Two weekends ago, the Butler men’s basketball team won two games on a road trip to Chicago. The squad hoped to do the same in Wisconsin last weekend.
That did not happen.
The Bulldogs (12-11, 6-5) lost at Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Green Bay over the weekend, dropping to just a game over .500 in the process.
Saturday night in Green Bay, Butler freshman forward Roosevelt Jones tied a career high with 16 points, but the Bulldogs’ defense could not contain the Phoenix (9-12, 5-6) in an 80-68 loss.
Butler had allowed 80 points just one other time this season, an 80-77 overtime loss to Evansville on Nov. 12.
Green Bay’s top performer was junior center Brennan Cougill, who finished with 21 points and eight rebounds.
The Bulldogs hung with the Phoenix for the first half and trailed 33-32 at the break.
The second half was a different story for Butler, as the Bulldogs started slow and could not topple Green Bay.
In addition to leading the team in points, Jones also recorded a team-high eight rebounds for the Bulldogs.
”[Jones] is really good,” Butler coach Brad Stevens said. “He’s a hard-nosed, competitive kid.”
Senior guard Ronald Nored was the only other starter in double figures for Butler, finishing with 13 points. He also had another perfect showing from the free throw line, draining all six of his attempts.
Nored said he tries to play hard, smart and focused basketball, which rubs off on his teammates.
”Ron has been a huge hand in the last four years, more than statistics show,” Stevens said.
The Bulldogs also received a combined 27 points off the bench from sophomore guard Chrishawn Hopkins, sophomore forward Erik Fromm, freshman guard Jackson Aldridge and freshman forward Kameron Woods.
In the end, those efforts were not enough to stop Green Bay, who received 19 points from sophomore center Alec Brown and 14 points from freshman guard Keifer Sykes in addition to the 21 points from Cougill.
The Bulldogs continued to struggle from beyond the arc, shooting 4 of 13, while the Phoenix made seven of their 14 3-point attempts.
On Thursday night, junior center Andrew Smith led the Bulldogs with 11 points in a 53-42 loss to Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
The Panthers (14-8, 7-3) were led by junior forward James Haarsma’s game-high 12 points and senior guard Ryan Allen’s nine.
Butler struggled to sink shots throughout the contest, shooting just 19.2 percent from the field in the second half and 27.6 percent for the game.
Beyond the arc, the Bulldogs made only one 3-point basket in 17 attempts.
Both scrappy and sloppy play were seen in the Horizon League matchup, as the teams totaled 27 turnovers and 34 fouls.
Butler received quality minutes from freshman Elliot Kampen, who finished with five points and the Bulldogs’ lone 3-point basket.
“It wasn’t enough to get the win, so I have to play harder,” Kampen said.
Butler will return to Hinkle Fieldhouse tomorrow night against the Wright State Raiders (11-12, 6-5) before squaring off with the Detroit Titans (12-11, 6-5) at Hinkle Saturday afternoon.