INDIANAPOLIS - In its final opportunity to shake off any preseason rust, the Butler men's basketball team knocked off intracity foe Indianapolis 63-47 Saturday night in an exhibition contest at Hinkle Fieldhouse. The Bulldogs were led by senior guard Rotnei Clarke and junior forward Khyle Marshall, who scored 18 and 14 points, respectively.
Marshall helped the Bulldogs get off to a quick start, scoring 12 of Butler's first 20 points. The Davie, Fla. scored all of his 14 points in the first half and finished with a game-high nine rebounds.
"I felt like there were moments last year where I could have done better," Marshall said. "I got in the gym and worked at it. I feel like a whole new player this year."
Holding a 20-13 advantage after 14 minutes of play, the Greyhounds battled back, igniting a 14-2 run to take a 27-22 lead.
The Bulldogs finished the half with a 7-0 run of their own, capped by a three-point play by sophomore guard Alex Barlow in the half's closing seconds, to take a 30-27 lead into the locker room.
In front of a crowd of 8,163, Butler came out firing in the second half. The Bulldogs used an early 14-2 run to take a 44-37 lead with 12:17 remaining in the game.
Clarke tallied 16 of his 18 points in the second half, as the Bulldogs outscored the Greyhounds 33-20 to cement the victory.
"Clarke doesn't crack under pressure," Indianapolis head coach Stan Gouard said following the game. "Any kind of daylight, he's going to knock it down. He started to get into a rhythm in the second half and that's when he started to make shots."
The Bulldogs outshot Indianapolis 38 percent to 33 percent, holding the Greyhounds to 6-of-28 shooting in the second half.
Following the win, Butler head coach Brad Stevens lauded Indianapolis' athleticism, noting how important this matchup was for the Bulldogs.
"It was the perfect team to have to play in an exhibition game," Stevens said. "They offered a completely contrasting style of play to Marian. We scheduled Indianapolis because we went to the A-10. Stan [Gouard] has always been aggressive with his coaching at Indianapolis—getting up and down the floor. We scheduled this game for Marquette, UMass, VCU—teams that will extend the floor."
Butler will kick off regular season play Saturday, Nov. 10 when it hosts Elon at 2 p.m. at Hinkle Fieldhouse.