Kamar Baldwin scored the last two of his game-high 22 points on a stepback jumper with 0.8 seconds left Tuesday night, lifting Butler to a 68-67 win over Stanford in the championship game of the Hall of Fame Classic in Kansas City, Mo.
The Cardinal (7-1) took a one-point lead on Bryce Wills’ dunk with 21 seconds remaining, but the Bulldogs (7-0) simply leaned on Baldwin to bring them home. The senior guard scored six points in the final 1:22 and 17 of their last 20 points.
Bryce Nze added 13 points and eight rebounds for Butler, which was picked eighth in the Big East Conference preseason poll. Bryce Golden chipped in 12 points and five boards as the Bulldogs canned 63 percent of their shots in the second half.
Freshman Tyrell Terry pumped in five 3-pointers on the way to 21 points to pace Stanford, which allowed more than 65 points for the first time this season. Oscar da Silva added 19 points and five assists, while Wills contributed 12 points and Spencer Jones hit for 11.
Jones stroked a 3-pointer to pull the Cardinal within 66-65 with 31 seconds remaining. After forcing a five-second call, Stanford grabbed the lead one last time, but couldn’t stop Baldwin from creating a game-winner.
Butler got off to a fast start, establishing a 12-4 lead at the 16:20 mark of the first half as Nze converted a layup off a Golden assist. The Bulldogs maintained their advantage for most of the half’s remainder.
When Khalif Battle drained a 3-pointer with 4:03 left in the half, Butler owned a 28-19 lead, its largest of the half. But starter Sean McDermott injured his ankle on the next trip down the court and was eventually wheeled to the trainer’s room.
With McDermott on the shelf, Stanford surged for the half’s remainder. A 10-1 spurt was capped when Terry leaned in and swished a 3-pointer as time expired, sending the Cardinal to the locker room with a 29-29 tie and momentum.
—Field Level Media