Butler defeats Arizona 69-65, wins Continental Las Vegas Invitational
Kelan Martin led Butler with 16 points in Friday's win over Arizona.
LAS VEGAS -- Kelan Martin had 16 points, while Andrew Chrabascz had 14 points and seven rebounds to lead Butler to a 69-65 victory over No. 8 Arizona on Friday night in the championship game of the Continental Las Vegas Invitational.
Avery Woodson contributed 13 points, Kamar Baldwin had 11 and Tyler Wideman had eight rebounds for the Bulldogs (6-0).
Chrabascz was named MVP of the tournament.
Lauri Markkanen and Kobi Simmons led Arizona (5-1) with 15 and 14 points, respectively.
The Wildcats, who fell behind by as many as nine points with 14 minutes to play, used a 17-2 run to regain momentum to get back in the game before Butler made a final run down the stretch.
Trailing 63-58, the Bulldogs scored the game's next eight points, highlighted by Wideman's dunk with 29.3 seconds left that gave Butler a 65-63 lead. His ensuing free throw made it 66-63.
The Bulldogs set themselves up with momentum at the close of the first half, when Sean McDermott took a pass on the run from Tyler Lewis and banked in a soft jumper high off the glass to give Butler a 36-34 lead.
After Arizona tied the game at 38-all less than 2 minutes into the second half, the Bulldogs went on an 11-2 run to move ahead 49-40 and seize control of the tempo. The momentum shift visibly frustrated the Wildcats, who committed five turnovers through the first seven minutes of the second half.
Arizona: With time to regroup after a rugged start to the season, the biggest question remains when Allonzo Trier will make his season debut. The sophomore guard did not travel to Las Vegas with the Wildcats, and he's now missed the team's first six games for unspecified reasons. His absence has left Arizona with eight healthy scholarship players. Trier averaged 14.8 points as a freshman.
Butler: The Bulldogs received 14 votes in last week's poll, but after knocking off Arizona to remain undefeated, one must wonder if they've done enough to make their first appearance in the Top 25. Three of Butler's six wins have come against Power 5 Conference teams: Northwestern (Big Ten), Vanderbilt (SEC) and Arizona (Pac 12).
POLL IMPLICATIONS: With the loss, the eighth-ranked Wildcats will likely drop out of the Top 10. Arizona has been ranked in the Top 25 for 81 consecutive weeks, the second-longest streak in the nation behind Kansas (145 weeks). Since the start of the 2012-13 season, the Wildcats have spent 60 of those weeks ranked in the Top 10.
Arizona: The Wildcats won't play again until Nov. 30, when they return to the McKale Center to host Texas Southern.
Butler: The Bulldogs have little time to rest, as they head to Salt Lake City for a Nov. 28 date with Pac 12-member Utah.