Right from tipoff and the start of action it looked to be a big Butler Bulldogs win. Portland State battled down to the final seconds, and it was Butler pulling away with the close 71-69 win over the Vikings.
First Half Summary
Last night, the opening half was dreadful for Butler and that was not the case on Friday with a solid first half on both sides of the ball. The Bulldogs won the tipoff and it only took 23 seconds to score when Tyler Wideman grabbed an offensive rebound and put the shot back up for a layup and 2 points. It was a tightly contested game through 8 minutes, with Butler pulling away around the 12:00-minute mark. They only led 18-17 and then went on a 10-2 scoring run to give them a 29-18 lead. Portland State would play catchup for the rest of the half, and Butler led 38-34 at the break.
Second Half Summary
The final half of action was closer than you would have liked, but we knew it was going to be a win for Butler. Just like the first half, Butler won the second half tipoff and made a bucket on their first possession with a Tyler Wideman jumper assisted by Aaron Thompson. The Bulldogs would open the half on a 9-4 run giving them their larger lead back. Down the stretch is where things got nervous, with the Vikings only down by one point with 4:25 left. Butler would extend their lead to seven points with 1:19 left before Portland State would catch up. The Vikings went on a 5-0 run which brought them within two points in the final 41 seconds. Butler would run out the clock and after fouls hung on for the close 71-69 win.
Top Individual Performances
Tyler Wideman: 18 Points (9/10 FG, 0/2 FT), 8 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal, 2 blocks, 25 minutes
Kelan Martin: 16 Points (7/13 FG, 0/5 3P, 2/2 FT), 6 rebounds, 1 block, 35 minutes
Paul Jorgensen: 14 Points (4/8 FG, 4/7 3P, 2/2 FT), 5 rebounds, 5 assists, 1 steal, 31 minutes
The Butler shooting was in much better of a rhythm than the loss to Texas. Butler shot 29-57 (50.9%) on field goals, 4-17 (23.5%) on three-pointers, and 9-14 (64.3%). The splits were better than Portland State who only shot 24-55 (43.6%), 12-26 (46.2%), and 9-16 (56.3%). The numbers for the Bulldogs were not blown out of proportion like some games and were right where they should be in terms of winning play.
Everywhere else on the scoreboard, Butler won the Battle for Boards with 33 total rebounds including 10 on offense and 23 on defense. Portland State only put up 32 total rebounds with 10 on offense and 22 on defense. Additionally, the ball movement was just about average for the Bulldogs who dished out 15 assists. For the defensive playmaking, Butler swiped the ball 7 times and rejected 3 shots. All this came with great ball control, only committing 13 turnovers.
Butler will play the winner of the Stanford-Ohio State game on Sunday to finish off the PK80 Invitational.