Men’s basketball: Bulldogs dominate Grizzlies

In the second game of its exhibition season, the Butler men’s basketball team hosted Franklin College in front of a crowd of 8,586 at Hinkle Fieldhouse.

In contrast to their first exhibition contest, the Bulldogs immediately took control of the game, leading from start to finish in an eventual 91-53 victory.

Junior center Andrew Smith controlled the opening tip for the Bulldogs and drew a foul under the basket during Butler’s first offensive series.

Junior guard Chase Stigall followed with four 3-point baskets, as the Bulldogs shot 53 percent from behind the arc in the contest.

Butler ended the first half with a 20-point lead, 45-25.

The Bulldogs kept their foot on the gas in the second half, posting an additional 46 points on 62 percent shooting.

The second half saw many of the newest Bulldogs get significant minutes.

Freshman guard Andrew Smeathers tallied 11 points, including three 3-point baskets.

Photos by Taylor Cox

Fellow freshman guard Jackson Aldridge added 10 points and six assists in a reserve role.

Kameron Woods and Roosevelt Jones, also freshmen, recorded nine and seven points, respectively.

“We got a lot of guys quality minutes,” coach Brad Stevens said. “They were all fairly productive when they were in there, and it was a step in the right direction.”

Sophomore guard Bailey Howard led Franklin with 20 points in 23 minutes.

“We’ve got about a week to prepare for a really, really hard game [at Evansville],” Stevens said.

In their first game of the 2011 exhibition season, the Bulldogs lost to Northern State, a Division II school from Aberdeen, S.D., in front of a crowd of 5,544 at Hinkle.

While it was Butler’s first game of the exhibition season, Northern State had already played two, against Northern Iowa and Purdue, losing both.

“For Butler, it was kind of like getting a bye in the first round of a tournament then having to play a team who’s played a few games,” said Northern State coach Paul Sather.

The Wolves shot 46 percent from the field en route to a 53-50 last-second victory over the Bulldogs.

Northern State senior guard Alex Thomas found himself with possession of the ball at the top of the key with six seconds left in the game.

Tied at 50, the Bulldogs elected not to foul a Northern State shooter, and Thomas made them pay by sinking a 3-pointer at the buzzer to give the Wolves the 53-50 victory.

The Bulldogs shot just 25 percent from the field in the first half. Despite shooting an improved 43 percent from the field in the second half, Butler could not pull out the win.

Northern State was a model of consistency between the two halves, shooting 43 percent from the field in the second half and 46 percent for the game.

“We all hate to lose,” Stevens said. “We have a lot of work to do, and we have a lot of time to do it. We’ve got to be a lot better in almost every area.”

Smith led all scorers with 19 points and eight rebounds in 30 minutes of play.

Sophomore forward Khyle Marshall added 14 points and four rebounds for Butler, while senior guard Ronald Nored logged a game-high 36 minutes and tallied six assists.

Junior forward Collin Pryor paced Northern State with 18 points.

The men will start regular season play Saturday, Nov. 12 at Evansville.

The Purple Aces beat the Bulldogs at Hinkle last season, 71-68 in overtime.