Butler guard Kellen Dunham misses a layup after splitting DePaul's defense during an NCAA college basketball game Thursday, Jan. 9, 2014, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/The Indianapolis Star, Brent Drinkut) NO SALES
Updated: January 9, 2014 10:42PM
INDIANAPOLIS — DePaul did just enough to get the win.
Blue Demons head coach Oliver Purnell wants more.
“We weren’t playing well enough — long, long enough,” he said. “We have to play better longer.”
The Blue Demons came back from an 11-point deficit to force overtime and later pulled away just enough in a 99-94 double-overtime victory over the Butler Bulldogs on Tuesday.
Cleveland Melvin scored the go-ahead basket with 45 seconds left in the second overtime, and finished with season-high 30 points to lead the Blue Demons (9-8, 1-3 Big East) in their first league win.
Billy Garrett scored 22 points and Brandon Young scored 18 for the Blue Devils, who snapped a 3-game skid.
Kellen Dunham scored 30 points and tied a career-best with six 3-pointers — all in the second half. Kameron Woods had 17 points and 14 rebounds and Khyle Marshall scored 15 points for the Bulldogs (10-5, 0-3), who are on a season-worst three-game skid.
The Blue Devils scored 11 straight to end the second half, capped off with a basket by Melvin with 20 seconds remaining in regulation to force overtime. And then Butler’s Jackson Aldridge scored at the buzzer of the first overtime period to tie it at 87.
“We came right back with a good mentality,” Purnell said. “We could have been discouraged at that point. Our guys hung in there in the second overtime.”
Dunham, who was held to two points in the first half for the second straight game, scored a basket and two free throws, Woods scored and Marshall dunked to put the Bulldogs ahead, 73-62, with 3:46 left in regulation.
Then the Blue Demons came roaring back.
Melvin and Tommy Hamilton each hit 3-pointers and Garrett scored a three with under a minute to play to make it 73-71 before Melvin scored to force overtime.
“We were getting stops and we were scoring,” Purnell said. “We were executing really well offensively and we were getting stops. Anytime you do that, you’re going to be in good shape.”
The Bulldog’s longest losing streak of the season comes in the first three games of the team’s first year in the Big East. And after dropping a game at home to Villanova in Butler’s conference opener back on Dec. 31, the Bulldogs have lost two straight games at home for the first time since December 2011.
“The way we closed out the game is disappointing,” Butler coach Brandon Miller said. “The way we handled some points in that game is disappointing. But they made shots at a really high level. Part of that had to do with our defensive breakdowns, part of that had to do with them making shots and being able to execute.”
But finally Dunham broke away in the second half.
He hit a 3-pointer early in the period to give the Bulldogs a 42-36 lead. Young scored to make it 42-38 and Fromm made a hook shot. The Blue Demons missed a 3-pointer and Dunham scored a three to give Butler a 47-38 lead with 16:19 remaining.
Then Young was fouled driving to the basket. He converted the and-one, grabbed a steal, made another trip to the line and scored two free throws to get the Blue Demons back within four, 47-43.
Dunham was fouled on a 3-pointer, but missed the free throw. Later, he grabbed a steal and Andrew Chrabascz scored on a lay-up to put the Bulldogs ahead, 52-43.
Dunham scored all of his 3-pointers in the second half including one with 13:03 remaining to give the Bulldogs a 55-43 lead.
The Bulldogs took a 61-49 lead on a Chrabascz basket before the Blue Demons scored eight straight.
Garrett scored a 3-pointer and a lay-up and Melvin was fouled on a lay-up and hit the free throw to make it 61-57 with 8:40 left.
Then Erik Fromm and Woods scored and Dunham hit bucket and two free throws. Sandi Marcius scored next to the basket and made two free throws and Butler held a 69-61 lead.
Aldridge’s shot that forced a second overtime came after he grabbed the rebound of a Dunham miss.
Hamilton hit a 3-pointer to put the Blue Devils up 82-77 with 53 seconds left in the first overtime period, but the Blue Demons celebrated too early.
Dunham and Woods scored before Dunham hit a 3-pointer with 10 seconds remaining to put the Bulldogs within one, 86-85.
Melvin split from the line before Aldridge forced a second overtime.