MATTHEW VANTRYON | STAFF REPORTER
Butler looked to be on its way to an easy victory Tuesday evening until Vanderbilt came storming back late in the game. It took an extra period, but the Bulldogs escaped with an 85-77 overtime win.
The star of the night was Butler senior forward Khyle Marshall.
Marshall scored a career-high 26 points in the contest. Many of them came at the most critical moments of the game, as he scored 15 of Butler’s final 22 points.
Marshall scored nine points in overtime, and 10 consecutive points for the team between the end of regulation and the beginning of overtime.
The game did not begin well for the Bulldogs (3-0), as they fell behind 8-0 in the opening minutes. They managed to claw their way back into the contest and stretched their lead to 38-28 at halftime.
Marshall showed signs of frustration after the team’s slow start and turned that into dominating play.
“It takes a little time where we need to wake up and start playing, and at that point I was like, ‘Enough is enough,’” Marshall said.
Sophomore guard Kellen Dunham had a strong opening half, scoring 10 points and hitting three of three from beyond the arc. Dunham finished the game with 16 points.
Butler shot nearly 44 percent from the field in the first half, and 48 percent in the game.
The Bulldogs looked to pull away in the second half, jumping out to a 14-point lead with seven minutes remaining.
However, the tide quickly turned.
A 15-2 run the by the Commodores (2-1) saw the Butler lead dissolve to just one with just over three minutes to play.
Marshall hit a layup to give the Bulldogs a four-point lead, but it would not be enough to cement the win.
After a foul, Vanderbilt sophomore guard Eric McClellan hit a free throw to give the Commodores a one-point lead with less than a minute to play.
Marshall hit a layup to give Butler the lead, but a Butler foul and a made free throw allowed Vanderbilt to tie the game at 70.
A game that once saw Butler with a 14-point lead then headed to overtime.
Marshall picked up where he left off in overtime, hitting a layup to give the Bulldogs a 72-71 lead that they would not relinquish.
Butler was able to get to the free throw line frequently in overtime and survived several desperation shots from the Commodores in order to come away with the victory.
Miller said the win came because of a team effort.
“Everybody who came into the game gave a positive contribution to this win tonight, and our team won this game tonight,” Miller said.
The stat sheet backed up Miller’s statement.
Butler scored 24 points off the bench. Freshman Andrew Chrabascz contributed seven points in 10 minutes of play.
Fouls were a factor, as the Bulldogs were called for 23 in the game with 54 called total between both teams.
Butler shot 58 percent, while Vanderbilt shot 66 percent from the line.
Butler will hit the road for the first time this season Saturday as the Bulldogs travel to Ball State. The game tips off at 2 p.m.