Butler ends Indiana's winning streak
Also: Texas wins second championship; Valdosta St. earns title
The Butler men’s basketball program has a knack for making a name for itself and Saturday’s stunning victory against No. 1 Indiana just added another chapter to the Bulldogs’ storied history in recent years.
Sophomore walk-on Alex Barlow delivered the game-winning shot against the Hoosiers, connecting on a one-handed floater in the land with 0:02.6 seconds left in overtime as Butler claimed an 88-86 victory against previously unbeaten Indiana in the Close the Gap Crossroads Classic in Indianapolis.
The guard from Springboro, Ohio, had only scored 12 points in Butler’s previous nine games this season, but made one of the biggest shots in school history as the Bulldogs beat a No. 1 team for the first time.
“You’ve worked for this your whole life … spent all those hours in the gym … and then get a chance to play the No. 1 team in the country,” Barlow said. “When I saw six seconds left I was just trying to make a play and was fortunate to make the shot. The floater is a shot I work on a lot, and I got a lucky bounce.”
Barlow also made two key free throws towards the end of regulation to keep the Bulldogs in the contest as Indiana tried to stage a comeback from a 71-64 deficit with 2:30 left.
“It was such a gutty effort by our guys,” Butler head coach Brad Stevens said. “Our guys played really hard … it really mattered … and they figured out a way.”
Butler's Roosevelt Jones netted 16 points and matched his career-highs with 12 rebounds and six assists in the contest, but was sitting on the bench in overtime after fouling out.
The Bulldogs have won five consecutive games, improving their record to 8-2 on the year.
• The unranked Colorado women’s basketball team survived a late rally by No. 8 Louisville, downing the Cardinals 70-66 on Friday at the Coors Events Center for the Buffalos’ first win against a top 10 team since 2002. The Buffs are off to a 9-0 start for the second year in a row.
Sophomore forward Jen Reese scored 11 points, including a crucial put-back after Brittany Wilson’s two missed free throws with 11.1 seconds remaining in the contest. CU led by as many as 13 in the final three minutes, but Louisville went on a 10-0 run in less than 30 seconds to close the gap to 68-66.
Colorado’s last victory against a top-10 opponent was against Stanford in the 2002 NCAA tournament. CU head coach Linda Lappe was a junior for the Buffs that season.
• The Texas women’s volleyball team claimed its second NCAA Championship, and first since 1988, with a convincing 3-0 sweep of Oregon at the KFC Yum! Center on Saturday night.
The Longhorns, competing in their fourth final four in the last five years, finally broke through to capture the championship after some narrow misses. Texas also played in the 1995 and 2009 championship matches, losing to Nebraska and Penn State, respectively.
“We’ve been to this thing a lot of times and we’ve finally broken through because of what this program stood for,” Texas head coach Jerritt Elliott said. “I’ve always believe we’ve been doing it the right way but sometimes you have to get lucky.”
Texas posted a .438 hitting percentage – a championship match three-set record -- and out-blocked Oregon 15-1 in the contest.
• Matt Pierce returned the opening kickoff 96 yards for a touchdown, setting the tone for Valdosta State’s dominating 35-7 victory against Winston-Salem State as the Blazers won the program’s third Division II football title on Saturday.
The Rams trailed 14-0 after the first five minutes and were never able to dig out the hole as they committed a season-high six turnovers. The Blazers grounded out 207 yards rushing -- the most surrendered by the Rams this season -- and scored three touchdowns while the defense intercepted three passes and also recovered three fumbles.
• North Dakota State quarterback Brock Jensen scored a five-yard touchdown on a draw play with three minutes left in regulation, lifting the Bison to a 23-30 victory against Georgia Southern on Friday in the FCS semifinals. Jensen’s scoring play came on fourth down-and-three, sparking the defending NCAA champion Bison to the championship game on Jan 5 for the consecutive season.
• Sam Houston fought off a huge comeback attempt by Eastern Washington, escaping with a 45-42 victory against the No. 2 Eagles in the FCS semifinals on Saturday, and advancing to the championship game for the consecutive season. The Bearkats squandered a 35-0 halftime lead, but held on by scoring just enough in the fourth quarter to claim the three-point victory.
With the win, the Bearkats get a rematch in Frisco with defending champion and top-seeded North Dakota State on Jan. 5 for the FCS national title.
• Cornell senior Kyle Dake was named the Bill Farrell Most Outstanding Wrestler at the Grapple at the Garden after defeating No. 13 Zach Toal of Missouri and No. 3 Tyler Caldwell of Oklahoma State at 165 pounds on Sunday at Madison Square Garden. The three-time NCAA champion, wrestling in a new weight class this season, downed Caldwell 4-1 in the most-anticipated match of the event. Dake has now already beaten the No. 2 and No. 3 ranked wrestlers in his weight class this season.
|THE DIGIT||THE 4-1-1|
||Texas junior outside hitter Bailey Webster concluded the NCAA postseason with an incredible .458 hitting percentage over six matches as she helped the Longhorns win the national championship. Webster was also the Most Outstanding Player of the championship.|
|1||One must have been Arizona’s magic number on Saturday as both the football and men’s basketball teams won thrilling one-point contests. The football team pulled out a 49-48 victory against Nevada in the New Mexico Bowl, scoring two touchdowns in the final 46 seconds. The No. 8 men’s basketball team overcame a six-point deficit in the final 56 seconds for a 65-64 win against No. 5 Florida.|
|8.93||Mount Union’s stingy defense gave up only 8.93 points per game this season, including the Purple Raiders NCAA-record run of six consecutive shutouts, to lead Division III football.|
|46||The 1,000-point mark is always a career milestone, but Ashland senior forward Kari Daugherty’s has done it faster than anyone else in NCAA history. With 24 points in the Division II No. 1 Eagles’ 70-54 win against No. 5 Indianapolis on Friday, Daugherty went past the mark in an NCAA-record number of games (46). She now has scored 1,015 points during her Ashland career.|
|500||Millikin women’s basketball coach Lori Kerans notched her 500th career victory as the Big Blue defeated Illinois College 66-61 on Saturday. Kerans is the first women’s coach to reach the mark in the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin and is the 19th women’s coach in NCAA Division III history to accomplish the feat.|
• Southern Mississippi junior guard Jamierra Faulkner garnered Conference USA Women’s Basketball Co-Player of the Week after posting the seventh triple-double in league history. She scored 16 points, dished out 10 assists and tied a C-USA single-game record with 10 steals in a 79-63 win against Loyola. In the same contest, Faulkner also became a member of the 1,000-point club.
• The Keystone men’s basketball team earned its first victory against a nationally-ranked squad as the Giants edged No. 16 Scranton 94-93 in overtime on Saturday. Miles Dargan led all players with 27 points and assisted on the game-winning score by Duncan Lunsford. It was Scranton’s second loss in a row.
• The Newman men’s basketball team upset No. 2 Washburn 86-69 in Division II action on Saturday, earning a victory against the highest-ranked opponent in school history. The Jets improved to 9-0 on the season as Darrell Traylor and Shamar Acuay contributed 15 points apiece. Newman handed Washburn its first loss of the season.
• St. John Fisher got one of the best performances from one of the best names in college basketball as the Cardinals knocked off Pittsburgh-Bradford 106-57 on Sunday. Sophomore Optimystik Kinard netted a career-high 32 points on 11-of-14 shooting, including a career-best six 3-pointers as the Cardinals went over the century mark in regulation for the first time since 2004.
Follow Amy Farnum on Twitter: @NCAA_Amy