay-up with two-and-a-half minutes left.

Boyle hit a key three-pointer to extend the margin to four, 80-76, and the Panthers scored their final six points from the free throw line.  Butler managed just four points in the final four minute of the overtime period.

“If you would have told me we would out-rebound them 41-36 and held them to five three’s, I would have said we would have won.  But that’s not the way it worked,” said Butler coach Brad Stevens after the game.

“They made plays late.  Obviously, (Anthony) Hill did a great job down there in the paint.  What crushed us last time we played them was the three-point line, and I thought we did a great job guarding the three-point line.  But Hill wasn’t the only one who was good in and around the basket.  We’ve got to make those shots not five feet away, but ten feet away, and we just didn’t do it enough.”

Hill, who scored 22 points in the first meeting with Butler, finished with a team-high 18 points in 19 minutes, before fouling out.  Guard Kaylon Williams, who had a triple-double in the first meeting, posted 16 points and a team-high 12 rebounds, while Boyle finished with 15 points, all but two of which came after intermission.

Butler shook off a slow start to grab a five-point lead at halftime, 37-32.  Mack had 13 of his game-high 23 points in the first 20 minutes, while senior Matt Howard had seven points and five rebounds.

Howard gave Butler its biggest lead of the game at 44-38 with a free throw at 14:49.  But the Panthers clawed back and tied the game at 46-46 with just over 12 minutes remaining, and the two teams were never separated by more than three points for the rest of regulation play.

The game featured 15 ties and 21 lead changes.

Howard, celebrating his 22nd birthday, finished with 18 points and 10 rebounds, before fouling out late in regulation play.  Marshall also finished with a double-double with 14 points and a career-high 10 rebounds, while senior Shawn Vanzant wound up with 10 points.

The loss cost the Bulldogs a chance to tie Valparaiso, a 63-61 loser to Green Bay on Sunday, for first place in the league standings.  Valparaiso and Cleveland State will enter this week tied for first in the league, while the Bulldogs are a game back tied with Wright State.

Butler will have a week to prepare for its next game at league-leading Valparaiso on Saturday, Jan. 29.  That key contest will start at 2 p.m. (ET) and will be featured as the Horizon League Television Game of the Week.