EVANSVILLE, Ind. (AP)—Colt Ryan hit one of two free throws with 0.9 seconds left in regulation, then scored six of Evansville’s 11 points in overtime as the Purple Aces opened the season with an 80-77 win over Butler.
Ryan was only 4 of 15 from the field, but hit 14 of 18 free throws to finish with 23 points. Jordan Jahr and Denver Holmes added 15 each for Evansville, which overcame a 13-point second-half deficit to win the first game in its new arena, the Ford Center.
Butler, which reached the NCAA championship game each of the past two seasons, had a chance to win in regulation. After Ryan’s free throw tied it, the Bulldogs threw a full-court pass to center Andrew Smith, who turned and scored what they thought was the game-winner. However, one official called a foul before Smith got the shot off, and Smith went to the free-throw line with 0.2 seconds remaining. He missed both attempts.
Chrishawn Hopkins led Butler with 22 points, and Smith added 21.