Pittsburgh, Penn. - Another NCAA Tournament, another win for Butler (23-10) as the Bulldogs improved to 8-1 in their last 9 opening round games in the NCAA Tounament.
The 6-seed Bulldogs held on to beat 11-seed Texas (20-14) 56-48 on Thursday afternoon in Pittsburgh.
Butler was led by junior Kellen Dunham who scored 20 points on 5/11 shooting from the field and converted on 8/11 free throws. He also had 2 rebounds and 2 assists.
Butler found their way into the lead early in the game and eventually led by double-digits in the 1st half before surrendering the majority of the lead to the Longhorns.
The Bulldogs won 26-24 at the break, but would give up that lead completely early in the 2nd half.
Redshirt junior Roosevelt Jones left the game early in the 2nd half with a knee injury (sprain) and returned over 8 minutes later with a large brace and a noticeable limp. He finished with 6 points, 4 assists, and a rebound.
Despite missing one of their best players for a long stretch, Butler used an 11-1 run to grab a near double-digit lead once again in the 2nd half.
The Bulldogs held off a ferocious rally from Texas led by sophomore guard Isaiah Taylor, who finished with 14 points, 4 assists, and 3 steals.
Butler was able to hit clutch free throws down the stretch to seal the victory and avoid the upset.
Jonathan Holmes added 15 points, 10 rebounds, and 2 assist for the Longhorns.
The Bulldogs also overcame an extreme rebounding deficit 41-28 which they overcame by connecting on 20/28 free throws and committing just 5 turnovers to Texas' 15.
Butler advances to face 3-seed Notre Dame in the 3rd Round on Saturday afternoon on CONSOL Energy Arena.
NOTES: Only two players saw time off the Butler bench, freshmen Kelan Martin (7 points) and Tyler Wideman (1 block, 1 steal)...both teams struggled from the field shooting 33.3% (Butler) and 34% (Texas)...Butler committed just 5 turnovers and had 11 assists on the night...Butler improved to 12-3 in the NCAA Tournament since 2010.[MEDIA:1496182]\r\n\r\n