Butler scored 17 straight points to break open a close game in the second half Wednesday night and claim an 87-69 Big East Conference win over host DePaul at Wintrust Arena in Chicago.
Jordan Tucker drained 5 of 8 3-pointers and paced the Bulldogs (11-7, 2-3) with 19 points, adding eight rebounds. Sean McDermott added 17 points, going 4 of 8 on 3-point attempts, and Kamar Baldwin stuffed the stat sheet with 17 points, 14 rebounds and five assists. Aaron Thompson chipped in 12 points.
Femi Olujobi scored a game-high 23 points on 9-for-13 shooting for the Blue Demons (10-6, 2-3), which were denied their first three-game conference winning streak in four years. Paul Reed contributed a 20-point, 12-rebound double-double, and Max Strus finished with 12 points.
Trailing 47-46 after Reed canned a turnaround jumper with 16:29 remaining in the game, Butler ran off and hid. Tucker and Thompson each hit two 3-pointers to account for the first 12 points of the streak in a 2:36 stretch, and Henry Baddley’s 3-point play in transition finished the burst.
DePaul never got closer than nine after that as the Bulldogs sank 70 percent of their shots in the second half.
DePaul came out of the gate flying, opening up a 10-2 lead less than three minutes in as Eli Cain drilled a 3-pointer. Butler ripped off a 9-2 spurt, but the Blue Demons answered with nine straight points, taking a 21-11 advantage on a 3-pointer by Strus at the 9:44 mark.
The margin was still eight when the Bulldogs made their best run of the half. They scored 10 consecutive points, earning their first lead of the night when Tucker canned a stepback 3 with 2:32 left in the half for a 32-30 edge.
However, DePaul finished the half strong, going on a 10-4 burst. Cain converted a tough runner in traffic with 5.4 seconds left and then hustled down the floor to block a 3-point try from Baldwin, giving the Blue Demons a 40-36 lead at the break.
—Field Level Media