November 5, 2011

Butler Rolls Past Franklin In Exhibition Tilt

INDIANAPOLIS, IND. -- Junior Andrew Smith led four players in double-figures with 19 points in 17 minutes and Butler pulled away to a 91-53 victory over visiting Franklin in an exhibition game at Hinkle Fieldhouse on Saturday, Nov. 5.  The game was Butler's final preseason test.

Smith, who also led Butler with 19 points in a 53-50 loss to Northern State three days earlier, hit seven of nine shots in his brief stint, including one of two from beyond the three-point arc.  The 6-11 center was perfect on four free throw attempts, and he added three assists.

There was plenty of support for the Butler scoring leader.  Junior Chase Stigall (below left) hit four of six shots from three-point range and finished with 14 points, while freshman Andrew Smeathers came off the bench and hit three of five three-pointers and finished with 11 points.  Freshman guard Jackson Aldridge had 10 points in a reserve stint.

"The great thing about basketball is getting back on the floor a couple of days later," said Butler head coach Brad Stevens, referring to his team's setback in its first exhibition game.  "Now we've got a week to prepare for a really, really hard game.  I won't think much about tonight after tonight, other than we got a lot of guys quality minutes.  They were all fairly productive when they were in there, and it was a step in the right direction from Wednesday."

The Bulldogs, who shot just 33% from the field and 52% from the free throw line against Northern State, were on target from the outset against Franklin.  Butler jumped to a 9-0 lead behind Stigall (5 points) and Smith (4 points) and stretched that margin to 24-11 midway through the first half.

The lead grew to 20 points, 45-25, by halftime, and Butler led by 40 twice late in the contest.

Stevens used 12 different players in the game, and nine broke into the scoring column.  Freshman Kameron Woods saw the most extensive action, playing 29 minutes, and he finished with nine points, seven rebounds and a blocked shot.  Freshman Roosevelt Jones, who played 23 minutes, led the Bulldogs in rebounding with eight, and he added seven points, two assists, two steals and a blocked shot.

The Bulldogs shot .533 (32-60) from the field and .783 (18-23) from the free throw line for the game.  But the biggest improvement came from beyond the three-point arc.  After hitting just three of 18 three-point attempts against Northern State, the Bulldogs cashed nine of 17 long-range shots against Franklin.  

Butler out-rebounded the visiting Grizzlies, 35-26, and the Bulldogs finished with 22 assists on 32 baskets.  Senior Ronald Nored topped both teams with eight assists.

Guard Bailey Howard of Franklin led all scorers with 20 points.

The Bulldogs will open the 2011-12 campaign at Evansville on Saturday, Nov. 12.  That game is scheduled to start at 2 p.m. (CT, 3 p.m. in Indianapolis).