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5 keys to Butler's loss to Marquette

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For more on college basketball, follow Tom Davis via Twitter at Tom101010.

Bulldogs allow Marquette to follow its plan

Sunday, March 24, 2013 - 9:52 am

LEXINGTON - Butler allowed a 35-27 halftime lead to evaporate on Saturday in its NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament game with Marquette at Rupp Arena.

Here are five keys to the Bulldog loss:

1. Foul shooting

Marquette has made a living this season outshooting its opponents and Butler continued that trend.

The Golden Eagles trailed through much of the game, but the Bulldogs continually sent them to the free throw line, where Marquette (23 of 27) was able to cut into the Butler lead without the clock winding down.

2. Feeling 'Blue'

Butler knew that Marquette guard Vander Blue could cause problems and he did.

The junior guard scored a game-high 29 points, including 19 in the second half to help his squad rally for the victory.

3. Throwing opportunity away

In an NCAA Tournament game against a very good Marquette (25-8) squad, valuing possessions is paramount.

The Bulldogs threw the ball away 15 times on the night. In a game that came down to the final possession, that amount is too many.

4. Wrong time for mistakes

A critical 1:13 stretch with less than five minutes remaining helped Marquette overtake Butler.

During that time, the Bulldogs had a pair of unforced turnovers, fouled a Golden Eagle shooter and missed a free throw. That'll end up costing you in a two-point loss.

5. Inside job

The Bulldogs knew that Marquette wanted to score inside and the Golden Eagles did as they pleased in the second half.

Marquette got 12 baskets in or near the paint in the final 20 minutes. Ultimately, it outscored the Bulldogs 30-20 in the paint.