Strong start pushes Butler past Missouri 63-52
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kamar Baldwin and Bryce Golden had 13 points each and Butler beat Missouri 63-52 in front of a large crowd of Tigers fans on Monday night to advance to the championship game of the Hall of Fame Classic.
Dru Smith had 19 points while Xavier Pinson contributed 10 and Kobe Brown had nine for the Tigers.
The Bulldogs (6-0) raced out to a 15-3 lead to start the game and never looked back. Golden matched his season average of eight points in the first five minutes of the game, hitting two 3-pointers in that stretch.
Butler hit eight 3s held the Tigers (4-2) to just two. Both teams shot 48% from the field.
The Bulldogs forced five turnovers in the first five minutes of the game, 13 overall. On the flip side, the Tigers were able to stay in the game forcing 14 turnovers, the most in a game by the Bulldogs this season.
Butler had as big as an 18-point lead in the first half.
The teams played very even in the second half, Butler never had more than a 15-point lead and Missouri never got closer than eight.
Missouri: The Tigers fought back numerous times but couldn’t hit that big shot in the second half. When it felt like the Tigers were getting momentum, Butler came up with a stop.
Butler: The Bulldogs brought the pressure from the start as they knocked off a Missouri team who was playing practically a home game.
Butler will play the winner of the Oklahoma versus Stanford game Tuesday night.
Missouri will play the loser of the Oklahoma against Stanford game in the Tuesday night opener.