Butler Rolls Past Florida Gulf Coast, 73-53

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Matt Howard had 14 points and eight rebounds and Butler used a fast start to beat Florida Gulf Coast 73-53 on Saturday.

The Bulldogs (9-1), coming off a 3-point loss to No. 17 Ohio State, dominated the Eagles (4-7) from the start.

Butler raced to an 8-0 lead, widened it to 43-26 at the half and took its biggest lead at 52-28 on a free throw by Howard early in the second half.

Gulf Coast closed within 60-43 on a layup by Kyle Marks with 8:46 remaining, but Shawn Vanzant hit two free throws and Garrett Butcher added a basket for Butler, and the Eagles came no closer than 18 points the rest of the game.

Willie Veasley had 13 points and Shelvin Mack added 12 for Butler.

The only player in double figures for Division II Fllordia Gulf Coast was Ben Vega, who had 14 points.