The Butler Bulldogs defeated the Villanova Wildcats 79-76 in thrilling fashion on Wednesday night, as All-Big East guard Kamar Baldwin drained a game-winning fadeaway three point shot right as time expired.
It wasn’t the only Butler ‘bucket’ to draw headlines though, as the game was delayed early in the first half because of a leak from a window up near the roof–with the Hinkle Fieldhouse facility crew tying a red bucket up high along a nearby catwalk as a precaution.
Now the Hinkle “Bucket Game” lives in infamy, not just because of Baldwin’s late game heroics and his ‘shot heard around the world‘, but because of the birth of a new B-U icon–and no, I’m not talking about the adorable pup named Blue IV.
Enter Stage Left, The Hinkle Bucket.
A legend was truly born last night.
After a lot of towel drying and angst, the game eventually resumed–much to the pleasure of all in attendance (and for those Butler fans hoping we wouldn’t have to forfeit or something crazy–after all, I’m not sure there was exactly precedent for handling something like this if the leak couldn’t be resolved).
The Bulldogs were led by the hot shooting of senior wing Sean McDermott, who had 21 points (7-8 FG, 3-3 3PT), 8 rebounds, a block, and an assist.
Baldwin chipped in 17 points (5-15 FG, 3-6 3 PT), 8 rebounds, and 3 assists.
Staring center Bryce Golden had a second half surge and finished with 18 points (9-12 FG), 5 rebounds, and 3 assists. His frontcourt partner in crime, Bryce Nze, was also rock solid inside, recording 12 points (5-8 FG) and 5 rebounds.
Butler got a big lift from the return of starting point guard Aaron Thompson (wrist), who continues to be an offensive catalyst, and one of the team’s most valuable players–who had 9 points (4-6 FG) and 2 assists.
While Butler had a balanced offensive scoring output from its starting lineup, Villanova did not–but two of its stars kept them in the game.
Wildcat sophomore forward Saddiq Bey (29 points) and junior guard Collin Gillespie (28 points) combined for nearly 75% of the Wildcats total points–including shooting a red hot 8 for 15 from the 3 point line.
To their credit, many of these three point shots were highly contested by Butler’s defense, they just made them.
Chalk this one up as one of the most thrilling wins in Big East history for Butler at Hinkle. It truly was an all-time classic and one for the scrapbooks.
As a result of the big win, #19 Butler improves to 18-5 and 6-4 in Big East conference play. The Bulldogs will take on Marquette in Milwaukee, Wisconsin next this Sunday, 11 am CST on FS1.
Currently, Butler sits at #15 in the KenPom rankings and #11 in NET.