Bulldogs Close Homestand Against Local Foe
HOME CLOSING: Butler will close out its longest homestand of the season when it hosts IUPUI in a non-conference game on Wednesday, Dec. 5. The two Indianapolis foes, who are located just five miles apart, will meet at Hinkle Fieldhouse at 7 p.m. (ET) in a game that will be televised on WNDY-TV. The Bulldogs (5-2) have won the first two games of the current three-game home set, including a 67-53 decision over Ball State on Saturday (Dec. 1). That victory was Butler's fourth in the past five games, and it lifted the Bulldogs to 3-0 in Hinkle Fieldhouse this season. IUPUI will be facing Butler for just the fourth time and for the first time since January of 2000. The Jaguars (3-6) feature former Purdue player John Hart, who ranks among the scoring leaders in the Summit League with a 16.6 average. Following the IUPUI contest, Butler will close out the week with at game at Big Ten foe Northwestern on Saturday, Dec. 8.
Butler is 72-11 in Hinkle Fieldhouse under head coach Brad Stevens.
STATE RUN: IUPUI is the third of five opponents from Indiana that Butler will face prior to Christmas. The Bulldogs also will play top-ranked Indiana at the Close The Gap Crossroads Classic at BankersLife Fieldhouse on Saturday, Dec. 15, before hosting Evansville on Saturday, Dec. 22. Butler defeated Hanover and Ball State in its first two games against Indiana foes this season.
Butler is 22-7 against teams from Indiana under coach Brad Stevens.
LAST OUTING: Butler used a staunch defensive effort to come from behind in the second half and hand visiting Ball State a 67-53 setback. The two long-time foes played to a 33-33 tie in the first half, before Ball State grabbed a three-point lead early in the final period. That's when Butler's defense took over. The Bulldogs limited Ball State to just one field goal and just four total points over a nearly 14-minute stretch, while building a 19-point lead, 59-40. The Cardinals never got closer than 14 points the rest of the way. Butler limited Ball State to just seven field goals and 20 total points over the final 20 minutes of the contest. The Cardinals, who shot 50% in the opening period, connected on just 36.8% from the field in the second half, while committing 12 turnovers.
Ball State's 53 points were the fewest allowed by the Bulldogs this season.
IGNITION SWITCH: When Ball State grabbed a three-point lead early in the second half, Butler head coach Brad Stevens went to his bench and inserted sophomore Alex Barlow. The 5-11 guard immediately scored on a lay-up to cut Ball State's margin to one, and then he fueled a defensive effort that eventually lifted the Bulldogs to a 19-point advantage. Barlow, a walk-on player from Springboro, Ohio, wound up playing a season-high 19 minutes, and he finished with a career-high five points. He also added two rebounds, three assists and three steals, while aiding Butler's best second-half defensive effort this season.
PILFERED: Paced by sophomores Roosevelt Jones and Alex Barlow, Butler totaled a season-high ten steals against Ball State, while harassing the Cardinals into 19 turnovers. Jones and Barlow each had three steals in the win.
Butler out-scored Ball State, 27-8, on points off turnovers.
SCORING RUN: Butler guard Rotnei Clarke, who's played just seven games in a Butler uniform since transferring from Arkansas, posted his fifth consecutive double-figures scoring performance with a team-high 15 points in Butler's victory over Ball State. It was the fourth straight game that he had at least a piece of the scoring lead for Butler and the fifth time overall this season that he topped the Bulldogs. Clarke, who has six double-figures scoring performances this season, has averaged 19.6 points over Butler's past five games, including a season-high 27 points against Illinois in the championship game of the Maui Invitational.
Rotnei Clarke ranks second in the Atlantic 10 Conference in scoring (18.0 ppg).
300 HITTER: Senior Rotnei Clarke scored the first basket, a three-point field goal, in Butler's victory over Ball State just 43 seconds into the contest. The three-pointer was the 300th of his collegiate career! Clarke went on to hit two more three-pointers in the win, giving him at least three three-point field goals in six of Butler's seven games this season. The 6-0 guard leads the Atlantic 10 Conference in three-point field goals with 28 through Butler's first seven games.
Rotnei Clarke is tied for third in the NCAA Division I in three-point field goals (4.0 pg).
