Baldwin dominates down the stretch, 13th-ranked Butler beats Marquette 89-85
INDIANAPOLIS — Kamar Baldwin scored 19 of his 31 points in the final eight minutes, helping No. 13 Butler rally to beat Marquette 89-85 in overtime Friday night.
The Bulldogs (16-4, 4-3 Big East) trailed by six with less than 2 1/2 minutes left in regulation, but Baldwin scored nine straight to force the extra session and then 10 more as Butler snapped a three-game losing streak. Baldwin also had eight rebounds and five assists.
Markus Howard scored 26 points and Sacar Anim added 22 as the Golden Eagles (14-6, 4-4) had their three-game winning streak snapped.
The difference: Baldwin’s closing flurry trumped Howard’s fast start against the short-handed Bulldogs.
Marquette seemed to be in control when it opened up a 51-42 lead with 13:41 left in regulation and still appeared to be in good shape when it led 68-62 with 2:36 to go.
But Baldwin bailed Butler out by scoring nine straight to give the Bulldogs a 71-68 lead. Koby McEwen’s 3-pointer tied it with 2.9 seconds left. After Baldwin’s errant 3 at the buzzer, he didn’t miss many more.
He scored nine of Butler’s first 11 points in overtime, then closed it out at the free throw line, steadied the Bulldogs when Marquette got within 86-85 in the final minute of overtime and made the final free throw to seal it.
Marquette: There’s no doubt the Golden Eagles can score. And Howard makes them one of the nation’s most dangerous teams. But when Marquette’s supporting cast contributes, as it did Friday, everyone is better. They just couldn’t close this one out.
Butler: The Bulldogs haven’t played particularly well defensively over the past four games but when they had to buckle down and play in the second half, they were ferocious. And that was the difference between winning and losing without their top defender, Aaron Thompson, out with a left wrist injury.
Marquette: Brendan Bailey had 14 points, while McEwen finished with 13 points and 11 rebounds. … Howard, Anim and Bailey all made four 3s. … Theo John finished with seven blocks. … The Golden Eagles were 11 of 16 from the free-throw line.
Butler: Thompson’s streak of 84 consecutive starts ended after he was injured in Tuesday’s loss at Villanova. … Jordan Tucker started in place of Thompson and had seven points and five rebounds. … Sean McDermott had 16 points and nine rebounds, while Henry Baddley scored a career-high 10 points. … The Bulldogs also played without backup forward Christian David, who suffered a season-ending torn ACL in his left knee Tuesday
Marquette: makes the second stop on its road trip at Xavier on Wednesday.
Butler: visits Georgetown on Tuesday.