INDIANAPOLIS, IN – The No. 9 seed Butler Bulldogs fought hard against the No. 1 seed Virginia Cavaliers on Saturday night at the PNC Arena in the 2016 NCAA Tournament. Unfortunately, the 77-69 loss ended the 2015-16 Butler season as the Bulldogs finish with a 22-11 record, while the Cavaliers (28-7) advance to the Sweet 16 next weekend.
Junior F Andrew Chrabascz led Butler with 25 points on 9-of-13 (69.2%) shooting, including a 4-of-4 performance from three. Redshirt senior G/F Roosevelt Jones added 18 points in his final collegiate game.
“I can’t say enough about our seniors,” said Butler Head Coach Chris Holtmann. “They are absolute warriors. There wasn’t one day these past few years when I didn’t enjoy coming to work and being around them. They have left an unbelievable impression on Butler. I’m sad that I don’t get to coach them another day.”
The contest featured 11 ties and 11 lead changes. A Jones lay-up made it 55-53 in favor of UVA with 8:38 to play. The Cavaliers would then score nine of the next 11 points to take a 64-55 lead with 5:56 remaining.
The Bulldogs would not go quietly, pulling within three at 72-69 with 36 seconds to play. UVA would convert one free throw to push the lead to four and Butler was unable to connect on its last three shots as Malcolm Brogdon hit the final four free throws of the game for the final margin.
In the second half, Virginia shot 74% from the field and made 15-of-19 (79%) free throw attempts as one of the nation’s toughest defensive teams uncharacteristically had to out-score its opponent to get the win. UVA out-rebounded Butler, 32-22. Butler hung tough thanks to a season-low four turnovers and seven three-pointers.
The Andrew Chrabascz season high was sparked by a 4-of-4 shooting performance from three-point range. His 25th point came with 13:46 to play and gave Butler a 42-41 lead. Virginia adjusted to place Brogdon, the ACC Defensive Player of the Year, on Chrabascz at that point in the contest. Jones picked up the scoring once the defensive assignment shifted with 15 of his points coming in the final 13 minutes.
Brogdon led UVA with 22 points and five assists. He was one of four Cavaliers in double figures. Virginia shot 29-of-52 (55.8%) for the game compared to 35-of-54 (46.3%) for the Bulldogs. Butler connected on 7-of-15 (46.7%) from three and held Virginia 2-of-10 (20%) from behind the arc. Butler scored 14 points off of nine Virginia turnovers while giving up five points on only four of their own miscues.
Senior G Kellen Dunham had eight points in his Butler finale. He, Jones and fellow graduate transfer F Austin Etherington and G Jordan Gathers finish their Butler careers as one of the most successful senior classes in Butler history. Dunham is third in Butler history in scoring and three-point field goals, while Jones is in the Top 10 in rebounds, assists and steals.
Chris Fultzis asenior writerfor the Indiana Sports Report and is recognized as an accredited member of the media by Butler Athletics and has full media access. Follow @CafultzISRand 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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