Dunham helps Butler hold off Princeton 70-67

MICHAEL MAROT (AP Sports Writers)
The Associated Press

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- Butler's Kellen Dunham scored a career-high 26 points Saturday, helping the foul-prone Bulldogs hold off Princeton's late charge 70-67.

Dunham made four 3-pointers and a free throw with 3.7 seconds left to seal Butler's second straight win under new coach Brandon Miller.

Princeton (1-1) trailed by 10 with 8:29 to go, but closed to 69-67 when Denton Koon made two free throws with 47.4 seconds left. The Tigers had a chance to tie it with 3.7 seconds left, but Koon's short jumper rolled off the rim. And after Dunham missed the second of two free throws, Jimmy Sherburne's half-court heave to force overtime came up short to keep Butler (2-0) undefeated.

Koon finished with 21 points for the Tigers, who have lost all three times they've played in Hinkle Fieldhouse.

It was a wacky night.

Butler was called for 27 fouls on an uncharacteristic night in which they turned the ball over 10 times and were outrebounded 33-30.

Princeton could have won it - had it shot better than 23 of 37 from the free-throw line. The 37 attempts were the most for a Princeton team since the Tigers shot 40 against Columbia on Feb. 12, 2005.

And yet, the Tigers still had two chances to force overtime late.

Dunham's previous career-high was 18 points against Elon last November. Three of his teammates also reached double figures - freshman Elijah Brown finished with 13 while Kameron Woods had 11 and Erik Fromm finished with 10.

It looked like the Bulldogs were going to pull away in the second half after taking a 33-31 halftime lead.

Woods, in early foul trouble, opened the second half with a three-point play. Dunham followed that with a 3 and another three-point play and Woods' short turnaround jumper and Fromm's two free throws ended the 15-2 run that gave Butler a 46-33 lead.

Princeton quickly cut the deficit to eight, then continued to chip away at the lead and got it down to 54-51 with 10:35 to go when Koon drove in for a layup.

From answered with a three-point play, Dunham hit another 3 and two free throws and suddenly the Bulldogs seemed to be in control again with a 62-52 lead.

But again, the Tigers charged back.

They went on a 7-0 run to make it 67-63 2:42 to go, and cut it two with 47.4 seconds left.

When Butler's Brown was called for traveling with 13.7 seconds left, Princeton got the ball to Koon near the lane, but his short jumper rolled off the rim and the Sherburne's half-court heave hit nothing but air.