Jan 4, 2017; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Villanova head coach Jay Wright is restrained by his players and asst. coaches after receiving a Technical Foul during the first half of their game against Butler University at Hinkle Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports

The Butler Bulldogs handed the reigning national champions their first loss of the year after Villanova started 14-0. 

It was a furious second-half comeback by Butler, who entered the break down 31-27. Andrew Chrabascz and Kethan Savage led the Bulldogs with 13 apiece, and Kelan Martin and Kamar Baldwin added 12 and 10, respectively, to power their team to the upset victory.

Nova’s Jalen Brunson was the high-scorer with 23 on 9-of-16 shooting, but Josh Hart, 13, and Kris Jenkins, 11, were the only other two who had notable contributions for the Wildcats.

Butler’s defense played a big part in their win, and Villanova was held to just 37 percent shooting overall and finished 6-of-26 from three-point range. They were also beaten on the glass, 34-29, but were able to keep the game close by forcing their way to the free throw 17 times.

Contrarily, the Bulldog’s offense inside of the arc was much better, and they shot 18-of-31 on their two-point attempts while burying all 15 of their free throws.

This win strengthens Butler’s resume even more. Heading into this game, they boasted a 12-2 record that included wins over Arizona and Indiana, who were ranked eighth and ninth, respectively, along with Utah and Cincinnati.

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