Butler was West Virginia's only consistent scoring threat in the first half, scoring nine points on two threes and three free throws. That output barely kept WVU within shouting distance of the Red Storm, as the Mountaineer fell behind by 14 points before Butler's trio of free throws cut the advantage to 11 at the break. The second half, however was a different story. Apparently inspired by eight consecutive point from teammate Wellington Smith (see Netburner below), Butler lit the fire. He hit back to back threes to erase the deficit and give WVU a 46-45 lead, then drained another three moments later to push the advantage to four. WVU's super senior wasn't finished, however, Another trey put West Virginia up by seven, and he added seven consecutive points of his own down the stretch as the Mountaineers stretched out the lead to as many as 21.
Butler finished the game 9-16 from the field, including the 7-7 mark from three-point range. Butler became the eighth Mountaineer to have as many as seven threes in a game (Alex Ruoff holds the school record with nine against Radford.) The New Jersey native had six rebounds, four assists, two steals and no turnovers in 33 minutes of action before leaving to a standing ovation in the final minute.
Butler's 33 points pushed him into fourth-place on the WVU all-time scoring list with 1,822 points. He passed the original Greg Jones (1,797) who played from 1980-83. Up next on the target list is Wil Robinson, who has 1,850 points.
Mazzulla's stat line looked like that of a late game sub (no points, one rebound, three assists, one turnover) but his play was anything but. Beside Butler, Mazzulla's contribution was vital to WVU's comeback.
Wells' play over that stretch continued an excellent stretch of games. When Smith is able to contribute on the offensive end, West Virginia becomes a very difficult team to beat. If he can duplicate his ten-point, four-rebound, three-assist performance in every game down the stretch, the Mountaineers are going to continue to win.
Playing for the second consecutive game without tape on his badly sprained thumb, Ebanks was 4-7 from the field and 4-4 from the line. In addition to his ten boards, he dished out five assists, swatted two shots and had a steal at the top of the zone.