Like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, the Butler Bulldogs showed up as a completely different team from the energetic group that upset No. 5 North Carolina just one day earlier, as they fell to the Oklahoma Sooners 59-46 in the second round of the Battle 4 Atlantis Tournament on Thursday afternoon.
The loss drops the Bulldogs to 4-1 on the year, giving interim head coach Chris Holtmann his first loss at the helm.
As was the case against the Tar Heels on Wednesday, the Bulldogs struggled with their efficiency from the floor, but did not have the offensive rebounding advantage against Oklahoma to offset their woes. As a team, the Bulldogs shot just 23.7 percent from the field and hit only four of their 23 attempts from 3-point territory.
Butler was led offensively by junior guard Kellen Dunham, who had a game-high 17 points on 5-16 shooting. Scoring options were scarce throughout the game, as junior forward Roosevelt Jones finished with just four points on a poor 2-9 shooting performance and freshman sparkplug guard Kelan Martin hit just one of his eight attempts for just three points.
Despite a poor shooting performance from guard Buddy Hield, who was named No. 2 on Jay Bilas' "Wooden Watch" during the game, the Sooners received a boost from junior guard Isaiah Cousins, who had 13 points and eight rebounds. They enjoyed a run that reached as high as 16-0 during a scoreless stretch for the Bulldogs in the first half, pulling out to a lead that they would never relinquish, even as Butler started to find their offensive footing.
Oklahoma will move on to play in the Battle 4 Atlantis Championship Game, facing the winner of Georgetown and No. 2 Wisconsin. Butler will take on the loser of that game in the third-place game at 2 p.m. ET on ESPN.
Either matchup will be interesting for the Bulldogs, as they have the chance to either face another top five team, or get an early glimpse at a conference opponent.