Feb. 2, 2006
Senior Brandon Polk, scored 22 points and senior Bruce Horan provided the late fireworks to lead Butler to a thrilling 72-66 victory over UW-Green Bay in overtime at Hinkle Fieldhouse on Thursday, Feb. 2. The Horizon League win boosted the Bulldogs to 13-8 on the year and 6-3 in league play, while UW-Green Bay slipped to 11-12 on the year and 5-6 in the league.
Polk shook off a slow start and scored 16 points after intermission. He hit seven of 15 shots from the floor and eight of 11 from the free throw line to compile his game-high total. Horan hit a three-point field goal for the first points of the game and then hit back-to-back three-pointers in overtime to give the Bulldogs the lead for good.
Butler had to come-from-behind in the final two minutes of regulation play to send the game into overtime. Polk hit one of two free throws with 1:25 left to tie the game at 59-59, and both teams missed scoring opportunities in the final minute.
Polk gave Butler a 60-59 lead in overtime with a free throw, and junior Brandon Crone increased the lead to two, 61-59, with a free throw. UW-Green Bay's Aswan Minatee tied the game with a short jump shot and then Horan and UWGB's Ryan Tillema traded three-point field goals for a 64-64 tie.
Horan then put Butler in front for good with a three-point field with just 0:45 left. The Bulldogs held the lead by hitting five of six shots from the free throw line in the final 0:23.
"Down at the end there were three or four big plays made with poise," said Butler head coach Todd Lickliter. "In February, you're hoping that your to that point and you're not re-learning lessons. And these guys showed that,"
"I thought legs were a factor, that our guys were really tired, but then Bruce (Horan) stepped up and made some really big shots in overtime," added the Butler coach.
Butler battled to s 28-26 halftime lead, with sophomore A. J. Graves providing much of the offensive punch. He hit five of seven shots, including three of five from the three-point arc, in the first 20 minutes and took 13 points to the locker room at halftime.
The two teams traded leads for the first 13 minutes of the second half, before the Bulldogs built an eight-point lead, 56-48, on the strength of a 7-0 scoring run. But UW-Green Bay answered with a 9-0 run to take a one-point lead, 57-56, with three minutes remaining.
Horan and Graves each added 19 points to Butler's scoring total. Horan hit six of 13 attempts from behind the three-point arc, while Graves added three of ten long-range shots. Butler hit 10 of 30 three-point field goal attempts in the contest.
Freshman Ryan Tillema led the Phoenix with 20 points, while junior Ryan Evanochko added 15.
The Bulldogs will host league-leading UW-Milwaukee on Saturday, Feb. 4, at 2 p.m. Butler will wear "throwback" jersey's in the game as part of Butler's 150th anniversary celebration.