The Butler men’s basketball team started off the Horizon League tournament with a 70-52 victory over Wright State at Hinkle Fieldhouse Tuesday night.
It was a tale of two halves for the Bulldogs (19-13), who headed to the locker room with a one point lead.
“I thought in the first 10 minutes we were just timid,” coach Brad Stevens said. “That’s part of playing your first tournament game.”
Butler came out in the second half and went on a 13-0 run behind the play of sophomore forward Khyle Marshall.
Marshall scored all nine of his points in the second half, including six during the run.
Junior center Andrew Smith tallied a career-high 25 points and seven rebounds for the Bulldogs.
“Ever since the Valpo game, we’ve been focusing on people doing their jobs,” Smith said. “If we can do that, we’re a tough team to beat.”
Senior guard Ronald Nored recorded nine points on the night, along with three rebounds and six assists.
Nored is two assists shy of breaking Butler basketball’s all-time assist record, which is held by Mike Green.
Freshman forward Roosevelt Jones added 11 points, and sophomore guard Chrishawn Hopkins contributed 10.
The starters combined for 64 of the team’s 70 points.
For the Raiders (13-19), sophomore forward Cole Darling paced the offense with 12 points, while junior guard Julius Mays added 11.
From here, the Bulldogs will face the No. 4 seed, Wisconsin-Milwaukee, in the quarterfinals of the league tournament.
The contest will take place on Friday at 8:30 p.m. at Valparaiso’s Athletics-Recreation Center.
Because the Crusaders won the Horizon League regular season title, the remainder of the tournament’s games will take place in Valparaiso for as long as the Crusaders stay alive in the tournament
The winner of that game will face Valparaiso on Mar. 3 in a game that will be televised on ESPNU.