Butler Rolls Past Youngstown State, 71-55
INDIANAPOLIS, IND. -- Junior Andrew Smith scored a team-high 20 points and freshman Kameron Woods added his third career double-double to help lift Butler over Youngstown State, 71-55, at Hinkle Fieldhouse on Sunday. The win boosted the Bulldogs to 10-9 on the season and 4-3 in the Horizon League.
Smith scored 10 points in each half to compile his team-high total. He hit seven of 13 shots from the floor and was perfect on six free throw attempts in the game. He also pulled down six rebounds, including three offensive boards.
Woods came off the bench and pulled down four offensive rebounds in the first half and turned each into two points for the Bulldogs. He wound up scoring 10 points and grabbing 10 rebounds for the game.
"This is a good stat sheet when Andrew's got 13 field goal attempts. That's a good stat sheet for our team," said Butler head coach Brad Stevens after the game. "It's not going to happen every day, but today we were able to find him."
"And I thought Kam coming off the bench with those (offensive) rebounds set the tone for the game."
With Smith and Woods dominating inside, the Bulldogs were able to build as much as an 11-point lead in the first 20 minutes, before settling for a 34-27 margin at halftime.
The Penguins (9-8, 4-3 HL) only managed to get one point closer the rest of the game. After a dunk by Damian Eargle cut Butler's lead to 37-31, the Bulldogs went on a 15-3 run to take an 18-point advantage midway through the final period. Freshman Jackson Aldridge capped the run with back-to-back three-point field goals.
Butler stretched its lead to 20 points, 56-36, on a three-point field goal by sophomore Chrishawn Hopkins with 8:18 left, and then held off a late comeback attempt by the visitors.
"We only played about three bad minutes all game, and that's a really good thing moving forward," said Stevens "We have to stay on edge."
Youngstown State entered the game as the top three-point field goal shooting team in the league, and the Penguins lived up to that billing by hitting six of 12 long-range shots in the first half. But the visitors hit just two of 13 (.154) three-point field attempts in the second half. The Bulldogs counted by hitting five of nine (.556) long-range shots in the final period.
Aldridge joined Smith and Woods (right) in double-figures with 10 points, while senior Ronald Nored added seven points, a career-high nine rebounds and seven assists. The Bulldogs finished with a 38-25 rebounding advantage for the game.
Butler, now tied with Youngstown State for fourth place in the league standings, will begin a stretch of four consecutive road games at UIC on Thursday, Jan. 19.