Despite career-best efforts from senior guard Ronald Nored and freshman forward Roosevelt Jones, the Butler men's basketball team fell to Detroit 65-61 in front of a sellout Hinkle Fieldhouse crowd on Saturday.
Nored, who missed part of the first half due to injury, tied his career-high by dishing out nine of the Bulldogs' 12 assists. The 6-0 point-guard hit the floor while diving for a loose ball three minutes into the first half and left the court with a broken tooth and a bloodied lip. He returned to the court 11 minutes later.
Jones tied career-highs in points and rebounds with 16 and 12, respectively. It was his second career double-double, and the third time in the last six games that he's tallied 16 points.
The Titans (13-12, 7-6) entered the conference matchup ranked second in the Horizon League in steals per game and used a stout defensive effort to hand Butler its third loss in four games.
Detroit forced 18 turnovers, including 13 steals in a tightly contested game that saw 11 lead changes.
"When we're on our game, we're able to pressure and force turnovers," Detroit coach Ray McCallum coach said. "We want to get out and score in transition."
Despite Detroit's smothering defense, the Bulldogs (13-12, 7-6) did mount a late comeback attempt.
Butler twice narrowed its deficit to one possession within the game's final five minutes,.
"Overall, I liked our effort," Butler coach Brad Stevens said. "But I thought a few guys played timid. We stopped some of our drives short when I thought we could have kept going and dished to the other side or finished the play. We need them to play with more belief."
Detroit guard Ray McCallum, the Horizon League's leading scorer, posted a game-high 20 points.
Junior center Andrew Smith led Butler with 18 points.
The game marked the second time this season that the Titans bested Butler.
Prior to this season, the Bulldogs had won 10 straight games over Detroit.
The Bulldogs played without starting sophomore forward Khyle Marshall who sat out due to a concussion he suffered in Friday's practice.
Butler will have a chance to rebound from the loss when it visits Youngstown State on Thursday.