The #17 Cincinnati Bearcats welcomed the #25 Butler Bulldogs to Fifth Third Arena on a chilly Wednesday evening. The Bearcats were 7-0 heading into the game while the Bulldogs were 4-1.
The Bearcats started out the half slow as the Bulldogs took an 8-2 lead, but consistent shooting from Jacob Evans and Kevin Johnson was able to lead the Bearcats to a 33-28 halftime lead. Evans and Johnson both had 8 points apiece. Kellen Dunham and Andrew Chrabascz led the charge for the Bulldogs with 8 and 6 points respectively.
The Bearcats shot the ball nicely in the first half hitting 50% from the field, 38.5% from three and 66.7% from the line, but they allowed the Bulldogs 7 offensive rebounds which kept the visitor alive.
The second half was a war both sides shot the ball well Butler and Cincinnati had over 18 free throw attempts apiece (Cincinnati with 18 and Butler with 21). The Bearcats seemed to have everything under control and a foul call on Gary Clark and a technical on coach Cronin at the 11:39 mark turned into a 4 point play for the Bulldogs as Kellen Dunham made both technical shots and Tyler Wideman made a bucket. The game went back in forth for the rest of the night. Back to back threes by Kellen Dunham put the Bulldogs up 67-66 with 4:47 left. The Bearcats were down 3 points with 17 seconds left and Jacob Evans shot and missed a three, but Octavius Ellis was there for the offensive rebound and put back. As he scored he was fouled with less than .5 seconds left he made the free throw to tie the game at 76, but Roosevelt Jones made a game winner with .01 seconds left to steal a victory 78-76.
Kellen Dunham had 24 points and Roosevelt Jones had 10 points, 5 rebounds and 2 steals.
The Bearcats shot 50% from the field for the game, but overall allowed 12 offensive rebounds and had 14 turnovers. Once you look at the stats you understand why they let this one slip through the cracks.