Senior guard Rotnei Clarke sunk a 30-foot shot with a second remaining to push the Butler men’s basketball team past Marquette 72-71. The game was the opening contest for both squads in the Maui Invitational.
Junior forward Khyle Marshall rebounded a missed free throw with eight seconds remaining. He passed the ball to Clarke, who was unable to push through the Golden Eagles’ defensive pressure.
With time slipping away, Clarke heaved a fall-away 3-point shot from near the Bulldogs’ bench. From the ground, he watched the shot fall and was mobbed by teammates and coaches.
Clarke finished with 20 points for the Bulldogs (2-1). The Golden Eagles (2-1) initiated a full-court press throughout the contest, and Clarke was not given many open looks.
Marshall led both teams in scoring with 24 points, doing most of his damage in the paint. He also recorded a game-high nine rebounds.
The game was fast paced at times and hard-nosed throughout. There was constant contact between players, causing one ESPN analyst to say there was “a foul on every play” in the opening half.
Marquette rushed out to a 12-4 lead, as Butler struggled to get going offensively.
The Bulldogs turned the tide late in the opening 20 minutes, and a see-saw battle ensued. Butler held a 31-30 advantage at halftime.
The back-and-forth action caused several lead changes in the second half. Junior guard Vander Blue hit two of his three 3-point baskets in the second half and led Marquette with 21 points.
With less than 30 seconds remaining, junior guard Jake Thomas hit a put-back field goal and an ensuing free throw to give the Golden Eagles a 70-67 lead.
Junior forward Erik Fromm scored on a tip-in on Butler’s next possession, and the Bulldogs quickly fouled down 70-69.
Senior guard Junior Cadougan hit one of his two free throws to give Marquette a two-point lead and set the stage for Clarke’s game-winner.
Butler will face North Carolina in the second round of the invite. The game will be televised on ESPN, and tipoff is set for 8 p.m.
BY THE NUMBERS
Rotnei Clarke: 20 points, 6 rebounds, 7-21 FG shooting, 4-14 3-pt shooting, 37 minutes played
Khyle Marshall: 24 points, 9 rebounds, 11-15 FG shooting, 2 steals, 31 minutes played
Roosevelt Jones: 12 points, 4 assists, 28 minutes played
Andrew Smith: 10 points, 5 rebounds, 2 steals, 24 minutes played
TEAM: 44.3 percent FG shooting (27 of 61), 19 percent 3-pt shooting (4 of 21), 56 percent FT shooting (14 of 25), no turnovers in the 2nd half (7 overall)
Vander Blue: 21 points, 7-15 FG shooting, 3-5 3-pt shooting, 37 minutes played
Junior Cadougan: 14 points, 3 assists, 32 minutes played
Davante Gardner: 12 points, 7 rebounds, 16 minutes played
TEAM: 49 percent FG shooting (24 of 49), 28.6 3-pt shooting (4 of 14), 67.9 percent FT shooting (19 of 28)