INDIANAPOLIS, IND. -- Junior Andrew Smith, who hit the game-winning tip-in against Purdue at the Close The Gap Crossroads Classic, has been named Horizon League Player of the Week for the period December 12-18. He's the first Butler player to earn the league's weekly honor this season.
Smith gave the Bulldogs a dramatic, 67-65, victory over Purdue in the nationally-televised contest from Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. With the game tied at 65-65 in the closing seconds, Butler freshman Roosevelt Jones drove to the basket and lofted a floating lay-up that bounced off the back of the rim. Smith was in the right place to tip it in with just 0:01 left on the clock. Purdue missed a final desperation half-court shot, and Butler had its biggest victory over the season.
A 6-11 forward from Covenant Christian High School in Indianapolis, Smith helped Butler overcome an 11-point halftime deficit. He scored eight points and grabbed four rebounds in 12 minutes in the final period, and he shared team scoring honors for the game with 12 points. He hit four of five shots from the field and from the free throw line in the win, and he added six rebounds, one blocked shot and one steal.
Smith also helped anchor a Butler defensive effort that limited Purdue to just a single point in the final six-and-a-half minutes.
Butler will wrap up its pre-Christmas slate with a two-game road trip to the West Coast. The Bulldogs will play at Gonzaga on Tuesday, Dec. 20, before facing Stanford on Thursday, Dec. 22. The Gonzaga game will be nationally-televised on ESPN2 at 9 p.m. (ET), while the Stanford contest will be televised on Fox Sports Network, also at 9 p.m.
(Photos by John Fetcho)