SUCCESS FACTOR: Junior forward Khyle Marshall was hampered by foul problems against Ball State and wound up playing just 19 minutes. He still finished with 10 points and six rebounds in his abbreviated stint. Butler improved to 5-0 this season when Marshall scores in double-figures. He is averaging 15.4 points and 7.4 rebounds in the Bulldogs' five wins, but just 7.5 points and 3.5 rebounds in Butler's two setbacks.
Khyle Marshall is averaging 14.3 points in Hinkle Fieldhouse this season.
BOARD ROOM: Butler continues to lead the Atlantic 10 Conference in rebounding margin (+7.7), despite finishing in a rebounding tie with Ball State, 36-36. The Bulldogs have had a rebounding advantage over their opponent in five of their first seven games this season.
FIELDHOUSE FACT: The Bulldogs, who are 3-0 in Hinkle Fieldhouse this year, have won at least 10 home games in each of the past 17 seasons. Butler was 13-6 in the Fieldhouse a year ago, after posting a 12-2 mark at home in 2010-11. The Bulldogs are 168-25 in Hinkle Fieldhouse since the start of the 1999-2000 season.
•Butler is receiving votes in both the Associated Press Top 25 and the USA Today Coaches Poll. The Bulldogs are 35th in the A.P. poll and 37th in the coaches' poll.
•Butler had a season-low five turnovers against Ball State, including just two in the first 20 minutes.
•The Bulldogs hit just four three-point field goals against Ball State and slipped into a tie for seventh in the Atlantic 10 Conference in three-point field goals per game (7.0).
•Butler is 55-6 under head coach Brad Stevens when hitting at least nine three-point field goals in a game.
•Senior Andrew Smith is the only current college basketball player who has played in two Division I national championship games.
•Andrew Smith has moved into ninth place on Butler's all-time list for FG% (.542).
•Andrew Smith played in his 100th career game in Butler's season-opener. Smith has started 75 of Butler's last 77 games, including both Final Four games in 2011.
•Andrew Smith is shooting 64.7% (11-17) from the field in Hinkle Fieldhouse this season.
•Senior Rotnei Clarke is one of 50 players named to the Atlanta Tipoff Club 2012-13 Naismith Early Season Watch List.
•Rotnei Clarke is one game shy of 100 games played for his collegiate career.
•Rotnei Clarke tied his career-high with five assists against Ball State.
•Rotnei Clarke's 27 points against Illinois in the championship game of the Maui Invitational were the most by a Butler player since the 2011 NCAA Tournament, when Shelvin Mack scored 27 points against Florida in the championship game of the Southeast Regional.
•Rotnei Clarke has averaged 3.1 three-pointers per game for his career.
•Rotnei Clarke has hit a three-point field goal in each of his last 19 collegiate games, dating back to his final season at Arkansas.
•Rotnei Clarke nailed six three-point field goals against Illinois at the Maui Invitational. It was the most by a Butler player since the third round of the 2011 NCAA Tournament when Shelvin Mack connected on seven three-pointers in a victory over Pittsburgh.
•Senior Chase Stigall is four three-point field goals shy of 100 for his career.
•Chase Stigall has played in 82 consecutive games for the Bulldogs.
•Forward Khyle Marshall is shooting 63.3% (19-30) from the field in Hinkle Fieldhouse this season.
•Khyle Marshall has shot 66% (33-50) from the field in Butler's five wins this year.
•Sophomore Roosevelt Jones leads the Bulldogs in assists (22) and steals (7). He had two assists and three steals against Ball State.
•Sophomore Kameron Woods came off the bench with seven points and three rebounds in 12 minutes against Ball State. He hit his first three-point field goal of the season.
•Freshman Kellen Dunham was given his first collegiate start in Butler's win over Marquette at the Maui Invitational. He has started Butler's last five games.
•Kellen Dunham leads the Atlantic 10 Conference and ranks sixth in the NCAA Division I in free throw shooting (.955).
•Kellen Dunham is a perfect 11-11 from the free throw line in Hinkle Fieldhouse.
•Head coach Brad Stevens has moved into third place on Butler's all-time list for coaching wins with 144 victories in his five-plus seasons. Butler Athletic Director Barry Collier is second on the all-time list with 196 wins, 1989-2000.
•Butler has won its last 12 games when holding its opponent under 60 points.