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December 16, 2012

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: Butler knocks off No. 1 Indiana in Crossroads Classic

Purdue falls to Notre Dame, 81-68

INDIANAPOLIS — The perennial underdog did it again.

The Butler Bulldogs knocked off the No. 1-ranked Indiana Hoosiers 88-86 in overtime in the Boston Scientific Close the Gap Crossroads Classic at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

Bulldog walk-on Alex Barlow scored the go-ahead runner in the lane with 2.3 seconds remaining over Indiana's Jordan Hulls.

“Once the clock was at six, there was no hesitation,” Barlow said. “I was going to shoot that unless Rotnei (Clarke) or Kellen (Dunham) or somebody else got wide, wide open.”

Hulls' half court heave as time expired was no good as Indiana dropped its first game of the season to move to 9-1.

“I think we'll learn a lot from it,” Indiana coach Tom Crean said. “We got beat by a really good team.”

Indiana was outrebounded 40-38, but at halftime the Butler advantage was 24-17. The Bulldogs had 19 total offensive rebounds, including 10 in the first half.

“The bottom line for us is we didn't rebound the ball well enough today,” Crean said.

The Hoosiers balanced its rebounding struggles with 24 points off 18 Bulldogs turnovers. Indiana turned the ball over thrice for two Butler points in the first half before 13 total turnovers.

With the victory, Butler improved to 8-2 and for the first time in school history, beat the top-ranked team in the nation. With the Hoosiers almost certain to fall from its No. 1 ranking, the Bulldogs will be looking at joining the Top 25.

“I don't think too much about rankings,” Butler coach Brad Stevens said. “We will probably be ranked after this week but that doesn't make us any better than what we were last week.”

Clarke led all scorers with 19 points but it was Roosevelt Jones who really got things going for the Bulldogs. Jones chipped in 16 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists as a do-it-all force for Butler.

“With all due respect to everybody else on the court, I thought he was the best player on the floor when he was on the floor,” Stevens said. “When that ball went up to the rim, he found ways to get it on both ends of the floor.”

The Hoosiers were paced by Victor Oladipo and Cody Zeller who each had 18 points.

A Dunham trey with 5:40 in the second half gave the Butler its first lead of the second half at 61-59.

Andrew Smith added a layup and Chase Stigall connected on a wide open 3-pointer to extend the lead to 66-59 with 4:32 remaining in the game.

Indiana battled back and were trailing 72-69 with under a minute remaining when Hulls missed a 3-pointer, Remy Abell grabbed the offensive rebound and passed to a wide open Yogi Ferrell who dropped the pass out of bounds.

Dunham made the next two free throws to extend the lead to 74-69 with 38 seconds left.

Ferrell made a layup on the next IU possession. Oladipo then came up with a steal in the full-court press and made a driving layup to cut the lead to one with 23 seconds remaining.

“For us to get back in the game, we played better defense. It's that simple,” said Oladipo, who also had four steals. “We were active all over the court.”

Barlow was fouled and made both free throws to extend the lead to three.

Ferrell, the freshman point guard, responded with a clutch 3-pointer to tie the score at 76-76 with six seconds remaining.

Butler had its chance for a win but Stigall missed a clean look from beyond the arc to send the game into overtime.

In overtime, IU led 84-80 with 2:10 after a Zeller layup but the Bulldogs came roaring back.

Clarke hit a 3-pointer that would be deep for NBA standards to bring Butler within one point.

Ferrell turned the ball over on the next possession and Stigall was wide open for another three to give the Bulldogs a two-point lead.

With 19.3 seconds left, Zeller made a layup to tie the score at 86-86 before Barlow's game-winner on the other side of the court.

Freshman Hanner Mosquera-Perea made his first appearance of the season for the Hoosiers after missing nine games due to an NCAA suspension. The 6-foot-11 forward finished with two points and a rebound in three minutes.

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