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Courtesy of Fox59


The talk heading into Butler’s NCAA Tournament 2nd round game centered around the Bulldogs challenge in keeping Old Dominion off the boards. The top offensive rebounding team in the country showed a definite skill in attacking the glass, but their ability to get Butler’s big men in foul trouble and to convert at the free throw line put Butler’s season in jeopardy.

At one point in the second half, ODU was 12-14 from the charity stripe, while Butler had failed to attempt one.

However it was a Butler offensive rebound that was the difference at Matt Howard’s put-back at the buzzer sends Butler on to the 3rd round thanks to a 60-58 victory.

The first half was very competitive as neither team held a lead by more than five points. Old Dominion had that advantage, 18-13 after a Keyon Carter basket. However, the Dawgs kept it close thanks to clutch defense and by holding their own on the glass in the first half.

The Monarchs led 29-27 at halftime and the rebounding numbers were fairly even, with Old Dominion having a 14-13 edge, but Butler had a 9-5 advantage on the offensive glass.

In the second half after a quick 5-0 gave Butler a 32-29 lead, Old Dominion focused on attacking the paint and getting Butler’s big men, Matt Howard and Andrew Smith in foul trouble. Smith picked up his fourth foul at the 15:56 mark and Howard played on despite picking up his third personal.

Butler got major contributions from an unlikely source. Garrett Butcher has battled numerous injuries throughout his Bulldog career and didn’t play in 7 of Butler’s last 14 games. Butcher basically watched his teammates practice at the Verizon Center Wednesday, yet with Smith in foul trouble, it was Butcher who pulled off the warm-ups and made a significant impact. At one point in the second half, Butcher went on a personal 6-0 run turning a 42-41 deficit into a 47-42 lead. Butcher finished with six points and six rebounds in just 12 minutes of playing time.

Howard and Mack led in scoring with 15 points each, while Andrew Smith added 11.

Butler advances to play the winner of Pittsburgh and UNC-Asheville Saturday at at time to be determined later.