Hoyas seek first road win at Butler
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Butler coach LaVall Jordan said he wasn't surprised about the clutch long-range shooting freshman Myles Tate provided in a narrow loss at Big East rival Seton Hall on Saturday.
"He's been growing," Jordan said, "through the entire season. ... He played the way he practiced."
While loath to label such developments as "moral victories," the struggling Bulldogs (2-5, 1-3 Big East) have placed an added premium on harnessing energy and execution during practices and transferring it to games. The next opportunity comes Wednesday, as Butler returns home to Indianapolis to take on Georgetown (3-6, 1-6 Big East), which similarly is looking to find its stride.
"I hate losing. There's no moral victories; I don't believe in that," Jordan said. "There's growth. That's a reality. ... If you're ok with losing, you're in the wrong place. But with the guys, there's valuable growth steps, win or lose, and it's about how we play as much as anything."
Butler matched its worst seven-game start since 1992-93 with a 68-60 loss at Seton Hall, but nonetheless showed resiliency and signs of a turnaround. Without floor leader Aaron Thompson (knee sprain) for the fifth straight game, the team got promising performances from youngsters Tate (22 points, 5-for-8 from 3-point range) and Chuck Harris (11 points, 3-for-4 from 3-point range).
As a team, the Bulldogs shot 6-for-10 from deep in the second half and 11-for-22 for the game. A trey from Jair Bolden brought Butler to within 58-56 with 2:42 remaining before the Pirates pulled away.
Georgetown is coming off Saturday's 64-60 home loss to Marquette, which stretched its losing streak to three games. Despite Jahvon Blair's fifth 20-point game of the season and Qudus Wahab's fourth double-double of the campaign (13 points, 10 rebounds), the Hoyas went cold down the stretch after entering halftime with a 36-20 lead.
Georgetown shot 9-for-30 (30 percent) in the second half compared to 15-for-33 (45.5 percent) in the first half.
"We did a great job in the first half of playing great defense and then didn't make plays in the second half," Hoyas coach Patrick Ewing said. "We got selfish and we started turning it over. ... We just have got to do better."
Blair has hit a 3-pointer in 22 consecutive games, and his 169 career makes rank sixth in school history.
The Hoyas are 0-2 on the road this season, losing each game by 11 points.
--Field Level Media
Updated January 5, 2021