MATTHEW VANTRYON | STAFF REPORTER
The Butler Bulldogs faced their first road test of the season Saturday, as they traveled to Ball State. Despite a lackluster offense, Butler was able to come away with a 59-58 win.
Butler had four players score in double figures. Senior forward Khyle Marshall led the team with 14 points. Freshman guard Elijah Brown contributed 13 points. Junior forward Kameron Woods had a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds. Junior guard Alex Barlow netted 10 points.
The Butler offense was stagnant in the first half, as the team managed to shoot 30 percent from the field, including 1-for-5 from beyond the arc.
Turnovers plagued both teams. Ball State finished the half on an 8-0 run to take a 30-23 lead into the half.
Marshall led the team with eight points in the first period, while sophomore guard Kellen Dunham added six.
The Bulldogs deficit grew to as many as 11 in the second half, but the team managed an offensive spark and fought its way back.
A 10-0 Butler run midway through the half tied the game as 42. Butler stretched the lead to six with less than four minutes to play, but the Cardinals would not go away.
Ball State trimmed the deficit to one with less than a minute to play.
Marshall went to the line with 12 seconds remaining and a chance to give Butler a 3-point lead. He missed two free throws and the Cardinals grabbed the rebound.
Ball State missed a layup that would have won them the game. Butler secured the ball as the final buzzer sounded.
The Bulldogs were able to capitalize off Ball State mistakes, as they scored 29 points off of 17 Cardinal miscues.
The Bulldogs struggled from the free-throw line, shooting 54 percent (12-22).
Their offensive struggles were not limited to the charity stripe.
The team shot 35 percent from the field, including 3-11 from deep. Noticeably absent was Dunham’s potent shooting.
Dunham scored eight points in the game, shooting 2-12 from the field.
Despite the adversity his team faced, Butler coach Brandon Miller said he was pleased with the team’s effort, especially in the second half.
“I thought our guys had great poise and toughness in the second half,” Miller said. “We fought and battled and stayed true to what we do, and we were able to hold on at the end of the game.”
Butler begins play in the Old Spice Classic on Thanksgiving Day. The Bulldogs will face Washington State at 2 p.m. Thursday. The game will be televised on ESPN2.