In epic clash, Butler upends No. 1 Indiana in overtime

Larry Hawley

Hawl 'In

2:10 PM EST, December 15, 2012


INDIANAPOLIS - In many respect, their match-up a year ago was a changing in the guard among Indiana basketball teams.

Butler, who captured much of the attention in the Hoosier state with their almost mythical run to a pair of Final Fours, traveled to Bloomington in November of 2011 to face an Indiana team still on the cusp of a return.

It was the Hoosiers who won convincingly, using that win among many others to springboard the program back to national promise.

When the met again on Saturday in the opener of the Close the Gap Crossroads Classic, it was the Top-Ranked Hoosiers looking to defend their spot on the state throne while the Bulldogs sought to knock them off it.

Indeed the later did just that as Butler stunned top-ranked Indiana in overtime Saturday afternoon. The Bulldogs improved to 8-2 on the season while the Hoosiers dropped their first game of the season.

Alex Barlow's layup with 2.3 seconds left in overtime gave the Bulldogs

In front of a mostly red-clad Indiana crowd was a constant struggle for both teams to get established. The Hoosiers' Cody Zeller and the Bulldogs Rotnei Clarke-the premier scorers for each teams-scored just six points a piece in the first 20 minutes.

Butler got out to a four point lead in the early going but the margin stayed tight until the Hoosiers showed signs of breaking it open late in the half. An intensified offensive pace worked to Indiana's advantage as they opened up a seven-point lead thanks to Victor Oldadipo's ten first half points.

Erik Fromm sent the Bulldogs to the break with some momentum, hitting a three just before the end of the first half to cut the Hoosiers' lead to four.

Oladipo helped to push the lead back early in the second half to get Indiana back to a seven-point lead but then a similar back-and-forth push evolved again. With seven minutes left, however, Butler put together their best run of the game to grab their biggest lead.

Three-pointers by Kellen Dunham and Chase Stigall around an Andrew Smith lay up gave Butler a seven-point lead with four minutes remaining.

The Bulldogs maintained that advantage into the final two minutes when Indiana began to creep back in it. Five-of-six free throws helped the Hoosiers pull to within one with 1:14 left as Butler began to struggle with Smith and Roosevelt Jones fouled out of the game.

Butler would build the lead back to five with just around 30 seconds left when the Hoosiers got four quick points of a Ferrell lay-up and a Oladipo steal-and-layup to cut the lead to one.

After a pair of free throws by Alex Barlow, Ferrell got his chance to shine. He took the ball on the wing and put in a three-pointer with ten seconds left to tie the game. Chase Stigall's last-second chance at the end of regulation was off the mark sending the game to overtime.

Momentum was as tight in overtime as it was for most of regulation with the teams trading buckets for half of the five-minute period. A Zeller inside hoop gave the Hoosiers a four-point lead with two minutes to go but back-to-back threes by Clarke and Stigall gave Butler a two-point advantage.

Zeller than tied the game with 19 seconds left with another layup but Barlow responded with his own twisting hoop in the lane with 2.6 seconds left.