Jones' buzzer-beater lifts Butler over Gonzaga
Indianapolis, IN (Sports Network) - The magic at Hinkle Fieldhouse Saturday night led to mass hysteria on the court by fans of the Butler Bulldogs.
Roosevelt Jones stole an errant inbounds pass at midcourt and drained a one- handed shot from near the foul line at the buzzer, giving 13th-ranked Butler a 64-63 win over No. 8 Gonzaga.
Kelly Olynyk sank two free throws for Gonzaga with 4.6 seconds left to give them a one-point edge.
Any hope of a win for Butler seemed to evaporate when Alex Barlow was whistled for traveling near midcourt after receiving the inbounds pass.
Jones, though, came up with a steal off a high inbounds pass and raced to the other end before hitting his shot over Olynyk as the buzzer sounded, and fans mobbed the court.
"I heard their coach saying to lob it to Olynyk, so I just played behind him, made the basketball play and got the steal," Jones said. "I looked at the clock and saw four seconds, so I knew I could get down court. I saw Olynyk come up to me and I floated it over him."
Butler (16-2), which moved to 9-0 at home, received 20 points from Jones and 14 from Kellen Dunham in its 13th consecutive win. Butler hasn't lost since Nov. 21 against Illinois.
Gonzaga (17-2), which had won its previous eight contests, was led by 20 points apiece from Elias Harris and Sam Dower. Olynyk scored 14.
Butler was again without its leading scorer in Rotnei Clarke, who sat out with a sprained neck.
Gonzaga gained an early lead of 15-7 before Butler rallied and grabbed a 22-20 lead on Dunham's 3-pointer with 7:52 left in the half. The visitors held a 33-32 edge at the break.
It was tight throughout the second half with the largest lead of five at 55-50 by Butler with 4 1/2 minutes left.
The offensive output for Gonzaga was a far cry from the 80 points the team was averaging coming into Saturday night's game.
"We tried to speed them up with the press, but they took their time," Gonzaga coach Mark Few said.
Butler is 78-11 in Hinkle Fieldhouse under head coach Brad Stevens ... Gonzaga had just seven turnovers, a mark matched by Jones himself ... Dunham made half of his eight 3-point tries.