January 22, 2005

Wright State Overcomes Butler, 59-54

Jan. 22, 2005

Box Score

Senior forward Zach Williams scored a game-high 17 points to help lead visiting Wright State to a come-from-behind 59-54 victory over Butler in a Horizon League game at Hinkle Fieldhouse on Saturday, Jan. 22. The loss dropped the Bulldogs to 7-9 on the year and 2-4 in league play, while Wright State improved to 9-9 overall and 4-3 in conference action.

The Raiders overcame an 11-point deficit midway through the second half with a 12-0 run and then closed the game with a 10-0 run to overcome a five-point deficit. The final score was Wright State?s biggest lead of the game.

Butler held a 54-49 lead with just under four minutes remaining. The Raiders closed the gap to three points on a pair of free throws by Everett Spencer with 3:05 left, and then Williams tipped in a missed shot with 1:58 remaining to cut Butler's margin to one. Zakee Boyd scored on an in-bounds pass to give Wright State the lead, 55-54 with 1:15 left, and Drew Burleson scored off an offensive rebound to give the Raiders a three-point lead, 57-54, with 0:15 left.

The Bulldogs set up for a play to try and tie the game, but Avery Sheets' three-point attempt missed with one second left. Butler was forced to foul, and Boyd closed the scoring with a pair of free throws.

"There's a physicalness to the game that we really lack," said Butler coach Todd Lickliter after the emotional loss. "(Wright State) out-rebounded us 33-17. They came up with the loose balls at the end."

The Bulldogs also were plagued by foul trouble. Wright State went to the free throw line 20 times, while Butler shot just seven free throws. Several offensive foul calls also contributed to 12 Butler turnovers, the most by the Bulldogs in the past four outings, and Butler's bench was assessed its first technical foul of the season!

"Our guys did a great job of overcoming,?" added Lickliter. "It was a hard-fought game. We showed a lot of character. It's just that we weren't able to finish."

Butler clawed its way to a four-point halftime lead, 28-24, behind seven points each from Sheets and Nick Brooks. The Bulldogs then stretched their margin to 11 points, 44-33, on a basket by center Jamie Smalligan with 12:22 remaining in the game. But Wright State stormed right back with a 12-0 scoring run.

Sheets led the Bulldogs with 14 points, though he was limited to just 21 minutes because of foul problems. Freshman A. J. Graves scored 12 points and junior Brandon Polk added 11.

Butler will begin a three-game Horizon League road trip on Thursday, Jan. 27, at Cleveland State.