INDIANAPOLIS — Bryce Golden scored a career-high 22 points and Bo Hodges added 11 points and 11 rebounds on Saturday to help the Butler Bulldogs hold on for a surprising 85-79 victory over No. 18 Marquette.
The Bulldogs (12-13, 5-9 Big East) never trailed, and snapping a three-game losing streak.
Justin Lewis led Marquette with 27 points and nine rebounds. Tyler Kolek had 17 points as the Golden Eagles (16-9, 8-6) lost for the second time in five days.
The Bulldogs took advantage quickly, making six of their first eight from behind the arc to jump to a 26-11 lead. A 7-0 run helped Butler extend the margin to as much as 21 in the first half before the Golden Eagles started fighting back.
Marquette cut the halftime deficit to 42-27, opened the second half with the first five points. After watching Butler rebuild a 55-39 lead, the Golden Eagles answered with seven straight points to get within 60-55 with 7:44 left.
Butler scored the next five, though, and the Golden Eagles never got closer than four the rest of the game as the teams largely matched baskets and free throws.
Marquette had won the previous three matchups against Butler.
Marquette: The Golden Eagles have played better than expected this season. But losses at No. 24 UConn followed by a subpar showing at Butler didn’t help. With no more ranked teams between now and the conference tournament, Marquette needs to rebound.
Butler: These were the Bulldogs fans expected season. They were fast and efficient on offense and pestered Marquette defensively. One more win would get Butler back to .500, a major accomplishment given how this season has gone. The question is whether the Bulldogs can use this win to make a postseason push.
Marquette opened this week with its highest ranking in nearly two years. Two losses in five days, especially this one, will certainly send the Golden Eagles sliding. The question is how much they’ll fall in Monday’s rankings.
Marquette: Returns home to face Georgetown on Wednesday.
Butler: Begins a two-game road trip Tuesday at DePaul.