Ronald Nored's three foul shots in the game's last 31 seconds, including a tiebreaking free throw with 2 seconds remaining, led Butler over Wright State 63-62 on Friday night.
Nored could just as easily have been the goat rather than the hero for Butler (9-7, 3-1 Horizon League), though. His attempt to purposely miss the second of two free throws to run out the clock backfired when he prematurely stepped over the line while shooting, giving the ball back to Wright State for one last chance.
The Raiders (8-9, 3-2) got the ball in to leading scorer Julius Mays, who had 24 points and hit two 3s, but a lunging 3-point attempt from far behind the line clanged off the rim.
Andrew Smith, who led the Bulldogs with 19 points, hit two big 3-pointers from the right wing to answer Wright State scores in the game's final 2 minutes.
"I'm excited about the way we're playing late in games," Butler coach Brad Stevens said. "We're really playing with some good purpose."
Butler overcame 21 turnovers to win its fourth straight and has won five of its last six, all by five points or fewer. Wright State had a four-game winning streak snapped. The largest lead for either team was four points, there were 16 ties and 20 lead changes.
The lead changed hands 10 times in the final 7:31, and Wright State went up 57-54 on a 3-pointer by Mays with 1:54 left. Then Smith, a 6-foot-11 post player, stepped outside and tied the score with his first 3-pointer. On the next possession, Stevens called for a play to have Smith shoot another 3-pointer and he made it. Smith had made only seven 3-pointers entering the game and was shooting 30.4 percent from that range.
"To do it all over again, you go up three with 1:40 to go and you have three timeouts, you call one and you make sure there (are) no 3s no matter who it is," Wright State coach Billy Donlon said. "I was hoping that Brad was going to call one, and that's an error."
Mays, a junior transfer from North Carolina State, had 14 of his total in the second half. He got as good a look at the basket as could be expected on the last shot.
"When it hit the rim I thought it was going to stay in, but it rimmed out," Mays said.
Khyle Marshall added 14 points off the bench for Butler and Nored finished with 11.
Air Force 68, Chicago State 54: Taylor Broekhuis and Taylor Stewart each scored 16 points, and Air Force survived a slow start in a victory over Chicago State.
The Falcons (9-4) trailed by five early against the Cougars (0-15) but hit 65 percent in the second half to pull away.
Air Force improved to 8-1 at Clune Arena this season and ran its winning streak to three games.
Lee Fisher had 16 points and 18 rebounds to lead the Cougars, who shot just 30.4 percent.
No. 5 Maryland 77, Georgia Tech 74: Alyssa Thomas scored 18 of her 24 points in the second half, including a pivotal three-point play with 17 seconds left, and Maryland rallied from a 20-point deficit to beat Georgia Tech.
The Terrapins (15-0, 2-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) trailed 56-36 shortly after halftime and 72-64 with 4:23 remaining before coming back. After Thomas gave Maryland a 76-74 lead by scoring in the lane and adding a free throw, Georgia Tech's Metra Walthour lost the ball driving to the basket and Laurin Mincy made a clinching foul shot for the Terps.
Mincy scored 17 points and Alicia DeVaughn contributed 11 points and 11 rebounds for the Terrapins.
Sasha Goodlett had 20 points and 10 rebounds for the Yellow Jackets (11-4, 1-1) and Tyaunna Marshall scored 16.
No. 7 Duke 76, Wake Forest 58: Freshman Elizabeth Williams had 18 points, 16 rebounds and a conference-record 12 blocks for her first triple-double to lead Duke to a victory over Wake Forest.
Haley Peters scored 12 points and Richa Jackson added 11 as the Blue Devils (11-2, 2-0 ACC) beat the Demon Deacons for the 36th straight time. Duke had a 57-36 rebounding advantage and limited Wake Forest to 29 percent shooting from the field, helping to overcome 28 turnovers.
Lakevia Boykin scored 25 points for Wake Forest (10-4, 0-1).
Williams had nine blocks in the first half and broke former Duke star Sarah Sullivan's 29-year-old ACC record with 5:02 remaining in the second half.