January 17, 2004

Butler Outlasts Detroit, 70-69, In Overtime

Jan. 17, 2004

Box Score

Two clutch free throws by senior Duane Lightfoot, 24 points from senior Mike Monserez and two crucial video replays all helped Butler to a 70-69 overtime victory over visiting Detroit in a Horizon League game at Hinkle Fieldhouse on Saturday, Jan. 17. The victory was the second straight by the Bulldogs and lifted Butler to 6-9 on the season and 2-4 in league play. Detroit slipped to 8-7 overall and 2-3 in conference action.

The closing seconds of the overtime period were a marked by a flurry of video watching. After Monserez hit a three-point field goal with 0:42 left to give Butler a 68-67 lead, Detroit ran the shot clock down and guard Jimmy Twyman fired up a three-point field goal as time on the clock expired. The officials initially signaled the shot as good, but a review of the replay on video showed Twyman didn't get the shot off before time had expired.

Detroit immediately fouled Lightfoot on the in-bounds pass, and the Butler forward calmly sunk both free throws to give Butler a 70-67 advantage. Titans' guard James Theus then pushed the ball up-court and launched a shot from the top of the key as time expired. The officials signaled a good three-point field goal, but the replay showed that Theus had stepped on the arc, making it a two-point goal.

"This was one of those game when both teams deserved to win," said Butler coach Todd Lickliter after the contest. "We knew after Duane hit the free throws that we had to contest anything above the arc and let them go if they went inside. It was scary, but we got it done."

Lightfoot, who had 15 points and eight rebounds in the game, had hit a pair of clutch free throws in the closing seconds to give Butler a 66-63 victory at Detroit a year ago, and he leaned on that experience. "I've been there before," Lightfoot said of his final free throws. "I just relaxed and shot them like I do in practice every day."

The Bulldogs battled back from a seven-point deficit in the final seven minutes of the contest and tied the game on a three-point field goal by sophomore Bruce Horan with 0:35 left. Detroit held for the last shot but missed, sending the game into overtime.

Monserez, coming off a career-high 25 points against Loyola on Thursday (Jan. 15), scored 10 points in the second half to help spark the Bulldogs' comeback. He then tallied nine points in the overtime period, including a pair of clutch three-point field goals in the final minute and a half. He led the Bulldogs with seven assists and added four rebounds.

Elijah Warren led Detroit with 20 points, while Ryvon Covile added 16.

The Bulldogs, with back-to-back wins for the first time since the opening two games of the season, will travel to Youngstown State on Wednesday, Jan., 21, before returning to Hinkle Fieldhouse for four straight games, beginning with Wright State on Saturday, Jan. 24.