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Graves, Streicher help Butler prevail

Dec 31, 2006 - 5:10 AM MILWAUKEE (Ticker) -- A.J. Graves and Drew Streicher hit clutch baskets in the final two minutes as Butler pulled away for a 55-50 win over Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

The win upped the No. 15 Bulldogs to 13-1 overall and 2-0 in Horizon League play, while the Panthers fell to 3-12, 0-2.

"You have to give credit where credit is due," Wisconsin-Milwaukee coach Rob Jeter said. "Butler's discipline, their ability to stay focused on both ends of the floor, I thought was the difference down the stretch.

"You've got to make free throws and you've got to take care of the basketball if you want to win games when you play like this."

Streicher hit a jumper with two minutes left to put the Bulldogs up for good, 43-42, before Graves sank a layup 20 seconds later for a three-point lead.

Mike Green, who led Butler with 16 points, hit five free throws down the stretch to help clinch the victory. Graves finished with 14 points while Streicher scored six.

Avery Smith led the Panthers with 21 points while Paige Paulson added 17.

Both teams started sluggishly in battling to a 19-19 tie at halftime. Butler shot only 33 percent (6-of-18) while Wisconsin-Milwaukee was also at 33 percent (7-of-21).

"We were not going to take quick shots, we were going to take good shots," Jeter said of the low-scoring first half. "I thought we moved the ball well, and we had the ball in positions where we wanted it. Then we had to make shots with the shot clock running down just like they did."