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NCAAB: Butler looks to maintain momentum vs. Eastern Illinois

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Butler will look to maintain the momentum of a 66-62 overtime win at Oklahoma when it faces visiting Eastern Illinois in a nonconference game on Saturday in Indianapolis.

Chuck Harris scored 26 points to lead Butler’s rally from a 13-point deficit midway through the second half against Oklahoma on Tuesday to extend the Bulldogs’ winning streak to three games. Harris’ 3-pointer with 35.3 seconds left in the extra session gave Butler (6-3) a 63-62 lead it wouldn’t relinquish.

Bryce Golden had 10 points and seven rebounds for the Bulldogs, while Simas Lukosius added seven points and six rebounds. DJ Hughes recorded six points and six rebounds against the Sooners.

“That was a heck of a battle,” Butler coach LaVall Jordan said. “We knew it would be a fight; we talked about that coming in. The guys wouldn’t give in; they preached belief in every huddle.”

Harris averages a team-high 12.8 points and 4.4 rebounds per game, while Jair Bolden averages 11.6 points and Jayden Taylor 10.6. Aaron Thompson averages 5.3 points per game but leads the team with 3.7 assists, 1.2 steals and 0.7 blocks per game.

Eastern Illinois (2-8) is coming off a 72-44 loss at Missouri in a game in which it was outscored by 30 points over the final 28 minutes to lose for the fifth time in its past six games.

The Panthers’ two wins are against Division III teams Rockford (96-64) and North Park University (76-71).

Kashawn Charles averages a team-high 11.3 points per game, while Kejuan Clements leads the team in rebounds (5.2) and assists (4.7) per game to go along with averaging 8.6 points per game.

Butler’s game against Eastern Illinois will be the Bulldogs’ last before taking the next week off to take final exams. The Bulldogs face No. 1 Purdue (8-1) on Dec. 18 in the Crossroads Classic at Gainbridge Fieldhouse in Indianapolis as part of a doubleheader that also features Indiana (7-2) against Notre Dame (3-4).

–Field Level Media

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