No. 18 Seton Hall made a series of key plays down the stretch to post a 78-70, come-from-behind win over fifth-ranked Butler Wednesday night at Hinkle Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.
Myles Powell led the Pirates with 29 points. With the win, Seton Hall remains perfect in BIG EAST play at 5-0 and wins their seventh straight game to move to 13-4 overall.
Butler suffers just its second of the season, falling to 15-2 and 3-1 in conference action.
“That was a high-level basketball game with two teams who competed well,” said Butler coach LaVall Jordan. “They had guys step up and make big plays down the stretch. I thought we were solid for most of the game, but we had some lapses where we need to be smarter. When we made a mistake, they made us pay. That’s what good teams do.”
A Powell jumper with 8:16 remaining in the contest gave the Pirates a 58-57 advantage, its first lead in exactly 20 minutes. That lead would grow to six at 65-59 with 5:36 to play before a Sean McDermott three-point play capped a 7-0 spurt and gave the Bulldogs what would amount to the team’s final lead of the game at 67-66 with 3:48 remaining. Powell responded 20 seconds later with his fifth three-pointer of the game.
The key play down the stretch was a Jared Rhoden three-pointer with 42 seconds remaining as he got loose on an in-bounds play with just two seconds on the shot clock. That stretched the Seton Hall lead to 73-68.
Butler held its largest lead of the game at 40-30 as time expired in the first half. The team was energized by Jordan Tucker as 12 of his 14 points came in the first half. He recorded his first career double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds.
Kamar Baldwin led the Bulldogs with 19 points and six assists.
Romaro Gill had 17 points for the Pirates before fouling out on the McDermott and-1 that gave the Bulldogs the lead with 3:48 to play. Rhoden had 13 and Quincy McKnight had 11 points and 13 assists. Seton Hall shot 41 percent for the game.
Butler shot only 30 percent in the second half (including 1-of-11 from three-point range) to finish at 42 percent for the game.
The Bulldogs are back in action Saturday afternoon, traveling to DePaul for a 1 p.m. (Eastern, Noon Central) tip. It’s the first game of a stretch that has Butler on the road for three of its next four games. Saturday’s game with DePaul will air on FOX Sports Network regional affiliates.