Jan. 31, 2004
Butler took preseason Horizon League favorite UIC right to the wire, but in the end the Bulldogs couldn't overcome the visitors' domination at the free throw line and the Flames prevailed, 74-71, in overtime at Hinkle Fieldhouse on Saturday (Jan. 31). It was UIC's first win at Butler since 1989, and it lifted the Flames to 15-7 overall and 6-4 in league play. The Bulldogs fell to 8-11 on the year and 4-6 in league play.
Down by 10 points with 3:35 left in regulation, the Bulldogs stormed back to send the game into overtime on a three-point field goal by center Jamie Smalligan with 0:28 left. Butler out-scored the Flames, 17-7, in the final 3:15. And Butler had a chance to win the game in regulation, but a three-quarter court shot by Avery Sheets rimmed out at the buzzer.
UIC grabbed the lead in overtime on a basket by center Joe Scott, and the Flames then held on by hitting six of nine free throw attempts in the extra session. Butler had a chance to tie the game with 0:05 left, but forward Mike Monserez, the leading free throw shooter in the Horizon League, missed the front end of a one-and-one free throw situation and the Bulldogs were forced to foul.
Guard Martell Bailey made one of two free throws to give the Flames a 74-71 advantage, and Sheets missed a desperation three-point attempt at the buzzer to end the game.
UIC, just a 61% free throw shooting team coming into the game, hit 19 of 27 shots from the charity stripe for the game, while Butler managed just five of eight from the line.
The final five seconds of the first half proved to be a crucial turning point. Trailing by one in the closing seconds, Butler's Jeff James broke free on a fullcourt pass and came up with a huge slam dunk with 0:03 left to give the Bulldogs an apparent 28-27 lead. But the basket was waved by a traveling call and Bailey hit a three-point field goal at the buzzer to give the Flames a 30-26 lead.
UIC's Cedrick Banks led all scorers with 22 points, while teammate Armond Williams added 17. Bailey finished with a double-double with 13 points and 11 assists.
The Bulldogs will step out of league play on Wednesday, Feb. 4, to host IPFW, before returning to Horizon League action at Loyola on Saturday, Feb. 7.