Waiting to exhale
Michigan survives in OT when Butler shot rims out
Posted: Sunday November 30, 2003 9:55PM; Updated: Sunday November 30, 2003 11:11PM
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- With their offense struggling, Daniel Horton and his Michigan teammates turned to their defense.
Although Butler had plenty of time at the end of regulation and in overtime to make the final basket to win the game, the Wolverines denied the Bulldogs any good looks.
Horton sank two free throws with 6.9 seconds remaining in the overtime to give Michigan the winning margin in a 61-60 victory Sunday night.
Michigan (3-0) then forced Butler's Brandon Crone to take a contested jumper from the top of the key just before the buzzer, and Bernard Robinson Jr. grabbed the rebound to preserve the win.
"We did a good job of rotating, and we made the guy [Crone] take a contested 3 to try to win the game," said Horton, who led the Wolverines with 16 points. "We knew even though we weren't scoring, that we had to keep playing, keep taking care of the basketball, and playing defense at the other end."
Butler, which reached the round of 16 in last season's NCAA tournament, took a 60-59 lead on a layup by Crone with 10.9 seconds to go, but Avery Sheets was called for a blocking foul, sending Horton to the line.
Michigan coach Tommy Amaker liked the way his team persevered after a nine-point lead at halftime disappeared.
"We fought through a lot of things that hadn't happened to us this season," he said. "Daniel Horton didn't have a great evening, but he saved his best for the last."
Michigan hit just one field goal over the last 9:27 of the second half and played the entire overtime without a field goal. Bernard Robinson had 11 points for the Wolverines and Chris Hunter added 10.
Mike Monserez led Butler (2-1) with 23 points. He was 7-of-19 from the field, including 5-of-13 on 3-pointers.
"I do like the way we guarded," Monserez said. "But maybe one of the reasons they didn't have many field goals was we had too many fouls down the stretch."
Butler shot only 29 percent in the first half as Michigan opened a 32-23 at the break.
The Bulldogs opened the second half with an 11-3 run to pull within a point at 35-34.
Michigan maintained a narrow margin until Crone hit a layup off a pass from Monserez for Butler's first lead, 46-45, with 3:56 remaining in regulation.
Butler coach Todd Lickliter said Michigan's defense made the difference in the game.
"I don't know if we'll see better pressure this season," he said. "We might, but I don't know."
Nearly two-thirds of Butler's shots were 3-pointers, as the Bulldogs went 9-of-33 from behind the arch.
Of his team's final shot, Lickliter said, "We draw those things up. If it goes in, wonderful. If it doesn't, we'll talk about it."