INDIANAPOLIS, IND. -- Junior Shelvin Mack scored a game-high 20
points to lead Butler to an 83-54 victory over visiting Marian in
the season-opener for the Bulldogs at Hinkle Fieldhouse on
Saturday, Nov. 13. All 14 Butler players saw action in the
win and 12 cracked the scoring column.
The day began with Butler unveiling a banner commemorating its 2009-10 Final Four season. The game began with Marian displaying some early sharp-shooting to take a lead through the first four minutes. Marian’s Anthony Furlin hit a three-point field goal to give the visitors an early 3-0 advantage, and the Knights held that edge until Mack put the Bulldogs on top, 9-7, with a three-point field goal at 16:03.
Butler gradually stretched the margin to 14 points and took a 42-28 lead at halftime. Marian never got closer.
“I thought there were a lot of positives for a first game, but obviously we’re going to have to do some things better,” said Butler head coach Brad Stevens after the game. “The way we defended in the second half was pretty good, especially through the first 15 minutes. There’s lot’s to build on.”
The Bulldogs opened the final period with a 25-9 scoring run to take a 30-point lead. Mack sparked the run with seven points, while senior Shawn Vanzant added six. Butler’s reserves held the margin and stretched it to 32 points on three occasions.
Mack wound up hitting nine of 14 shots in the game, including six of 10 in the first 20 minutes. Sophomore Andrew Smith came off the bench with a career-high 10 points, while freshman Khyle Marshall had nine in his collegiate debut. Senior Matt Howard had a game-high seven rebounds to lead the Bulldogs to a 33-24 advantage on the boards.
Jordan Tucker led Marian with 11 points, while Chris Roberts added nine. John Lickliter, the son of former Butler head coach Todd Lickliter, scored six points in the contest.
Butler, facing a quick turnaround, will visit Louisville on Tuesday, Nov. 16, for the first game in the Cardinals’ new KFC Yum! Center. The game, which will be nationally-televised on ESPN, will start at 8 p.m.