I’m pretty sure that was the longest game I have ever watched in my entire life. 56 fouls. 77 attempted free throws. The last 36 seconds took fifteen minutes of real time.
But Butler escapes with a win against Big East rival Xavier 83-78 in front of a roaring Hinkle Fieldhouse crowd.
Neither team played very well in the first half. Fouls consumed most of the first twenty minutes for Butler. Xavier was shooting 47 percent from the field as opposed to Butler’s 36 percent. Edmond Sumner was no where to be found. Neither was Kamar Baldwin.
The second half is where things got interesting. 37 fouls were called. Both teams shot 50 percent or over from the field when they weren’t shooting from the free throw line. But they did shoot from the free throw line 56 times.
Edmond Sumner and Kamar Baldwin also both showed up. Sumner ended up with 22 points and three assists, shooting 12-13 from the free throw line. Baldwin ended with a career-high 21 points along with nine rebounds and was a perfect 8-8 from the free throw line.
Both teams will be back in action on Monday for the MLK marathon. Butler will play Marquette at home at noon while Xavier travels back home for a date with #8 Creighton.
Three Things We Learned
1. God Bless Kamar Baldwin
Kamar Baldwin is very good. He is really very good. He managed to score all of his 21 points in the second half and made me crucial steals and plays in order to give Butler the edge against Xavier. He is in high contention for BE Freshman of the Year (but not if Justin Patton has anything to say about it).
2. Xavier needs to keep turnovers down on Monday
Xavier racked up 16 turnovers against Butler Saturday afternoon. If Xavier hopes to have a chance against Creighton and not endure the same fate as Butler, they need to keep their turnovers down. Because Creighton will definitely capitalize.
3. The Big East is GOOD
Every game in the Big East between the top half teams is going to be absolutely fantastic. Every. Single. Time.