Feb. 10, 2005
Cleveland State scored 15 of the final 20 points Thursday night at Hinkle Fieldhouse, dropping Butler, 65-56, in a league contest. Omari Westley banked in a three-point shot as the shot clock wound down with just more than a minute to play to give the Vikings a 59-53 lead and seal the win. Junior Brandon Polk led the Bulldogs with 13 points. With the win, Cleveland State improves to 9-11 (6-6 Horizon League), while Butler falls to 9-13 (4-8).
A Polk lay-up with 5:16 to play gave the Bulldogs a 51-50 lead. It would be the team's last advantage, as Justin Henderson and Westley made back-to-back shots for a 54-51 CSU edge, starting the 15-5 run. Westley had a game-high 21 points on the night, followed by teammate Patrick Tatham, who had 20. The duo combined to shot 17-of-26 from the field, leading the Vikings to a 54-percent shooting performance on the night.
"So much of being tough is being able to think and execute in pressure situations," said Butler coach Todd Lickliter. "There were times down the stretch where we needed to keep our composure and we didn't. Eleven assists against 12 turnovers is not good for us, especially with several of those turnovers coming down the stretch."
Freshman A. J. Graves added 10 points for the Bulldogs, including a 5-of-5 performance from the free throw line. Sophomore Brandon Crone had a team-high eight rebounds. Butler shot just 39 percent from the field, including 6-of-23 from three-point range. The Vikings held a slight 29-26 edge on the glass, while each team had 11 assists and 12 turnovers.
Butler scored 11 of the game's first 15 points, as all five of the Bulldogs' starters had broken the scoring column three minutes into the game. The start was a stark contrast to the 16-0 lead CSU took in its win over Butler Jan. 27 in Cleveland. A Westley jumper with 8:41 to play in the first half gave the Vikings their first and only lead of the first half at 19-18. The Bulldogs responded and took a 32-28 lead into the intermission. Polk led Butler with eight in the first half.
The Bulldogs continue their modest two-game homestand Saturday (Feb. 12) with a noon tip against the Detroit Titans. The Horizon League "Game of the Week" will be broadcast live on Fox Sports Midwest in Indianapolis.