No. 15 Butler Races Past Loyola, 63-50
The Bulldogs (18-2, 7-2 Horizon League) had spent the past month contending with sluggish starts and close games. That wasn't the case this time.
Instead they took charge in the first half with a 15-2 run, and never allowed Loyola of Chicago (6-13, 2-7) to seriously challenge after the opening minutes.
J.R. Blount had 16 points for Loyola and Andy Polka added 13, but the Ramblers couldn't contend with the Bulldogs versatility. No other Loyola player scored more than five points.
Freshman Matt Howard dominated the middle for Butler with 15 points and 10 rebounds, and when he wasn't doing the damage, Green was scoring off nifty drives or Campbell was knocking down 3-pointers.
The combination turned a series that has traditionally been close into a lopsided contest.
Butler led 28-14 with 6:24 left in the first half, and never allowed the Ramblers to make a serious run.
Loyola scored seven of the final 10 points in the half to close to 32-23 and scored six straight points early in the second half to make it 34-29. But the Bulldogs answered with a 10-2 run that extended the lead to 44-31.
The Ramblers charged back with an 8-2 spurt to get within 48-41, but Drew Streicher hit a 3-pointer to give Butler a 51-41 lead with 6:47 to go and Loyola couldn't get closer than eight the rest of the way.
Butler has 30 of its last 32 home games.