Bulldogs Advance To Big Apple

Nov. 14, 2006

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INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -A.J. Graves scored 20 points, including a banked 3-pointer with 5 seconds left, to help Butler rally from a 12-point second half deficit and advance in the NIT Season Tip-Off with a 60-55 victory over Indiana Tuesday night.

Butler (3-0), the Midwest Region champion, advances to the semifinals against either Tennessee or North Carolina-Wilmington on Nov. 22.

Indiana (1-1) was led by D.J. White with 22 points and seven rebounds in his first major action since January.

The Hoosiers appeared headed toward their ninth 2-0 start in 10 seasons when they build a 47-35 lead midway through the second half.

But Butler, the darling of the 2003 NCAA tournament, charged back. With Graves hitting free throws and the Bulldogs getting occasional baskets, Butler used a late 19-2 run to take a 54-51 lead with 3:16 to go.

Indiana closed to 54-53 on White's short jumper with 1:57 left.

But Brandon Crone answered with a 3-pointer and after another Indiana basket, Graves banked in a long 3-pointer as the shot clock expired with 5 seconds left.

The two teams combined for 44 fouls, drawing an uncharacteristic technical on the Butler bench and prompting new Indiana coach Kelvin Sampson to take off his red tie and start gesturing at the officials.

Mike Green added 17 points for Butler, while Roderick Wilmont scored 14 points for Indiana.