INDIANAPOLIS, IND. -- All five starters scored in double figures and a hot-shooting Butler team pulled away to a 97-73 victory over visiting Hanover in a non-conference game at Hinkle Fieldhouse on Tuesday, Nov. 27. The contest was the first of a three-game homestand for the Bulldogs.
Butler shot a sizzling 61.5% (16-26) in the first half, while building a 45-35 advantage. The Bulldogs then put things out of reach with 57.6% (19-33) shooting in the final 20 minutes. The 97 points were the most by the Bulldogs since a 98-53 victory over Oakland City in the seventh game of last season.
"I thought we had moments where we really played well and moments where we didn't," said Butler head coach Brad Stevens after the game. "But I thought the whole time we played pretty well offensively."
The Bulldogs (4-2) looked like they might put things away in the opening minutes. With senior Andrew Smith scoring four points and junior Khyle Marshall, sophomore Roosevelt Jones and freshman Kellen Dunham adding two each, Butler jumped to a 10-0 lead less than four minutes into the game.
But the visiting Panthers (3-1) played on even terms for the final 16:30 of the opening period and trailed by just 10 points at halftime. That margin was reduced to nine points, 47-38, on a three-point field goal by Hanover's Kyle James 17 seconds into the final period, but the Bulldogs responded with a 19-7 run to push the lead to 21 points.
Hanover never got the margin under 20 points the rest of the game.
Marshall and senior Rotnei Clark, who was five of six from three-point range, led Butler's scoring parade with 19 points apiece, while Smith added 13. Dunham finished with 12 and Jones had 10. It was the first time since 2005 that all five Butler starters scored in double-figures in the same game.
The Bulldogs shot a season-best 59.3% for the game, including a season-high 50% from beyond the three-point arc.
Butler finished with a commanding 42-22 advantage in rebounds, and the Bulldogs posted a season-high nine assists. Jones led all players with eight rebounds, while Smith added seven. Jones, Smith, Clarke, Dunham and sophomore Jackson Aldridge each had three assists for the Bulldogs.
Ryan Nowicki and Michael Van Kleunen paced Hanover with 15 points apiece.
The Bulldogs will continue their homestand with a game against Ball State on Saturday, Dec. 1, at 2 p.m. (ET). Ball State defeated Butler, 58-55, in Muncie a year ago.