December 8, 2007

Wright State Upsets No. 13 Butler 43-42

FAIRBORN, Ohio (AP) -Wright State stopped Butler by stopping A.J. Graves.

Scottie Wilson and Todd Brown both scored 10 points to lead Wright State to a 43-42 upset over No. 13 Butler on Saturday night, the Bulldogs' first loss of the season.

Butler (8-1, 1-1 Horizon League) had a last chance at the win, but Graves missed a 3-point attempt from the top of the key with three seconds left.

Wright State (3-2, 1-1) used tenacious defense and balanced scoring to beat the Bulldogs.

Julian Betko had 14 points to lead Butler, which shot 32 percent from the field (16-for-50). Graves, who was averaging 16.6 points a game, was held to six on 2-for-11 shooting and he missed all six of his 3-point attempts.

"You know how good that guy is," Wright State coach Brad Brownell said of Graves. "If you play him like a regular guy, he's going to kill you. He's going to beat you up bad."

Brownell said the Raiders paid close attention to Graves, probably more than some other teams do.

"You also have to be lucky that the guy doesn't make some open shots. It's not like he didn't have any open shots," Brownell said. "To our credit, we made it hard on him."

Down 32-30 with 14:28 to play, Butler went on a 10-1 run behind Betko and Matt Howard, taking a 40-33 lead with 9:23 to go. Wilson stopped the run with a 3-pointer and then hit another, bringing Wright State within one with 6:22 left.

"Scottie's two 3s were huge," Brownell said. "Scottie's kind of been that way for us. He's gotten us double figures every night."

The teams traded baskets, and Wright State took the 43-42 lead at 1:45 left on a driving, left-handed layup by Will Graham. Wilson stole the ball on the next possession, but Butler got it back when Betko stole the ball from Vaughn Duggins with 20 seconds remaining.

Butler looked for an open shot, but couldn't find it, forcing Graves to launch the 3-point attempt. Time ran out as both teams scrambled for the rebound.

Wright State often double-teamed Graves and forced him to pass. Betko made up for some of Graves' usual production, hitting four 3-pointers.

But the Raiders were able to put the clamps on Howard, who had 20 points in Butler's 53-46 victory over Detroit on Thursday. The freshman center, subbing for the injured Pete Campbell, had five points.

"It was a hard-fought game between two good hard-nosed, defensive-minded teams," first-year Butler coach Brad Stevens said.

Stevens said Wright State always plays hard.

"Our guys understand that coming into places, you have to be able to play with confidence," he said.

Stevens said his team will have to rebound from the loss.

"You're not measured on necessarily one piece of adversity," he said. "You are measured on how you respond."

Wright State students stormed the court following the Raiders' victory, jumping up and down in a sea of white balloons.