Improbably, Butler is tied for third in the Big East.
Kamar Baldwin scored eight of the Bulldogs’ last nine points Saturday, and they held on for a 73-69 victory over Georgetown at Washington, D.C.
That outcome, coupled with Providence’s win at St. John’s, leaves three teams at 5-6 in Big East basketball standings: Butler, St. John’s, Georgetown.
Baldwin scored 18 points, Jordan Tucker 15 and Paul Jorgensen 12 for Butler (14-10). Mac McClung scored 21 and Jamorko Pickett 18 for Georgetown (15-9).
Butler, which led by as many as 11 points, never trailed over the final 30 minutes.
Butler Bulldogs guard Kamar Baldwin (3) shoots against Georgetown Hoyas forward Josh LeBlanc (23) during the first half at Capital One Arena. (Photo: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports)
It was Butler’s fourth consecutive victory at Georgetown. The previous three were all in overtime.
Butler was 10-of-26 on 3-pointers, and is 8-2 when making 10 or more 3s. Butler survived despite being outscored 24-2 on second-chance points.
It was only the Bulldogs’ second win in seven road games. They play Tuesday at St. John’s. Here are three takeaways from Saturday’s win:
Baldwin a closer
He might not be Mariano Rivera, but Baldwin is the closer for Butler. In a way, it is not fair.
The Bulldogs place the ball in Baldwin’s hands at the end of games and end of shot clock, and sometimes it is too much to ask. On successive possessions in the final two minutes, he missed a critical free throw and was called for traveling.
However, he also made a circus shot on a drive that extended the lead to 69-64 with 2:26 left. As it turns out, that was ballgame.
Welcome back, Mr. Tucker
Butler Bulldogs forward Jordan Tucker (1) shoots against Georgetown Hoyas guard Jamorko Pickett (1) during the first half at Capital One Arena. (Photo: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports)
Tucker had not thrived in three previous starts – 6.7 ppg, 2-of-17 3s – but rediscovered his comfort level. He scored 14 points in the first half – including Butler’s last eight – and was 3-of-4 on 3s
Coach LaVall Jordan has patiently woven the midyear transfer from Duke into Butler’s system. Tucker is not always going to be great, but the Bulldogs need him to be consistently good.
It is possible that the best formula for Butler would be Tucker as primary scorer, essentially filling the role Kelan Martin had a year ago, and Baldwin as secondary.
Tucker’s fellow New Yorker, Jorgensen, had seven points in Butler’s 9-0 run midway through the first half.
Dogged on defense
The Bulldogs’ defense has been off-and-on all season. It was on Saturday.
Butler’s 1-2-2 zone and man-to-man muddied offense by Georgetown, which leads the league in scoring (81.7) and prefers a fast tempo. The Hoyas were limited to 38 percent shooting.
Butler held star freshman James Akinjo (13.9 ppg) to two points.
Aaron Thompson, who was commanding as point guard, helped hold down Akinjo and committed two hard fouls – one was called a flagrant against McClung. Maybe Thompson, who is from the Washington area, meant to deliver …read more
Source:: Daily times