Polk wins it for Butler, 53-52
The Horizon League's player of the year helped beat Miami (Ohio).
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- Brandon Polk's rebound basket with two seconds to go lifted Butler to a 53-52 victory over Miami (Ohio) Tuesday night in the opening round of the National Invitation Tournament.
The Bulldogs (20-12) will play a first-round game Friday at Florida State (19-9).
Miami (18-11) led by eight points in the first half and by seven in the final period before Butler started its comeback. A rebound basket by Avery Sheets and consecutive 3-pointers by Brandon Crone and A.J. Graves gave the Bulldogs their first lead since the opening seconds.
There were five lead changes after that, and a jump hook by Tim Pollitz put the RedHawks ahead 52-51 with 26 seconds remaining. After a Butler timeout, the Bulldogs worked the ball to Sheets, who drove to the basket and missed. Polk, the Horizon League player of the year, got the ball back and rolled it over the rim for the winning score.
Graves top scorer
Graves led Butler with 19 points, Bruce Horan added 12 -- all on 3-pointers -- and Polk finished with nine points.
Pollitz led Miami with 17 points and 11 rebounds.
Butler's only lead in the first half came on the game's first basket, a 3-pointer by Graves.
Unable to get the ball inside against Miami's bigger defenders, the Bulldogs relied mainly on their outside shooting but went almost 5 minutes before their second basket. Pollitz, meanwhile, had three baskets during a 13-2 run that appeared to put the RedHawks in control.
Horan started Butler's first comeback with consecutive 3-pointers, then late in the period Graves stole the ball, hit a 3-pointer and scored again to tie it for the first time at 20.
Miami overcame a flurry of turnovers and took the lead again on a 3-pointer by Doug Penno, and Pollitz hit a running 3-pointer from just across the halfcourt line at the buzzer to give the RedHawks a 27-22 lead at the break.