Milwaukee Overpowers Butler, 76-52

MILWAUKEE, WIS.. -- Forwards Anthony Hill and Tony Meier combined for 42 points and guard Kaylon Williams added a triple-double to help host Milwaukee cruise to a 76-52 victory over Butler at U. S. Cellular Arena on Monday, Jan. 3.  It was Butler’s biggest margin of defeat in more than five seasons.

Hill hit nine of 10 shots from the field and added four of six from the free throw line to finish with 22 points.  Meier was nearly as hot, hitting eight of 11 shots including four of seven from beyond the three-point arc and finishing with 20 points.  Williams chipped in with 10 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists.

“No brain surgery here.  We got pounded tonight,” said Butler head coach Brad Stevens, after the game.  “(Milwaukee’s) on a roll right now.  They played well in Detroit and they shot it in tonight.  We had something to do with that, but they had a lot more to do with it.”

Hill scored five points and Meier added two to give Milwaukee an early 7-0 lead, and the Panthers never looked back.  Milwaukee (8-8, 3-2 Horizon League) shot 67% from the field in the first 20 minutes and led 37-29 at halftime.  Hill and Meier each had 13 points.

That margin quickly stretched to 18 in the second half when the Panthers opened the final period with a 17-7 run.  Milwaukee took its biggest lead at 68-43 with 5:25 remaining, before settling for the 24-point win.  It was Butler’s biggest margin of defeat since the 2004-05 season, when UIC handed the Bulldogs a 73-49 setback.

Senior Matt Howard led the Bulldogs (10-5, 2-1 HL) with 14 points, 12 of which came in the first half.  The 6-8 forward was whistled for three quick fouls in the second half, and he wound up playing just 25 minutes in the game.  Junior Ronald Nored added 12 points, and senior Shawn Vanzant came off the bench with 11.

The Panthers wound up shooting 55% from the game, including 48% from beyond the three-point arc.  Milwaukee, which hit 16 three-pointers in an overtime victory at Detroit on Saturday (Jan. 1), finished with 11 three-point field goals against the Bulldogs.  Meier and guard Tone Boyle, who finished with 15 points, each hit four three-pointers, while Williams added three.

Butler shot just 39% (21-54) for the game and 33% (5-15) from the three-point arc.

The road doesn’t get easier for the Bulldogs.  Next up is league-leading Cleveland State, sporting a 15-1 record and a 4-0 Horizon League mark.  Butler will host the first-place Vikings on Friday, Jan. 7, at 7 p.m. (ET).