Butler vs. Georgetown at Hinkle Fieldhouse

Yesterday I made my first trip ever trip to Hinkle to take in Butler and Georgetown. Hinkle Fieldhouse itself is incredible; there isn’t a college basketball venue I have been to that I can compare it to. In 1983 the fieldhouse was named to the national register of historic places. It is just so unique in many aspects from the giant window panels on the east and west sides of the building to the way the stands are constructed and proximity of the fans to the court. It gives an old quaint feeling that embodies Indiana basketball. Then of course there is the tradition of the Butler program. Thrust into the national spotlight by making a run as the Horizon League champions through the NCAA tournament back to their own city as they played mere miles away from their campus in Lucas Oil Stadium for the 2010 national title against mighty Duke. The bulldogs were mere inches from Gordon Haywards half-court shot going in at the buzzer, and being the first “mid major” in the modern era to win it all. Then the very next year the Brad Stevens led team was able to make it back to the title game. All of this tradition can be seen from the Final Four banners hanging above the Welcome to Hinkle Fieldhouse greeting in section 212, or in the 2010 west regional and 2011 southeast regional trophies in a case in the concourse.
Many wondered if the Hoyas easy nonconference schedule would prepare them sufficiently for the rigors of the Big East, but they looked far better than their 7th place Big East standing heading into the game. Georgetown led the game for all but one minute and 58 seconds. They shot 58.8% for the game and 47.1% from behind the arc. The Hoyas were led by Marcus Derrickson with 27, and Jessie Govan added 17 and 12 rebounds. The Bulldogs leading scorers were Kelan Martin and Tyler Wideman with 22 and 19 respectively. Butler trailed by 10 with 5:19 left to play, but was able to force turnovers that led to fast break layups and get the 8,539 at Hinkle on their feet when the bulldogs got within 2 late in the game. However, it wasn’t enough as the Hoyas escaped Indianapolis with a 87-83 win to move to 15-10. Butler with the loss fell to 17-10.

After the game I asked Georgetown Head Coach Patrick Ewing what it was like coaching in Hinkle. He said he knew a little bit going into it because he had a training camp there when he was an assistant coach in the NBA with the Charlotte Hornets, but that “the environment was great and the fans were great”. When he was asked about how they were able to survive the late surge by Butler he said his team has been in a number of close games before, and if they haven’t learned how to win them by now then he doesn’t know what they are doing. Butler coach LaVall Jordan said everyone in the league is improved, and you can’t overlook anyone; there are no nights off in the Big East. He also said the seniors have emphasized now is their time, and they want to go out on the right note which means figuring out what they need to do to win games. Butler is back in action on Saturday in their second to last home game as they take on the Fryars of Providence College. Georgetown returns to the hardwood on Wednesday as they take on number 4 Xavier.

By: Ethan Hennessy

2-14-17

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