Butler overcomes a late 2-15 run to beat #8 Arizona 69-65
The Bulldogs are rolling! Butler defeated Arizona in the Las Vegas Invitational Tournament Championship game on Friday night to take their first trophy of the season.
Butler Forward Andrew Chrabascz was awarded the tournament MVP. In the championship game he recorded 14 points and 7 rebounds. In addition to the numerical dominance, The 6′ 7″ power forward waged war against multiple 7′ Arizona forwards for the entire game and still put up big numbers.
Arizona’s star 7′ big man Lauri Markkanen lead the wildcats with 15 points. Zona guard Kobi Simmons came off of the bench in this contest to score 14.
Despite big numbers from their stars. Arizona had a rough night shooting from deep, putting up a lowly 27% shooting percentage from 3.
Butler on the other hand excelled from behind the arc, shooting 40% from three. Starting two-guard Avery Woodson scored 14 points in 17 minutes of play on 4-7 the pointers.
Kelan Martin also put up big numbers in the game, leading all scorers with 16 points and three rebounds.
Butler Point guards Tyler Lewis and Kamar Baldwin played their usual roles in the contest: Lewis with six assists and four points, Baldwin with 11 points off the bench. To end the first half, Lewis assisted redshirt freshman Sean McDermott with a pretty pass leading to a layup to put Butler up two. This momentum carried them through the rest of the game.
Butler’s 6’8″ starting forward Tyler Wideman came up big on the boards for the Dawgs with 8 rebounds against much taller competition. Wideman also put an exclamation mark on the victory with a massive two-handed dunk that resulted in a converted and-one to seal the Butler win.
With a 6-0 start and this big win against a top ten team, Butler is, in my biased opinion, a lock for the top 25 for this upcoming week. Only time will tell. If they are some how left out, they have a big game this week at Utah- and in early/mid December against Cincinnati and Indiana.
Photo credits: ESPN View.com