Zach Bolinger | Icon Sportswire
Butler held on down the stretch after building a lead during a dominant first half, knocking off No. 13/15 Xavier, 69-67, Friday night at sold-out Hinkle Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.
With the result, Butler levels its record at 13-13 overall and 5-10 in BIG EAST play. Xavier is now 19-6 (11-3 BIG EAST).
- Sophomore Jayden Taylor had a game-high 20 points, knocking down nine of his 11 attempts at the free throw line. Taylor has scored 19, 19 and 20 points over the last three games. Friday night was his third 20-point game of the season and the fourth of his career.
Stat of the night:
- Butler shot 54 percent from the field, including 67 percent in the opening half as the Bulldogs built a 35-21 lead.
How it transpired:
- Butler's hot shooting gave the Bulldogs a 35-21 halftime lead.
- Xavier scored the first nine points of the second half to pull within 35-30 less than three minutes into the half.
- A stretch with Xavier making seven consecutive shots pulled Xavier within two at 61-59 with 1:35 remaining.
- The teams traded empty possessions before a Taylor three-point play gave Butler a 64-59 lead with 40 seconds remaining.
- Souley Boum chopped the lead back to two with a three-pointer.
- Taylor turned the ball over, but Xavier called a timeout they did not have with 23 seconds remaining, resulting in a technical foul. Taylor hit both free throws to extend the lead back to four at 66-62.
- A Jack Nunge three cut the lead to one before Taylor hit the front end of two free throws after being fouled with 13 seconds to play (Butler then led 67-65).
- Taylor fouled Boum with nine seconds to play and his two free throws tied the game for the first time in the second half (67-67).
- Butler drew up a high ball screen for Eric Hunter Jr., who was able to get to the rim for a contested dunk and Xavier was called for goaltending.
- Boum's halfcourt heave as time expired was no good and Butler's student section rushed the court with the 69-67 win.
Inside the box score:
- Manny Bates had 19 points on 9-for-10 shooting. He matched his season-high with five blocks. Twelve of those points came in the first half.
- Simas Lukosius scored 10 of his 12 points in the first half before exiting with his second foul at the 7:48 mark.
- Xavier shot 60 percent in the second half to overcome Butler's 15-point first half lead. The Musketeers shot 46 percent for the game.
- Butler had 16 turnovers, with 12 coming in the first half. The Bulldogs had 12 turnovers and seven missed shots in the first half.
- Xavier had 18 turnovers.
- Colby Jones led Xavier with 17 points and eight rebounds.
- Each team scored 36 points in the paint.
- Butler was without junior guard Chuck Harris for the third straight game as he works toward returning from a concussion sustained Jan. 28 against Seton Hall.
- Butler and Xavier will play again March 4 in Cincinnati in the regular season finale.
- Bates now has 47 blocks on the season and is seventh on Butler's single-season blocks list.
- Entering the game, Butler had played the tenth-toughest schedule in the nation according to KenPom.
- This was Butler's 11th game this season shooting 50 percent or better from the field; Butler has won all 11 of those guys.
- The 67 points scored by Xavier matched the second-lowest output of the season for the Musketeers.