Controversial block seals a Butler win over Providence: Beyond the Box Score

First-year Augusto Cassio makes the game-winning block against Providence on Feb. 10. Photo by Andrew Buckley


The Hinkle magic continues for Butler as they stop a Providence comeback with a 75-72 victory. 

Providence was without Josh Oduro (family matter) and Bryce Hopkins (ACL), but kept the match competitive throughout. Butler started out relatively strong and stayed up the majority of the first half — going into halftime with a nine point lead.

The second half was an ugly one for the Dawgs. Providence could not miss, going 7-7 from three to begin the half. The Friars took the lead with 9:01 left to play in the second half. Their lead expanded to seven with four minutes to play, but that’s when Butler turned the gears on. The Dawgs went up one with 19 seconds to play thanks to a Pierre Brooks jump shot. 

With 19 seconds to play, first-year forward Augusto Cassio came in and made the game-saving block on a Corey Floyd Jr. attempted dunk. 

In another nail biting win let’s go beyond the box score. 

Sloppy basketball 

Butler had 16 turnovers compared to Providence’s eight. The Friars took advantage of this, scoring 13 points off of the Dawgs’ mistakes. Head coach Thad Matta recognized his team’s lack of control. 

“We were so sloppy,” Matta said. “So many of [our turnovers] were unforced. That’s uncharacteristic of us, in terms of taking care of the basketball. We allowed them to get some momentum in the second half, and they took advantage of it. They had us on the ropes.” 

Butler made up for some of the lost opportunities with their rebounding. They outrebounded Providence 40-28. Senior guards Posh Alexander and DJ Davis led the effort, impressing Matta, especially with rebounding being an achilles heel for Butler this season. 

Playing in crunch time 

This team has continued to prove that they have what it takes to make clutch shots and stops. The starting lineup struggled at times, but Matta stuck with them through the final stretch. 

“We never think we’re out of it,” Davis said. “Obviously, we’ve had a couple of games where we come out in the second half flat footed, not as aggressive and not as attentive to details. We wanted to get back to that at the end of the game. We talked amongst the five [starters] and said ‘Play hard. Just give it your all.’” 

The starters ate up the majority of minutes in the game, but for the 19 seconds Cassio was in, he made the most crucial play. 

“We are just happy we won,” Telfort said. “Shoutout to Augusto. [He] came in, and he was ready to play. He blocked that at the end, and that was the play of the game.” 

Up next 

This felt like a must-win game to retain tournament hopes. With momentum swinging in their favor and a rocking Hinkle Fieldhouse, Butler has a real chance against No. 7 Marquette on Tuesday, Feb. 13. 


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