Feb. 4, 2006
Sophomore A. J. Graves hit a clutch three-point field goal to send the game into overtime and senior Brandon Polk helped seal the win with two key free throws in the extra session to lift Butler to a 63-60 victory over league-leading UW-Milwaukee in a Horizon League game at Hinkle Fieldhouse on Saturday, Feb. 4. The victory was Butler's fifth in a row and lifted the Bulldogs to 14-8 on the year and 7-3 in league play. UW-Milwaukee slipped to 16-6 overall and 9-3 in the league.
Graves rescued the Bulldogs with a long three-point field goal with just 0:02 left in regulation play to tie the game at 56-56. The Bulldogs had a 53-52 advantage with less than a minute to play, but UW-Milwaukee stormed in front on a pair of free throws by senior Joah Tucker and a breakaway dunk by Jason McCoy.
"I just sprinted to the corner. When I got the ball, I knew if I drove baseline (my defender) would go with me and I could step back," said Graves after the game. "I was just thinking put it in."
The shot sent Butler into overtime for the second consecutive game. The Bulldogs defeated UW-Green Bay, 72-66, in overtime on Thursday (Feb. 2).
The Panthers took the lead in overtime on a lay-up by Tucker, but Graves answered with a short jump shot. Junior Brandon Crone then gave Butler a three-point lead with a lay-up and a free throw.
UW-Milwaukee closed to within one point on a pair of free throws by Tucker with 0:51 left. Butler missed a shot with 15 seconds remaining, and the Panthers pushed the ball to Tucker, who tried to drive the baseline, but was tied up by Graves. The possession arrow gave the ball to the Bulldogs, and UW-Milwaukee fouled Polk on the inbounds pass. The 6-6 forward calmly converted both free throws with 0:05 left to give Butler a three-point lead.
The Bulldogs stole the ball as UW-Milwaukee tried to race up floor, and Butler's students stormed the floor to celebrate the victory.
Polk led Butler with 18 points, while Crone added 15 and Graves finished with 13. Tucker led all players with 26 points and 10 rebounds. The Panthers, who out-rebounded Butler, 47-23, also picked up 13 points and 13 rebounds from senior Adrian Tigert.
Butler will close out its current three-game homestand with a game against Cleveland State on Wednesday, Feb. 8. That game at Hinkle Fieldhouse will start at 7 p.m. (EST).