[to top of second column]
"We knew they pride themselves on defense and they played us tough," Johnson said. "We accomplished a lot this season as the expectations for this team weren't very high. We won games we weren't supposed to and won the Big East Conference outright. We have a lot to be happy about. But to lose like this, it hurts."
After Nored hit a 3-pointer to cut the deficit to one, Matt Howard scored inside to put the Bulldogs back ahead and then Veasley got his fortunate bounce off the rim and backboard to put Butler up 58-54.
Veasley added a tip-in on Butler's next possession, and the Bulldogs held on.
After leading by 12 in the first half, the Horizon League champions were in jeopardy of getting run over by the Orange as they recovered from a frustrating start. But Syracuse could never get its transition game going and the easy baskets weren't there, thanks to the Bulldogs.
Butler was just 6 for 24 from 3-point range, but the Bulldogs never stopped shooting from beyond the arc -- and hustling back on defense.
Syracuse had one good break late in the second half and it turned out to be the last. After a 3-pointer by Rautins put his team up 52-50, Johnson grabbed a defensive rebound and got the Orange off and running on the kind of fast break they flashed all season before getting stymied by Butler.
Johnson passed to Jardine, who got the ball to Kris Joseph for a dunk that put Syracuse up 54-50 with 5:23 left.
The Orange didn't score again until Jardine's layup with 35 seconds remaining cut Butler's lead to 61-56.
Syracuse played again without center Arinze Onuaku, sidelined since the Big East tournament with a right quadriceps injury, and had to sit 6-foot-9 Rick Jackson when he was called for his fourth foul with 8:08 left.
Jackson finished with just four points, but did pull down nine rebounds.
Syracuse's loss left No. 2 seed West Virginia as the only Big East team remaining in the tournament. The league received eight bids -- most of any conference.
Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
< Sports index
Back to top
News | Sports | Business | Rural Review | Teaching & Learning | Home and Family | Tourism | Obituaries
Law & Courts |
Spiritual Life |
Health & Fitness |
Calendar | Letters to the Editor