Butler survives back-and-forth contest vs. DePaul
Ali Ali had 15 points, including a late go-ahead basket, and visiting Butler hung on for a 59-58 win over DePaul, which has dropped nine straight, in Big East play Wednesday night at Chicago.
Simas Lukosius also scored 15, while Jayden Taylor added 13 and recorded a key block in the final seconds for Butler (14-15, 6-12 Big East), which shot 46.4 percent in the second half after trailing by six at halftime.
DePaul led 45-43 with under 11 minutes to play, but Butler scored nine of the game's next 10 points. That run included back-to-back buckets from Lukosius and three free throws from Taylor, as the Bulldogs built a 52-46 lead.
Another Lukosius 3-pointer put Butler up 55-49, but Eral Penn scored six points during a 7-0 run that gave the Blue Demons a 56-55 lead with 3:26 left in regulation. However, Ali's short jumper in the lane at the 3:10 mark sent the Bulldogs back on top 57-56. Ali then made a short hook shot for a three-point Butler lead with 59 seconds remaining.
DePaul's Umoja Gibson, who had 25 points, made a pair of free throws. However, teammate Javan Johnson was blocked by Taylor as time expired, and Butler survived to snap a six-game road losing streak.
The Blue Demons (9-19, 3-14) led 30-24 at halftime, then extended that advantage to 36-24 on consecutive 3-pointers from Gibson and Phil Gebrewhit. However, Butler used a 10-0 spurt, highlighted by four points from Jalen Thomas, to get within two.
Gebrewhit, though, knocked down another 3, and DePaul eventually pushed its lead to 43-38. But, the Bulldogs scored the next five, highlighted by a three-point play from Taylor.
DePaul trailed 19-10 following a Taylor layup, but the Blue Demons found their form from there. Three-pointers from Da'Sean Nelson, Johnson and Gibson highlighted a 17-3 spurt for DePaul.
Meanwhile, the Bulldogs missed 13 of their final 14 field-goal attempts during a first half in which they shot 2-of-10 from 3-point range. DePaul shot 46.2 percent through the first 20 minutes, but 32.3 percent in the second half.
--Field Level Media
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