Butler overcomes 18-point deficit to beat Marquette 88-80

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(Indy Sports Central/Brett Bensley)

The Bulldogs dug themselves into a 16-point halftime deficit, allowing sharp-shooting Marquette to hit 7 three-pointers, meanwhile Butler struggled behind the arc, sinking just 1-of-8 attempts.

“That was a roller coaster game for sure,” Butler head coach Chris Holtmann said. “We needed to respond to what they did in the first half, and our guys did. We picked up the pressure defensively and played with more freedom offensively in the second half. That allowed our guys to make plays. Getting to the free throw line was critical and being at Hinkle was critical.”

Facing their second Big East opponent in less than 48 hours at Hinkle Fieldhouse, Butler would have to shake off a sluggish start and force Holtmann to do something he says he’s never had to do in his head coaching career.

“I’ve never in my six years of being a head coach kind of went off script as much as I felt like we did in the second half defensively,” Holtmann admitted.

Butler would score 63 second half points to complete the comeback. Kelan Martin led the Bulldogs in scoring with 22 points,  and freshman Kamar Baldwin continues to find his stride and ignite the offense. Baldwin had 18 points on 8-of-13 shooting.

The win over Marquette marks 14 straight victories inside Hinkle for the Bulldogs.

Next, they face back-to-back road games. They’ll play at DePaul on Saturday and then visit Seton Hall on January 25.

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