By OSKAR GARCIA
LAHAINA, Hawaii — Butler’s Rotnei Clarke reminded Marquette on Monday that it doesn’t matter how many shots you miss — just sink a buzzer-beater on national TV.
Clarke’s 22-foot runner jolted the Bulldogs to a 72-71 win over Marquette at the start of the Maui invitational in Hawaii, a tournament built on celebrating improbable upsets.
No, this wasn’t the 1982 Chaminade upset over Virginia, but Butler is hoping the intense game kick-starts an early season run.
“I’ve been in this long enough to know that there are very few thrills like a buzzer-beater, especially one off of one foot, running,” Butler coach Brad Stevens said. “I’ve also been around long enough to know it’s hard to be on the other side.”
Clarke hit the improbable basket after the Bulldogs (2-1) drove the length of the court down two points with less than 8 seconds left.
Clarke — who made just 4 of 14 3-point attempts for the game — made the shot from the right side and was mobbed on the gym floor by his teammates after it went through.
“It was a scramble play,” said Clarke, who said he thought about passing the ball to a cutting Roosevelt Jones.
“I ended up keeping it, got through and around a couple of guys and luckily it went in,” Clarke said.
Marquette coach Buzz Williams said the shot wasn’t defendable.
“He shot it off foot, from behind his head. As soon as the ball left his hand I knew it was a basket,” Williams said.
It was a fitting end to a game that was tight most of the way.
Marquette’s Andrew Thomas hit an acrobatic putback layup and made a free throw to put the Golden Eagles (2-1) up three with 30.9 seconds left. Clarke missed a 3-pointer for the tie, but Erik Fromm got an offensive rebound and made a layup with 9 seconds left. Clarke fouled Marquette’s Junior Cadougan on the next play, but Cadougan missed his second free throw to set up the winning shot.
Clarke had 20 points, including two 3-pointers to tie the game in the first half.
Khyle Marshall had 24 points and nine rebounds for Butler. Vander Blue scored 21 points for the Golden Eagles.
“People are going to overanalyze who won and who lost,” Stevens said. “Both teams played hard all the way to the wire. It’s tough to swallow (for Marquette).”
Marquette went on a quick 12-0 run after Marshall scored the opening basket for Butler. But the Bulldogs grinded their way back, making a few more baskets during a stretch in which both teams kept a frenetic pace, but neither shot particularly well.
Clarke hit a 3-pointer with just under 4 minutes left in the half to tie the game at 23, and Butler went into halftime with a 31-30 lead.
The teams then traded blows from the start in the second half. Cadougan hit a jumper 3 minutes in to give Marquette a one-point lead, Marshall responded with an alley-oop dunk from Jones, then Anderson shot back with a reverse layup to put the Golden Eagles back up again.
Marquette maintained a small lead through the bulk of the last 10 minutes. The game had three ties and four lead changes.
“I thought it was a great game,” Williams said. “We’re disappointed by the loss, but we were encouraged by how hard our guys played.”
No. 9 North Carolina 95, Mississippi State 49
LAHAINA, Hawaii — Leslie McDonald scored 21 points as one of five North Carolina players in double-figures in an easy 95-49 win over Mississippi State in the first round of the Maui Invitational.
P.J. Hairston had 18 points, Reggie Bullock had 16 points, and Dexter Strickland and James McAdoo each scored 10.
Roquez Johnson led the Bulldogs with 12 points.
The Tar Heels scored the game’s first nine points and led 29-6 in less than 10 minutes. Mississippi State never came closer than 20 points behind after that. A fade-away 3-pointer from Hairston put UNC up 42 with 5:30 left in the game.
Mississippi State made just seven shots in the first half and shot 28.3 percent for the game.
North Carolina next faces Butler, which topped Marquette on a buzzer-beater 3-pointer earlier Monday.
No. 1 Indiana 66, Georgia 53
NEW YORK— Victor Oladipo had 15 points and eight rebounds to lead No. 1 Indiana to a 63-53 victory over Georgia in the semifinals of the Progressive Legends Classic at the Barclays Center.
Jordan Hulls and Christian Watford both had 14 points for the Hoosiers (4-0) and they were the ones who finally started hitting from long range as Indiana established control of the game.
The Hoosiers will face the winner of the game between No. 11 UCLA and Georgetown for the title tonight.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Vincent Williams both had 14 points for Georgia (1-3), which lost its third straight.
The Hoosiers, who came into the game shooting 39.4 percent from 3-point range missed 11 of the first 12 shots they took from behind the arc. Watford hit a 3 with 10:06 left to end the shooting slump and extended Indiana’s lead to 45-40.
Hulls hit 3s on consecutive possessions to make it 51-42 and Oladipo scored down low with 7:00 left for the first double-digit lead of the game by either team, 53-42. The Hoosiers went on to lead by as many as 17 points.
Indiana finished 5 of 16 from 3-point range (31.3 percent) and the Hoosiers had a 40-24 advantage on the boards. They overcame an off night by 7-foot preseason All-America Cody Zeller who was 2 for 4 from the field for six points and had four rebounds and four turnovers.
Indiana shot 44.9 percent overall (22 of 49) while Georgia shot 34.0 percent (22 of 49) including going 9 of 25 on 3s.
The Bulldogs are now 0-14 all-time against No. 1-ranked teams.