INDIANAPOLIS – When you get out-shot and out-rebounded it is a pretty safe bet that that you were on the losing end of a basketball game. Unless you are the Butler Bulldogs and can force a bunch of turnovers and make a mountain of foul shots.
Today Valparaiso learned it takes more than shooting and rebounding to win on the road as the Bulldogs forced a bunch of turnovers and made a ton of foul shots as Valpo lost to Butler 73-65.
For the Crusaders it was committing 16 turnovers and Butler making 28-33 (84.8 percent) foul shots that denied Valparaiso (11-4, 2-1HL) a 3-0 start in the Horizon League.
It was not a pretty game by either team, but Valpo started off pretty well. In the first half the Crusaders jumped out to a 4-0 lead after Shawn Huff made two free throws and Jake Diebler made a layup.
Playing at the speed of a couple of Post Office workers Valpo pulled ahead by nine at 15-6 at the 12:39 mark.
Finally at the 1:30 mark Butler (13-1, 2-1HL) took their first lead of the game on a 3-pointer by Mike Green to make it 31-29.
Just 24 seconds later Valparaiso’s Jarryd Loyd made a layup to tie the game at 31-31 and that was how it ended going into the locker rooms at halftime.
In the second half after scoring just seven points in the first half for Butler Mike Green turned it on scoring 17 points on four baskets and going 11-14 from the foul line to help put the game away for the Bulldogs.
Butler coach Brad Steven’s thought that not only did Green lead the team in scoring but he led then by coming back strong in the second half after a shaky first half performance.
“It was a mature performance from Mike (Green). It didn’t start off great. When Mike starts off like that but then picks it up for himself, that shows the younger guys that it is okay,” explained Stevens. “Mike’s value goes far beyond making baskets and making assists. He is leading guys all the time and his resiliency was why we were able to win today.”
Valparaiso’s coach Homer Drew pointed to Green as the dagger that put his team under. “Green did a really good job in breaking us down and creating things for himself and his teammates,” said Drew.
The Crusaders took a brief three point lead at 36-33 at the 16:34 mark on a 3-pointer by Brandon McPherson. A layup by Butler’s Matt Howard cut the Crusader lead to one at 36-44 and then a 3-pointer by Green put the Bulldogs up for good at 38-36 with 15:06 left in the game.
Butler got the lead up to 11 points on a free throw by A. J. Graves after being fouled by Loyd to make it 64-53 with 2:12 left.
Valpo worked it down to a five point deficit on a 3-pointer by Diebler and a 3-pointer by Loyd but that was as close they got.
Loyd led Valpo with 15 points.
-Butler leads the Horizon League in 3-point field goals with 9.92 and Valparaiso is second at 9.77.
-Butler leads the all-time series 61-32 including 39-8 at Hinkle Fieldhouse.
-Butler’s next game is at Loyola on Monday at 8 p.m. Eastern time.
-Valpo’s next game is Thursday at home against Milwaukee at 8:05 p.m. Eastern time