Kamar Baldwin’s half-court heave rimmed out and the Butler Bulldogs’ Sweet 16 hopes were dashed. Baldwin may not have even gotten the shot off in time; regardless, the Purdue Boilermakers escaped with a 76-73 lead and will face Texas Tech in the Sweet 16, while Butler’s season has ended.
The Bulldogs got off to a great start. Kelan Martin made two early threes and Butler led 24-15 with 7:44 remaining in the first half. Then Vincent Edwards came alive for the Boilermakers. He struggled with early foul trouble, but scored ten points in the final seven minutes of the first half. Meanwhile, Butler’s offense went quiet, and Purdue took a 40-36 lead into the break.
Butler made a mini-run to begin the second half, and a Kelan Martin three gave the Bulldogs a 41-40 lead. After a couple of buckets were exchanged, Dakota Mathias hit a three to put the Boilermakers ahead 48-45. Purdue never relinquished that lead, although it was far from easy.
Purdue expanded the lead to ten with a Nojel Eastern lay-up with 10:19 remaining. Butler tried desperately to chip into the lead, but a P.J. Thompson bucket with 6:24 remaining put the lead back at ten. Then the Bulldogs got going.
A jumper by Kelan Martin and a huge rebound and put-back by Sean McDermott cut the lead to six. Paul Jorgensen had two aggressive takes that resulted in a one-for-two free throw trip and a lay-up, but Ryan Cline made a three in between those two Jorgensen plays that kept Purdue in front.
Two free throws from Martin and a lay-up from McDermott made it a two point game with 1:56 remaining and nobody else scored until :17 remained. Dakota Mathias hit a huge three-pointer from the top of the key to give Purdue a five-point lead. After a Kelan Martin lay-up, P.J. Thompson was fouled and missed the front end of a one-on-one opportunity. Out of a timeout, Butler got the ball to Baldwin, who missed the half-court heave.
Kelan Martin was fabulous in his last game as a Bulldog, scoring 29 points on 9-18 shooting, but didn’t have enough scoring help to match the 47 points scored by the trio of Edwards, Edwards, and Thompson.