MATTHEW VANTRYON | STAFF REPORTER
The Butler men’s basketball team finished it’s preseason on Saturday with a 93-68 win over DePauw University.
Sophomore guard Kellen Dunham provided much of the offense for the Bulldogs, netting a career-high 23 points and hitting three from behind the arc. Dunham said he denies feeling pressure to carry the offensive load this season, but wants to be available.
“I don’t think it relies all on me, but I definitely would like to bring that part of the game each and every game,” Dunham said.
Freshman guard Elijah Brown continued to impress, scoring 18 points in 22 minutes of action. The emergence of Brown as a potential threat has been a positive for the team. Brown has scored a combined 29 points in the team’s two exhibition contests, and said he is ready to start the season.
“These last two preseason games have been excellent for me, as far as being able to play in front of a crowd,” Brown said. “But as far as next Saturday, that’s when the real thing starts. I think I’ve had some good preparation for it. I definitely can’t wait.”
The Tigers fought hard in the opening half, not allowing Butler to pull away. Butler was able to capitalize on mistakes, scoring 11 points off of turnovers in the half and going into the locker room with a nine-point lead. The Bulldogs were able to get to the free throw line consistently, and hit 30 of their 39 attempts.
The team was able to create some separation in the second half, and put up more than 90 points for the second consecutive exhibition contest. The team shot nearly 53 percent from the field, and hit seven of 15 three-point attempts.
The team did struggle at times defensively, being outrebounded 32-31. Butler outrebounded 29 of 36 opponents last season.
Coach Brandon Miller said defense is an area he always emphasizes.
“There’s going to be a lot of games on the defensive end of the floor that we aren’t going to be 100 percent happy with,” Miller said. “That’s the standard that we have on that end of the floor—that’s Butler basketball.”
Miller said he is pleased with the team’s performance in the preseason and sees the team improving.
“Overall, there’s a lot of good things that happened in both exhibition games,” Miller said. “Why I’m happy right now is that our team continues to progress. We continue to get better.”
The team opens the regular season next Saturday night against Lamar. Tip-off is at 8 p.m. at Hinkle Fieldhouse.