The last time Butler defeated Cincinnati was during the 1997 NCAA Tournament. Much like that game, tonight's game had a tournament feel to it as both sides swung back in forth in an all out fight over a full forty minutes of play, that began with a Butler 11-3 run and ended with a Roosevelt Jones hitting a floater lay in at the buzzer to pull off the win by a score of 78 to 76.
A number of things went right for Butler, s from their own play to benefiting from the errors of Cincinnati. The Bulldogs capitalized on the 14 turnovers committed by the Bearcats over the course of the game, whereas the Bulldogs held tight to the ball with only 6 turnovers. In particular, the errors of Octavius Ellis,who finished with a glaring 4 turnovers, aided Butler.
Kellen Dunham was one of the main cogs for the Bulldogs, as he finished with a game leading24 points on 7-of-13 shooting, among which included connecting for four three pointers and going 6-of-6 from the foul line. His efforts were followed up by those of Kelan Martin who had 14 points, Roosevelt Jones with 10 points which included the crucial final two points, and Tyler Wideman with 12 points. Wideman also led the Bulldogs in rebounds tonight with nine, but his contributions were cut short as he and Andrew Chrabascz would both foul out of the game.
As a team, Butler shot 42% from all areas of the floor, 37% from beyond the three arc, and 77% from the foul line. They matched Cincinnati's points in the paint total with 30 from both sides.
For the Bearcats tonight, the main man on the floor was Octavius Ellis. Ellis recorded a double-double with 16 points and 12 rebounds. Ellis ran into foul trouble as well with 4 fouls on the night, but even still was one of the most effective players for Mick Cronin's side tonight. Ellis' efforts were match by that of Jacob Evans who also had 16 points on the night, and Troy Caupin who had 12 points and also lead with six assists.
As a team, the Bearcats shot 50% from all areas of the floor, 38% from beyond the three arc, and 75% from the foul line.
Foul trouble was an issue for both teams. Butler had two players foul out, while Cincy had two players finish with four fouls.. There were three technical fouls given out as well, one to Roosevelt Jones, another to Octavius Ellis, and the final one given to Cincinnati's bench for arguing a call.
In the end, it was a tough win for Butler. It was also a much needed test for the Bulldogs as it was their only true road game so far this season.