Senior Rotnei Clarke and junior Khyle Marshall each finished with 19 points to lead the Butler men’s basketball team to a 97-73 win over Hanover Tuesday night at Hinkle Fieldhouse.
After a championship loss to Illinois in the EASports’ Maui Invitational, the Butler men’s basketball team looked to bounce back against the Division III program.
The opening play was an alley-op from sophomore Roosevelt Jones to Marshall. The Bulldogs never looked back.
“Rose had a good pass in that opening play to Marshall,” Butler coach Brad Stevens said. “It really set the tone for the rest of the game.”
Butler (4-2) opened on a 15-2 run.
The team built a 17-point lead in the first half, before Hanover (3-1) attempted a comeback.
Hanover cut the lead under 10 when Jacob Steinhart made two 3-pointers to trim the margin to nine. Clarke’s two free throws later expanded Butler’s lead to 41-24, but Hanover’s 8-0 run trimmed the margin under 10 again.
Despite the visitor’s best efforts, Butler’s lead was never really threatened, due in part to Butler’s scoring balance.
All five starters finished in double-double figures.
In the first half, the Bulldog bench only contributed two points. In the second half, the bench combined for 22 points.
Hanover made 12 3s in 32 attempts.
Butler only attempted 18 3-point shots, making nine of them.
The focus for Butler was its inside game.
“That was more by their design,” Stevens said. “They were taking away the outside and forcing us to drive or pass to the post.”
Senior center Andrew Smith finished with 13 points and seven rebounds.
“It was really a credit to our guards,” Smith said. “They had some great passes and were getting us the ball.”
The Bulldogs finished shooting over 59 percent and out-rebounded Hanover 42-22.
The loss was Hanover’s first of the season.
The game was the first of a three-game home-stand for Butler. The second game is against Ball State on Saturday, starting at 2 p.m.