INDIANAPOLIS – Wright State winners of six of the last seven games found out what happens when the 189th ranked RPI teams play the hot fourth ranked RPI team on the road.
Butler pounded Wright State into submission by playing tough defense and smart offense in a 73-42 win in front of a loud crowd of 5902.
Butler scored the first basket at the 18:29 mark in the game and never gave up the lead. By the 11:39 mark Butler (14-1, 3-0 HL) led by 10 at 19-9, they maintained a double digit lead for the rest of the game.
By the time the dust settled at half time Butler led 36-20 by a balanced offense that featured eight different players scoring. They shot 46.2 percent (12-26) from the field including 6-16 from 3-point range and a near perfect 6-7 from the free throw line.
The second half was more of the same as the Bulldogs used balanced scoring and tough defense to prevent the Raiders from going on any kind of a run to cut the deficit.
Wright State’s Coach Brad Brownell stuck with the motion offense which his players at time have struggled to grasp.
“I told the kids I wasn’t going to bail them out and run a bunch of set plays or do a bunch of stuff to help them in the middle of the muck when we weren’t playing well. They were just going to have to keep playing. It was on them to figure out how to be better players,” said Brownell. “I am not going to stand over there and call 95 plays to make us look better and loose by 10 as opposed to 30 points.”
After out-rebounding UIC, one of the biggest teams in the Horizon League, Wright State (9-7 2-1 HL) was handled by Butler on the glass 32-23.
“I think ball movement is key to a lot of things and it is also key to rebounding, “was how Butler Coach Todd Lickliter explained the Bulldogs’ aggressiveness on the glass. “When you get people moving, you have a chance. Our guys made great effort too.”
Good ball movement also explained how the Bulldogs had seven guys who scored multiple baskets and as a team had 19 assists. They were led by A. J. Graves who scored 19 points. Pete Campbell came off the bench to make four 3-pointers for 12 points and Drew Streicher went 4-4 and scored 10 points.
Wright State had only one player in double figures and that was DeShaun Wood who scored 12 points, but took only eight shots.
*Ratings game…coming into today’s game Butler’s is ranked number four in both the RPI and Sagarin basketball ratings. Butler is also 13th in both the AP and ESPN/USA Today Division I basketball polls this week.
*Butler has a real live bulldog at the games in Hinkle Fieldhouse. He is on the court before the game during the introductions. The bulldog just came back into action five years ago. Butler used to have a live bulldog at the games back when Tony Hinkle was coaching, but after it took a dump on the court he banned it from Hinkle Fieldhouse.
*Wright State brought a large contingent of fans to the game. They numbered somewhere between 500-1000.
*A lot of the Wright State students wore t-shirts that said, “Beat Butler.” No word if they will be adding the word “by” as in “Beat By Butler.”
*Brad Brownell was somewhat responsible for Butler getting starting guard Mike Green. Brownell’s team at UNC-W faced him when he played for Towson State in the CAA. He thought he was a good player recommended that Butler take him as a transfer player.
*There was a scout from the Indiana Pacers in attendance looking at no one in particular. Although as the game went on I think he mostly watched Graves and Wood.
*Former Butler great Mike Marshall who ran the operations at Hinkle Fieldhouse for the last two years ran his last game at Hinkle today. He took the job as athletic director at Brebeuf High School here in Indiana.
*Butler leads the Wright State series 16-12, but Wright State has won six of the last eight games.
*Butler’s next game is Wednesday at UIC at 8 p.m.
*Wright State’s next game is Wednesday at home against Loyola at 7 p.m.
VISITORS: WRIGHT STATE 9-7 (2-1)
TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 7-21 33.3% 2nd Half: 8-19 42.1% Game: 37.5%
3-Pt. FG% 1st Half: 1-4 25.0% 2nd Half: 2-7 28.6% Game: 27.3%
F Throw % 1st Half: 5-10 50.0% 2nd Half: 4-7 57.1% Game: 52.9%
HOME TEAM: BUTLER 14-1 (3-0)
TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 12-26 46.2% 2nd Half: 11-23 47.8% Game: 46.9%
3-Pt. FG% 1st Half: 6-16 37.5% 2nd Half: 6-16 37.5% Game: 37.5%
F Throw % 1st Half: 6-7 85.7% 2nd Half: 9-10 90.0% Game: 88.2%
Score by Periods 1st 2nd Total
WRIGHT STATE.................. 20 22 - 42
BUTLER........................ 36 37 - 73