Postgame: Butler battles back to defeat Ohio State 67-66 in overtime
In a ‘revenge game’ for Butler against former head coach Chris Holtmann, Butler’s offense continued to struggle. But a clutch three from Kamar Baldwin to send the game into overtime with less than 10 seconds left, and a clutch layup with three seconds left in overtime by Kelan Martin to win the game pushed the Bulldogs over the edge.
Butler shot just 39% from the field in the game, 19% from three and 55% from the stripe, but grinded it out to come out of the PK80 tournament 2-1. Ohio State did not fair much better, shooting just 46% from the field.
Butler’s starting lineup included Nate Fowler for the first time this season, filling in for Sean McDermott who injured his ankle in the victory against Portland State. McDermott’s absence, coupled with foul trouble, pushed the Butler bench to new lengths, giving more playing time than normal to Jerald Gillens-Butler, Joey Brunk, and Christian David. And that bench was not exactly effective, going just 4-15 from the field.
Butler’s defense kept them in the game. The Bulldogs forced 24 turnovers, and grabbed 11 steals in the contest. The Buckeyes were at one point leading by 15 points with five minutes left in the game, at which point Butler came alive and forced overtime, to eventually win the game.
C.J. Jackson lead the Buckeye offense, with 19 points, eight of which were earned at the freethrow line. He also grabbed seven rebounds and three steals in the game. Not far behind was Keita Bates-Diop with 16 points and 11 rebounds.
Butler’s Kelan Martin lead all scorers with 24 points, despite shooting 2-12 from the three point line. Kamar Baldwin struggled as well, going just 6-19 from the field, but ended the game with 14 points. Paul Jorgenson looked good off of the bench for the Bulldogs as well, scoring 10 points and grabbing six rebounds.
In an unlikely turn of events, Butler came out with the win, and maybe turned their season around. Despite offensive struggles, the Bulldogs have some momentum now as they head toward their next game against SLU at Hinkle fieldhouse.
Player of the Game:
Kelan Martin was the player of the game for Butler today, despite his poor shooting performance. The Bulldogs need Martin to be a leader, and to take over the game in clutch opportunities. Today, he was that leader.
Photo credit: SportZreport.com