Dec. 9, 2006
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (AP) - Gabe Moore scored a career-high 24 points and almost single-handedly ruined the nation's most surprising start by leading Indiana State to a 72-64 victory over No. 15 Butler on Saturday night.
Mike Green had 18 points for Butler (10-1), which shot an uncharacteristic 41.5 percent from the field and was only 8-of-28 from 3-point range.
One problem was the loss of sharpshooting guard A.J. Graves, the Bulldogs' top scorer and the MVP of the NIT Season Tip-Off. He was poked in the right eye on a drive late in the first half and did not return until 11:29 remained in the game.
It was the third straight win for Indiana State (5-3) in the 122-game series between the in-state rivals.
Moore sealed the victory with a steal and layup with 1:31 left, then hit two free throws in the final minute to end Butler's last chance.
"They got off to a good start and we could never catch up," Graves said after scoring 14. "One thing we do know is that now there will be no more buzz and we can get back to business."
Indiana State took advantage of Butler's poor early shooting, closing the first half on a 17-5 run that gave the Sycamores a 35-23 lead. Moore's basket to open the second half put Butler in its biggest deficit of the season, 14, and while the Bulldogs rallied to get within seven points three times, they couldn't get any closer.
Fans stormed the court after the game. Butler was the highest-ranked team to play in Terre Haute since No. 13 Bradley in February 1986.
"I wouldn't trade what we had going for anything," Butler coach Todd Lickliter said. "You know we won't have to worry about that any more, though. I think these guys have been very businesslike all along, they handled the pressure and I think we've got great character. Now we've got some adversity and I expect them to handle it the same way."