NEWARK — Butler has been in a number of tight spots this season, playing six overtime games and winning just two of them.
The Bulldogs played like a team that knew how to handle the pressure on Wednesday night, hitting clutch shots and making the big defensive plays to pull out their first Big East road victory, 64-57, over Seton Hall on Wednesday night.
"Some free throws went in, some shots went in, but bigger than that, I thought our defense in the second half of the game, especially down the stretch, was tremendous," Butler coach Brandon Miller said. "Kameron (Woods) got a couple blocks and dunked the ball. We were able to defend in the second half of the game and down the stretch."
Two consecutive 3-pointers by Kellen Dunham, the second with 2:37 to go, and Khyle Marshall's drive for a left-handed bank shot with 1:06 left highlighted a 13-2 run that closed the game for Butler (12-9, 2-7 Big East) in its first-ever game against Seton Hall (12-9, 3-5).
"Kellen Dunham (9 points, 3-10 from the floor) didn't shoot great," Miller said. "He had some good looks early in the game that didn't go down. But down the stretch it's not easy to take the big shot, to step up and to make it after they haven't gone in, especially early in the game. He showed great toughness, not only to take the shot, but to make it when it counted."
Fuquan Edwin scored 15 of his game-high 20 points in the first half for the Pirates, but Butler managed to keep him in check in the second half. Brandon Mobley had scored consecutive baskets to give Seton Hall a 52-50 edge. But Edwin stole the ball twice and missed both of his fast-break layup chances, allowing Butler to stay close.
Sterling Gibbs hit a 3-pointer that gave Seton Hall a 55-51 edge with 4:37 left before Butler's defense led to the finishing 13-2 surge.
"We had a good opportunity, where Fu (Edwin) had a couple fast breaks where we could have stretched out of the lead a little bit," Seton Hall coach Kevin Willard said. "We just didn't do it and they did a good job defensively."
Gibbs drove the lane three times during the final minute of play and each time was denied by Butler's team defense.
"They had momentum the whole second half" Edwin said. "They took their time and it worked in their favor. They just outworked us at the end of the game. You have to give credit where credit is due."
Butler now stands 26-8 over its last 34 games when Marshall scores in double digits. The 6-6 forward scored 13 points for Butler, which received 12 points from Elijah Brown and 11 apiece from Kameron Woods and Andrew Chrabascz.
Marshall's drive to the basket gave the Bulldogs a 59-57 lead and Woods and Alex Barlow each sank two free throws to help seal it.
Seton Hall used a 13-2 run to gain the lead in the second half. Teague completed a three-point play to spark the burst. Kameron Woods hit a jumper for Butler before the Pirates got consecutive 3-pointers from Brian Oliver and Edwin. Teague muscled his way inside for two points and Edwin weaved his way to the rim to cap the surge, staking Seton Hall to a 46-40 advantage.
Seven players scored for Butler in the first half when the Bulldogs took a 34-33 edge into the break. Chrabascz led the Bulldogs with nine points. Edwin hit three 3-pointers in leading Seton Hall with 15 points over the first 20 minutes.