INDIANAPOLIS, IN – The Butler Bulldogs, looking for another win against the Georgetown Hoyas this season, were unable to hold off the Hoyas on the road at the Verizon Center. Isaac Copeland drilled a three-point field goal with 0:05.4 left and Georgetown blocked a final Butler field goal attempt to hand the Bulldogs a 61-59 setback at the Verizon Center on Saturday, Jan. 17. The Bulldogs, bidding for their third consecutive BIG EAST Conference win, fell to 13-6 on the season and 3-3 in conference play.
Copeland’s game-winner from the left corner came seconds after Butler had taken a 59-58 lead on a lay-up by junior guard Roosevelt Jones. The Hoyas (12-5, 4-2 BIG EAST), who trailed by as many as 12 points in the game, rallied from a 31-27 halftime deficit to record their ninth home win of the season.
“Obviously a tough one for us,” said Butler Head Coach Chris Holtmann. “You have to give Georgetown credit for making some plays there late. Give Copeland credit for making the shot in the corner, obviously a big play for them. It was a BIG EAST grinder. You see it all across conference play. It was physical, not unlike we thought it was going to be.”
The final seconds dampened a stellar performance by Jones. The 6-4 guard, who scored 23 points earlier in the week in Butler’s win at Seton Hall, led both teams with a career-high 28 points, and he carried the Bulldogs through a second half that saw 11 lead changes. He scored Butler’s final eight points and had the ball at the basket for the final attempt that was blocked.
“There are games where you roll with the hot hand,” said Holtmann of the performance by his junior guard. “(Georgetown’s) pressure was significant and his strength allowed him to make some plays against their pressure and he was able to make some plays in space. That’s why he was effective.”
Jones was one of only two Butler players to score in double-figures in the game. Junior guard Kellen Dunham added 13 points, all in the first half. Freshman guard Kelan Martin came off the bench with eight points.
The Bulldogs grabbed control early in the game and held the upper hand for nearly the entire first half. Dunham scored five points and Jones added three to spark a 10-1 Butler run midway through the opening period that gave the Bulldogs a 25-14 advantage. The Bulldogs later stretched that advantage to 12 points, 27-15, on a lay-up by Jones.
But the Hoyas closed the first half on a 10-2 run to cut Butler’s halftime margin to four points. Georgetown then scored 12 of the first 17 points in the second half to take a three-point lead, setting the stage for a final period in which neither team could build more than a six-point advantage. There were ten lead changes in the final ten minutes.
D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera led a balanced Georgetown attack with 14 points, while Copeland, Josh Smith and Jabril Trawick each added 10. Copeland had all ten of his points in the final 15 minutes. The game was the second meeting between the two teams this season. Butler won the first meeting, 64-58, in the consolation game of the Battle 4 Atlantis in November.
The Bulldogs will return to Indianapolis to begin a brief, two-game conference homestand against Creighton on Wednesday (Jan. 21). That game at Hinkle Fieldhouse will start at 9 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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