Seton Hall vs. Butler score: No. 18 Pirates upset No. 5 Bulldogs in Big East statement victory

 cbssports.com  01/16/2020 02:21:00   Kyle Boone

Just when you think you've got the Big East figured out ... you realize you don't know anything. In a surprising turn of events Wednesday night, No. 18 Seton Hall went on the road and upset No. 5 Butler 78-70, taking control of the Big East by handing Butler its first loss in league play and improving to 5-0 in-conference in the process.

Butler led comfortably at 40-30 at the half but fell apart in the final 20 minutes as it shot just 30 percent from the floor down the stretch and allowed Seton Hall to scoot to a win by shooting 45 percent in the same span. From distance, Butler made just one of its final 11 attempts; Seton Hall went 4 of 14.

Leading Seton Hall's 48-point second-half explosion was Myles Powell -- and who else would it be? Powell, the second-leading scorer in the Big East, saved 19 of his game-high 29 points for the second half. He went a perfect 6 of 6 from the charity stripe, too, which included some clutch makes down the stretch.

Butler was a 4.5-point favorite entering the night, so the outcome is an upset on paper -- but hardly so considering the way the Pirates have gone the last month. The win gets them to a seven-game victory streak, and with a ferocious top-10 defense by adjusted efficiency, they proved Wednesday that their mettle can travel. Since posting double-digit losses on the road to Iowa State and Rutgers last month, this team's taken a substantial leap and should be considered a favorite in the Big East.

That's not to discount Butler, either. It's just the second loss for the Bulldogs all season and first in league play. The Bulldogs should be fine. But upcoming is a gauntlet for Butler that could bode well for Seton Hall's chances of separating in the standings: at DePaul, at Villanova, home against Marquette and at Georgetown to close the month.

Seton Hall has a road trip to St. John's on Saturday before a three-game homestand against Providence, DePaul and Xavier.

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