INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Kelan Martin came off the bench to score 20 points Saturday and was the catalyst in two key second-half runs that sent No. 16 Butler past No. 22 Cincinnati 75-65.
The Bulldogs (9-1) rebounded from their first loss of the season by extending their home winning streak against non-conference opponents to 34 games.
Troy Caupain scored a season-high 22 points to lead the Bearcats (7-2) and Gary Clark added 16, also a season high.
The Bearcats spent most of the first half playing catch-up before tying the score at 35 on Caupain’s 3-pointer with about 1 second to go. They finally took a brief 38-37 lead in the second half and tied the score again at 39.
But Martin’s three-point play spurred a 14-4 run that gave Butler a 51-43 lead with 11:51 left. Martin followed that with six points in a 12-5 spurt, sealing the win.
Cincinnati: For the second straight season, the Bearcats hit a road block against Butler. The Bearcats need to play better than they did Saturday, but the conference favorite has already won six times by 15 or more points. The lone exception was an overtime win over Iowa State and the two losses — with all three coming against ranked teams.
Butler: Maybe Bulldogs coach Chris Holtmann is the streak buster. Since taking over as head coach three years ago, the Bulldogs are 18-3 following a loss. So was anybody surprised Butler rebounded from its first loss of the season with a solid win over a ranked team? Not a chance.
Cincinnati: Will try to rebound with a three-game home stand that begins Tuesday against Texas Southern.
Butler: Will take the week off for finals before returning to action Dec. 17 against an old rival, No. 9 Indiana at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.