Men’s basketball: Team finishes preseason 2-0

The Butler men’s basketball team will begin its regular season Saturday against Elon at Hinkle Fieldhouse. The game is scheduled to tip off at 2 p.m.

The contest is one of the opening games of the Maui Invitational.

Elon went 9-9 in the Southern Conference last season and 15-16 overall, finishing second in the North Division of the conference.

The Bulldogs will then travel to Cincinnati on Tuesday to face Atlantic 10 rival Xavier in a 4 p.m. game that will be broadcast nationally during ESPN’s Tip-Off Marathon.

The game is considered a nonconference matchup due to a prior agreement the schools had before Butler joined the A-10.

Xavier will be missing its top scorer from last year’s Sweet Sixteen squad, Tu Holloway. The Musketeers will be without six players from last season and have been predicted to finish ninth in the A-10 preseason coaches’ poll as a result.

The Bulldogs won their exhibition game against the University of Indianapolis 63-47 Saturday.

Senior guard Rotnei Clarke led the team with 18 points and eight rebounds. Junior forward Khyle Marshall finished with 14 points and nine rebounds.

Butler was sloppy early, as the team committed 12 turnovers in the first half alone due to the stingy Greyhound defense.

Coach Brad Stevens said the style of play utilized by Indianapolis coach Stan Gouard will help the Bulldogs in conference play.

“We scheduled Indianapolis because we went to the A-10,” Stevens said. “Stan (Gouard) has always been aggressive in his coaching at Indianapolis, getting up and down the floor, getting into guys.

“They always have quick athletic guards. We scheduled this game for Marquette, UMass, VCU—teams that will extend the floor.”

Indianapolis led by five points with about two minutes remaining in the first half, scoring 12 points off Butler turnovers.

With the game tied at 27 and just seconds remaining before halftime, sophomore guard Alex Barlow stole the ball and drove nearly the length of the court for a layup at the buzzer.

Barlow was fouled on the play and made the free throw to complete the three-point play and give the Bulldogs a 30-27 lead going into the locker room.

After letting the lead slip away from them early in the second half, Butler went on a 14-2 run to pull ahead with about 12 minutes remaining in the game.

Clarke struggled in the first half, shooting only 12.5 percent from the field.

He was able to break his drought after halftime, scoring 15 of his 18 points in the second half and making all eight shots from the foul line. He shot 25 percent from behind the three-point line. little more aggressive,” Clarke said. “Obviously, shots weren’t really falling, so I was just trying to maybe get my groove at the line possibly and just get something going.”

Sophomore forward Kameron Woods and Marshall led the Bulldogs with nine rebounds each.

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