Dec. 14, 2002
Junior Duane Lightfoot matched his career scoring high with 16 points and the Bulldogs used a stifling defensive effort to help lead Butler past Miami (Ohio), 59-42, at Millett Hall in Oxford, Ohio, on Saturday, Dec. 14. The victory was Butler's seventh in a row to open the 2002-03 season, while Miami lost its second straight game and fell to 3-5.
The game matched two of the top defensive teams in the Midwest, and it lived up to its billing. Butler entered the contest leading the Horizon League in team scoring defense, while Miami ranked second in the Mid-American Conference in team defense. It took two minutes for either team to score and nearly six minutes before the two teams combined for 10 points!
Butler finally solved the RedHawks pressure, man-to-man defense with crisp offensive execution that eventually resulted in assists on 16 of the Bulldogs' 22 field goals. The ring leaders of Butler's passing game were junior Mike Monserez, who finished with a game-high six assists, and senior Joel Cornette, who added a season-high five assists.
"We tried to get the ball in Mike's hands and Joel's hands and let them make plays," said Butler coach Todd Lickliter. "They have a tremendous knack for finding the open man."
Lightfoot was the recipient of several passes from Monserez and Cornette, and he slashed his way to a game-high 16 points in 29 minutes of action. The 6-5 forward hit seven of 10 shots in the game and tied with guard Brandon Miller for team rebounding honors with five.
Butler took control with a 9-0 scoring run midway through the first half. Lightfoot scored four points during the run, senior Darnell Archey had three and Cornette added a pair to give the Bulldogs a 13-4 advantage. The Bulldogs stretched their lead to a dozen, 28-16, on a three-point field goal by Archey just before the halftime buzzer.
Miami never got closer than five points in the second half, and the Bulldogs led by as many as 20 points late in the game.
Archey added 12 points to the Butler attack, hitting four of six three-point attempts. He boosted his career total for three-point field goals to 155 and took over the No. 5 spot on Butler's all-time list for three-pointers. Freshman Bruce Horan came off the bench and hit all three of his three-point field goal attempts and matched his career scoring high with nine points.
Forward Danny Horace led Miami, which lost for the first time at home, with 10 points.
The Bulldogs will take a brief break for final exams, before returning to action on Saturday, Dec. 21, with a 2 p.m., game against St. Louis at Hinkle Fieldhouse.