Hoosiers fall to Butler 60-55

IU knocked out of NIT Season Tip-Off Tournament

POSTED AT 12:00 AM ON Nov. 15, 2006 


INDIANAPOLIS -- Just as soon as Kelvin Sampson picked up his first win as IU coach, he suffered his first loss. The Butler Bulldogs upset Sampson and the Hoosiers 60-55 at Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis Tuesday night.

The loss knocked IU out of the NIT Season Tip-Off Tournament, which prevents the team from playing in New York City next week.

"This game came down to two things: We put them on the foul line way too much," Sampson said following the loss. "And there were too many turnovers. Not too much to analyze here."

With Butler up 57-55 and just six seconds remaining, the Hoosiers forced Butler guard A.J. Graves to launch a desperation shot as the shot clock expired.

The ball banked in high off the glass and sealed the Bulldogs' victory.

"For the final play, we just wanted the time to run out and use it to our advantage," Graves said.

Junior forward D.J. White paced the Hoosiers with 22 points and seven rebounds while junior guard Rod Wilmont chipped in 14 points and went 3-for-6 in three-point shooting. He also grabbed seven boards as part of the Hoosiers' 38-23 rebounding advantage on the night.

Graves and fellow Butler guard Mike Green led the Bulldogs' offensive attack with 17 points each. The duo were perfect from the free-throw line in the second half, hitting a combined 18-of-20 on the night.

IU held the early 26-23 lead going into halftime and led by as many as 12 with 11:45 remaining in the game. However, the Bulldogs made a late 9-0 run to overcome the deficit and hold onto the victory on 41.7 percent three-point shooting in the second half of the game.

Fouls once again plagued the Hoosiers as starters A.J. Ratliff, Earl Calloway and White played with four fouls in the second half. IU also committed 20 turnovers in the contest -- which led to 19 Butler points -- and shot just 14.3 percent from the three-point line in the second half of play.

"I love working with guys with character and knowing the right way to play," Butler coach Todd Lickliter said of his team. "(It was) very difficult tonight and hard to get an open look. We returned the favor and guarded well. And we are excited about New York."

With the win, Butler advanced to the semifinals of the tournament and will play the University of Tennessee next week at Madison Square Garden.

Sampson and the Hoosiers are now 1-1 overall and will take on Indiana State on Friday night in Assembly Hall.

"I'm disappointed, but I'm certainly not discouraged," Sampson said.


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