Hot-Shooting Southern Illinois Knocks Off @ButlerMBB, 76-73 

(BUTLER RELEASE)

Butler was able to climb back within a single possession after being down by 18 points in the second half, but the Bulldogs’ three-point attempt at the final horn was off the mark as Southern Illinois came away with a 76-73 win over Butler Monday night at Hinkle Fieldhouse. 

Southern Illinois improves to 6-0 and ends Butler’s streak of 59 consecutive home wins against non-conference opponents, which was the nation’s longest current streak entering tonight. 

“We had better poise in the second half and I’m really proud of the fight to get it back to a one-possession game there at the end,” said Butler coach LaVall Jordan. “It was an uphill battle in the second half against a good opponent that is well-coached. Our young guys are learning in the game, and we’ll be better for it. But tonight it wasn’t enough. Give SIU a ton of credit; they were the better team tonight.” 

Freshman Chuck Harris led the Bulldogs with a career-best 22 points and six assists. Nineteen of those points came in the second half as Butler chipped away at that 18-point deficit.

However, the hole was too deep as SIU’s Marcus Domask (26) and Trent Brown (21) combined for 47 points on 18-of-29 shooting. 

Butler jumped out to an early 19-11 run by making seven of their first 10 attempts from the field. As the Bulldogs’ shooting cooled, SIU heated up as they went on a 26-2 run to take a 37-21 lead with 1:55 remaining in the first half. Brown’s three-pointer with 15:48 remaining in the contest gave SIU its largest lead at 51-33. Harris was still at three points at that time, but he keyed the comeback. 

Harris’s 20th point cut SIU’s lead to 60-55 with 6:51 to play, but the Salukis followed that with five straight points. Bryce Nze’s putback off his own missed free throw pulled Butler within 67-63 with 3:04 remaining, but SIU responded with a four-point play. SIU was able to push back on every Butler run throughout the night. 

Despite all that, a driving lay-up by Bryce Golden cut the lead to 76-73 with only six seconds remaining. SIU was called for a travel on the ensuing in-bounds pass. Without a timeout, Butler in-bounded the ball to the top of the key, but JaKobe Coles was unable to get a clean look and his double-pump three-point attempt bounced off the rim and took away the opportunity at overtime. 

SIU shot 55 percent for the game, including 9-of-19 from three-point range. 

Butler shot 59 percent in the second half, scoring 49 points after intermission, and shot 46 percent for the game. Harris led four Bulldogs in double figures. Golden had 17 points and tied a career-high with nine rebounds. Nze posted his first double-double of the season with 14 points and 11 rebounds. He added five assists. Myles Tate had 12 points. 

Monday’s match-up was solidified on Thursday night, replacing a hole in the schedule that originally was slated for DePaul, which had lingering COVID-19 issues. This is the third game among a stretch of four games in eight days for the Bulldogs. 

Butler finishes off pre-holidays action Wednesday night, hosting Providence.