Kamar Baldwin had 18 of his 27 points in the second half to lead Butler to a 64-56 victory over visiting Minnesota on Tuesday night.
Baldwin, a senior guard, was just 10 of 24 from the field but scored nine straight points for the Bulldogs (3-0) during a stretch late in the second half to secure the Gavitt Tipoff Games victory and their 53rd consecutive win over a nonconference foe at Hinkle Fieldhouse.
Butler, which led 29-26 at halftime, held Minnesota (1-2) scoreless for the first 3:58 of the second half but couldn’t build a cushion because it missed 10 of its first 11 shots. The Bulldogs shot only 38.2 percent for the game. That allowed the Gophers to hang around and take a 35-34 lead on a putback by sophomore center Daniel Oturu with 12:18 left.
Oturu finished with a career-high 24 points (on 9-of-13 shooting) with 10 rebounds.
The teams traded leads for the next few minutes before Butler went on an 8-0 run to go ahead 46-39 with 7:40 left. Baldwin had six of the eight points.
A three-point play by Oturu got Minnesota within 48-44 with six minutes remaining, but then Baldwin personally outscored Minnesota 9-4 over the next 2:28 and the Gophers never got closer than six points after that.
Oturu was called for an offensive foul with 1:26 left, with Minnesota down 57-51. Butler junior forward Jordan Tucker then hit three free throws after getting fouled on a jump shot with 59.7 seconds left to seal the decision.
Minnesota shot just 32.7 percent, making only 10 of 26 two-point shots.
Butler improved to 2-1 in Gavitt Tipoff Games, which pit teams from the Big East against Big Ten foes. Minnesota dropped to 2-1 in the event, which began in 2015. The Big East leads 2-1 this year with five games remaining.
—Field Level Media