November 8, 2008

Butler Races Past Oakland City, 91-52, In Exhibition Contest

Four players scored in double-figures and all 14 players cracked the scoring column to power Butler to a 91-52 victory over Oakland City in a men's basketball exhibition game at Hinkle Fieldhouse on Saturday (Nov. 8). The game wrapped up the preseason schedule for the Bulldogs.

Freshman Shelvin Mack hit a pair of three-pointers and sophomore Matt Howard added a pair of free throws and a slam dunk to spark Butler to a 10-2 lead in the first three minutes of the game. The Bulldogs never looked back.

A 12-0 run, featuring three-pointers by Mack and freshman Gordon Hayward gave Butler a 22-3 lead less than six minutes into the contest, and the Bulldogs stretched the margin to 32 points, 40-8, on a three-pointer by sophomore Grant Leiendecker with 7:58 left in the first half.

The Bulldogs led by as many as 36 points late in the first half and took a 56-22 lead to the locker room at halftime. Butler shot 61% from the field in the first half, including 50% (8-16) from beyond the three-point arc.

"We came out of the gate well and played well in the first half," said Butler head coach Brad Stevens. "I thought it was a great lesson in the second half when things are going well for you, do you continue to do that. We probably didn't play as well as we needed to, but exhibition games are for learning and I feel we've progressed the way we're supposed to."

Oakland City scored the first six points of the second half to cut the margin to 28, 56-28, but the Bulldogs responded with a 7-0 run to push the lead back above 30, where it remained. Butler's biggest lead came on the final tally of the game, a conventional three-point play by junior Alex Anglin.

Mack led all scorers with 16 points, while sophomore Shawn Vanzant added 13. Howard and junior Avery Jukes each scored 12 points. Freshman Ronald Nored led all players with six assists, while sophomore Zach Hahn added five assists. The Bulldogs had 24 assists on 31 baskets.

Eight different Butler players combined on 15 three-point field goals in the game, led by Mack and Vanzant with four apiece.

Craig Parks led Oakland City with 15 points, while Brandon Hopf and Chris Sandifar each added 10.

The Bulldogs will begin the regular season at Drake on Nov. 15. That game in Des Moines, Iowa, is slated for 7 p.m. (CT, 8 p.m. in Indianapolis). Butler's first home game will be against Ball State on Wednesday, Nov. 19, at 7 p.m.