INDIANAPOLIS, IN – The Butler Bulldogs barely survived against the Georgetown Hoyas on the road in a BIG EAST Conference overtime battle on Saturday. The Bulldogs survived a frantic Georgetown comeback and a tough performance at the free throw line to gut out the 90-87 win at the Verizon Center. Senior G Kellen Dunham led the Bulldogs with a game high 29 points. With the win, Butler improves to 19-9 and 8-8 in BIG EAST play while Georgetown falls to 14-15, 7-9 in the BIG EAST.
A 16-0 run midway through the second half propelled Butler to a 68-54 lead after Georgetown took its first lead of the second half at 54-52 with 10:52 to play. The Butler lead grew to 79-66 with 2:37 to play before a combination of Hoya baskets and missed opportunities at the foul line pushed the game to overtime at 80-80.
“I’m really proud of that effort,” said Butler Head Coach Chris Holtmann. “We won on the road against a talented team that wasn’t going to lay down for anyone. We didn’t hit our free throws, but a lot of teams would have packed it in when it went to overtime. We didn’t. That’s a gutsy win in the BIG EAST.”
A fifth foul on sophomore F Tyler Wideman put Georgetown sophomore F Isaac Copeland at the line for three free throws that he connected on. A last second floater in the lane from redshirt senior G/F Roosevelt Jones was off the mark and sent the game into overtime.
In the extra period, Butler also lost Roosevelt Jones to his fifth foul. Georgetown star senior G D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera fouled out soon after. In for the fouled-out Jones, Butler graduate transfer G Jordan Gathers iced the game with two free throws for the final margin with two seconds to play. The senior came off the bench after only playing one minute earlier in the game.
Butler missed 16 of its season high 44 free throws attempts. The 63.6% free throw shooting led to the late drama. The Bulldogs were hot from behind the arc, hitting 8-of-15 (53.3%) attempts. Butler forced the Hoyas into 23 turnovers. Seven of them were off Wideman steals, just one off the Butler single-game record held by Brett Etherington, the father of graduate transfer F Austin Etherington. Wideman added seven points and eight rebounds.
Jones and sophomore G Kelan Martin each had 18 points for Butler. Smith-Rivera led Georgetown (14-15, 7-9 BIG EAST) with 26. The Hoyas shot 49 percent from the field. Dunham’s 28 came on 9-of-17 (53%) shooting, including 4-of-8 from three.
Butler finished 27-of-61 (44.3%) from the field while Georgetown finished 30-of-60 (50%) from the field and 7-of-19 (36.8%) from three. Georgetown finished an impressive 20-of-24 (83.3) from the charity stripe when compared to Butler. The Bulldogs forced a season high 23 Georgetown turnovers while only coughing up the ball eight times the entire game. Georgetown out-rebounded Butler, 42-32, but managed only four steals to Butler’s 13.
Butler returns to Hinkle Fieldhouse for a pair of home games to close the regular season. Seton Hall visits Wednesday night for an 8:30 p.m. contest. The game will air on FS1 and tickets are still available.
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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