No. 13 Butler narrowly avoids an atrocious loss, escapes DePaul with OT win

Kamar Baldwin reaches for a steal against an opposing player. Collegian file photo.

GRANT ANSCHUETZ | SPORTS EDITOR | ganschue@butler.edu

The No. 13 Butler University men’s basketball team needed every second of overtime to beat the DePaul Blue Demons 70-69 on Jan. 21 in Rosemont, Ill. at Allstate Arena.

The Bulldogs (17-3, 6-2 Big East) trailed 66-65 with 44 seconds left in overtime. Enter Kamar Baldwin and Billy Garrett.

Baldwin crossed over his defender at the top of the arc and drilled a step back three point jumper to give Butler a two point lead. On the ensuing Blue Demon possession, Garrett drove into the teeth of Butler’s defense and banked in a layup plus the foul. He cashed in on the free throw. 69-68 DePaul (8-12, 1-6 Big East).

At this point, Butler head coach Chris Holtmann had one timeout left, but he chose to allow his players to finish the game without drawing up an offensive play. Baldwin drove the ball into the lane, missed the layup but was fouled with three seconds left. The clutch freshman made both of his free throws. 70-69 Butler.

Garrett was able to heave a running shot from a few feet outside of the three point line, but his attempt smacked off the glass and the Bulldogs could finally exhale.

Poor first halves and performances on the road are two Butler trends that almost cost them dearly against DePaul, the team who is in last place in Big East standings.

Kethan Savage led Butler in scoring with 20 points (7-of-13) while Baldwin was right on his heels with 18 points (7-of-14). Kelan Martin clocked in as the only other Bulldog in double figures with 12 points (3-of-13). 

DePaul’s Eli Cain led all scorers with 32 points (11-of-18) and Garrett poured in 16 points. Tre’Darius McCallum recorded a double double with 15 points and 11 rebounds.

The Bulldogs found themselves trailing 25-5 just over seven minutes into the contest. The Blue Demons’ hot three point shooting sparked their early lead and allowed them to keep the game tight. DePaul shot nearly 60% (14-of-24) from behind the arc. After facing the early deficit, Butler fought back with a run of their own to only trail 33-31 heading into halftime.

In rare fashion, senior leader Andrew Chrabascz, who averages nearly 12 points per game, went 0-of-5 from the field and 0-of-2 from the free throw line to finish with zero points on the night. 

With the win, the Bulldogs have now won six games in a row against DePaul. Up next, Butler will visit the Seton Hall Pirates on Jan. 25 for an 8:30 p.m. tip aired on FS1.

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