DePaul (8-12, 1-6) put forth one of their better defensive efforts of the year, holding Butler to 35.9 percent from the field, but fell just one possession short in the overtime period.
“I thought our energy was there to a higher percentage,” said DePaul coach Dave Leitao. “I thought we presented a front where we guarded the ball a bit tougher today and were in our gaps more today. I thought we did a decent job. For the most part, we put ourselves in a position to be successful.”
DePaul had an opportunity to win in regulation, but Eli Cain hit just one of two free throws to tie the game with two seconds remaining.
Neither team shot well from the free throw line and both missed key free throws down the stretch. DePaul shot 58.3 percent from the charity stripe while Butler shot 69.2 percent from the line.
DePaul started the game on a 25-5 run and led the entire first half, but the resilient Bulldogs chipped away to come back within two points at the halfway mark. DePaul led through most of regulation play. Both teams fought hard in what was a defensive battle throughout the second half.
Cain led the Demons with a career-high 32 points on 11 of 18 shooting. Billy Garrett Jr. scored 16 points, while Tre McCallum compiled a double-double of 15 points and 11 rebounds.
“(Cain and Garrett) played like all-conference players today,” said Butler coach Chris Holtmann. “We had no answer for Eli Cain.”
Kethan Savage led the way for Butler (17-3, 6-2) with 20 points off the bench. BU freshman Kamar Baldwin added 18 points and Kelan Martin scored 12 in the winning effort for the Bulldogs.
The Blue Demons now have a week off between games before travelling to Omaha to face Creighton on Saturday afternoon.
- The Demons played without freshman big man Levi Cook who sat out the game with a foot injury. Cook is day-to-day going forward.