For the first time in 60 tries, a non-BIG EAST opponent has toppled the Butler Bulldogs at Hinkle Fieldhouse. The Southern Illinois Salukis came and left undefeated, improving to 6-0 with a three-point win over the Bulldogs. It was the third loss in as many games for Butler, who has yet to win since returning from a COVID-related shutdown on December 16.
The Salukis roared out to a big lead, dominating the first half and the early part of the second. With 15:48 remaining, they took their biggest lead of the night at 18 points. It looked like they were headed for a blowout, but then Chuck Harris came alive for Butler.
The freshman guard scored 15 consecutive points for Butler over a seven minute stretch, making things happen at the rim, at the free throw stripe, and beyond the arc. After Harris’s outburst, the lead had been trimmed down to just eight.
The Bulldogs continued to chip away and with four seconds remaining, they had the ball under their own basket, trailing by three. The inbound pass went to JaKobe Coles, who hesitated before putting up a a three-pointer that clanged off the iron and out.
Harris finished with 22 points and six assists and Bryce Golden finally came alive for the Dawgs, scoring 17, but neither they nor any of their teammates had an answer for Southern Illinois’ Marcus Domask, who scored 26 to lead all scorers.
For the third straight game, the Bulldogs saw promising contributions from young players, but again, those contributions didn’t translate into a victory. Coach Jordan’s squad was without Aaron Thompson again and there is still no official word from the team regarding his knee injury. The road won’t be getting any easier for Butler with Providence coming up on Wednesday.
Butler fans may be disappointed with the way this season is going, but there is no doubt that there are brighter days ahead. It seems each game a different freshman shines for the Dawgs, and in this one it was Chuck Harris, who single-handedly willed his team back into the game with a second-half scoring explosion. Harris also had six assists and four rebounds, showing the versatility that made him a target of both Butler and Providence.
Butler hosts Providence on Wednesday, December 23 at 6:00 p.m. ET.