Butler upsets No. 13 Xavier thanks in part to goaltend call


Jayden Taylor scored 20 points and Eric Hunter Jr. scored the winning points thanks to a goaltend as the Butler Bulldogs pulled off an upset on their home court over Big East rival No. 13 Xavier 69-67.

Taylor scored nine of his 20 points from the free throw line while also leading the team with six rebounds. Manny Bates was a very efficient 9-for-10 from the field with 19 points and Hunter Jr. finished with seven points, four rebounds and four assists.

For the Musketeers, who were once again playing without Zach Freemantle, Colby Jones led the way with 17 along with eight boards. Jack Nunge scored 14, Adam Kunkel added 13 and Souley Boum scored 12.

In the first half, Butler held Xavier to their lowest first half point total of the season, going into the break leading 35-21. Xavier, who came into the game shooting over 50% from the field as a team, shot just 8-for-26 from the field in the half while Butler made nine of their first 11 shots.

Bates led the charge for Butler at halftime with 12 points alongside Lukosius’ 10. Nunge led the Musketeers with just six points.

The Bulldogs improved to 12-0 this season in games in which they led at halftime.

Kunkel brought the Musketeers deficit down to just three with 2:05 to go with a layup. Xavier then brought the deficit to just two before Taylor finished a layup plus a foul to push the Butler lead back to five.

Following the and-one, Xavier got the game back within two and Jack Nunge came up with a huge steal. However, he attempted to call a timeout when the Musketeers did not have any left, which earned him a technical foul and two free throws for Butler, which Taylor knocked down.

After Taylor then made one out of two at the line his next trip, he intentionally fouled Boum with Butler up just two. Boum made both from the line to tie the game.

Butler then got the lead back on a dunk attempt from Hunter that was swatted away due to a goaltend call. After review, the call was upheld and Butler was able to hang on as Boum missed a half court attempt, leading the Butler students to storm the court.

it was Butler’s first win over an AP top 20 team since Feb. 12 of last year vs. Marquette. Xavier now falls into a tie with Marquette at 11-3 atop the Big East conference standings as Marquette is set to travel to Georgetown to take on the Hoyas on Saturday.

–Field Level Media

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