In a contest taking place just 144 miles from campus, the No. 9 seed Old Dominion Monarchs saw their virtual home game end in a crushing 60-58 defeat at the hands of the No. 8 seed Butler Bulldogs in First Round Action at Verizon Center in Washington, D.C.
Matt Howard slipped free and hit a layup with 1 second remaining to give Butler the victory. Howard’s heroics put the finishing touches on a rock solid game as he finished with 15 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal and 1 block. Butler also had a good game from Shelvin Mack as he connected on three first half 3s and finished with 15 points.
ODU big man Frank Hassell lead the way for the Monarchs with 20 points, 6 rebounds and 3 steals after shaking off a sluggish start. The Monarchs shot well from the field in the first half, at nearly 47%, but 10 first half turnovers allowed Butler to stick around. Coach Blaine Taylor’s group did protect the ball better in the second half but the shooting percentage took a huge nose dive as ODU continued to fire away from 3 point range even with Butler seeing three of their starting five in foul trouble.
Butler likely faces No. 1 seed Pittsburgh, who is expected to dismantle UNC-Asheville this afternoon, on Saturday with a trip to the Sweet 16 at stake.