INDIANAPOLIS, IN – The Butler Bulldogs, looking to pick up another Big East Conference win and a third win over a “Top 25” team this season on the road, buckled down in an overtime game to pick up a 79-75 win over the #21/21 Seton Hall Pirates at the Prudential Center on Tuesday (Jan. 13). Junior guard Roosevelt Jones scored a season-high 23 points and junior guard Kellen Dunham added 21 in the win. The win against the Pirates lifted Butler to 13-5 on the season and 3-2 in the BIG EAST.
Jones and Dunham combined for 32 points after halftime to fuel Butler’s come-from-behind win. Dunham had five clutch points in the overtime period, while Jones added four. It was Butler’s second straight conference win, and the Bulldogs’ second BIG EAST road victory in three tries.
“I thought our guys showed a lot of grit and poise, and I was pleased with the last 25 minutes of our play,” said Butler Head Coach Chris Holtmann. “Our first 20 minutes was not where we wanted it to be, but Seton Hall had something to do with that.”
After leading by as many as eight points early in the game, the Bulldogs found themselves trailing, 32-28, at halftime. The nationally-ranked Pirates (13-4, 3-2 BIG EAST), led by hot-shooting guard Sterling Gibbs, closed on a 15-6 run to take the four-point halftime lead.
But the Bulldogs, behind Jones, Dunham and the strong rebounding performance of senior forward Kameron Woods, regrouped in the second half and regained the lead. Butler held the host Pirates to just one point in the first seven minutes of the final period, while building a 41-33 advantage.
“Our guys just realized that (Seton Hall) was getting whatever they wanted in the first half, and (we) were kind of frustrated with that,” noted Holtmann. “(We) made a concerted effort to be better defensively, and then that created some things for us offensively.”
Butler held the upper hand for more than 17 minutes of the final period, before Seton Hall went on another late run to tie the game. The Pirates out-scored Butler, 12-5, in the final 2:24 of the second half. Freshman Kadeen Carrington tied the game with a jump shot with 23 seconds remaining, and Butler missed a final attempt sending the game into overtime.
Dunham broke the deadlock with his second three-point field goal of the game just over a minute into the overtime period, and the Bulldogs never looked back. Seton Hall cut the lead to a single point on two occasions, but the Bulldogs answered each threat and eventually stretched the margin to six points, 78-72, on a free throw by Woods with eight seconds remaining.
Carrington hit a three-point field goal with six seconds left to make it a three-point game, 78-75, with six seconds left, and the Pirates immediately fouled Butler senior guard Jackson Aldridge with four seconds left. The Butler senior made the second of two free throws to clinch the thrilling road win.
Butler, led by Woods, out-rebounded the Pirates, 45-37, and out-scored the home team, 19-10, on second chance points. Woods finished with 15 rebounds, the fourth straight game that he reached double-figures on the boards.
Sophomore forward Andrew Chrabascz added 12 points to the Butler attack, before fouling out late in the second half. The Bulldogs also lost starting senior guard Alex Barlow to fouls in the final period.
Gibbs led all scorers with 30 points, including 21 after halftime. He hit 6-of-9 shots from beyond the three-point arc. Carrington added 20 points and freshman Angel Delgado chipped in with 12 points and 15 rebounds.
The win was Butler’s second over a nationally-ranked BIG EAST team. Earlier this month, the Bulldogs defeated #15 St. John’s on the road. Butler also picked up a victory over #5 North Carolina at the Battle 4 Atlantis in November.
The Bulldogs will continue their BIG EAST road swing with a game at Georgetown on Saturday, Jan. 17. The game at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C., is scheduled for 5 p.m. (ET).
Chris Fultz is a senior writer for the Indiana Sports Report and is recognized as an accredited member of the media by Butler Athletics and has full media access. Follow @CafultzISR and the @IndySportsRep on Twitter.
Chris Fultz is a Senior Writer and the Butler Athletics beat writer for the Indiana Sports Report. Chris Fultz is recognized as an accredited member of the media by Butler University Athletics and has full media access.
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