Butler beats Manchester by largest margin in modern era

DSC_0375MATTHEW VANTRYON | STAFF REPORTER

Butler showed no signs of fatigue as the Bulldogs played their second game in three days versus Division III Manchester Monday night. The Bulldogs (7-2) dominated from the start, and coasted to a 100-41 win.

Butler had four players in double-figure scoring. Sophomore guard Kellen Dunham led the way with 15 points, while senior forward Khyle Marshall had 14. Freshman guard Rene Castro and junior forward Kameron Woods contributed 12 and 11 points, respectively.

Butler had one of its best offensive nights of the season, shooting 63 percent from the floor and 52 percent from beyond the arc. Meanwhile, they held Manchester to 26 percent field goal shooting.

Butler scored at will in the first half and forced Manchester into turnovers. The Bulldogs scored 22 points off 13 Manchester miscues in the opening period, and forced 17 in the contest. Butler finished the half on an 11-0 to take a 48-24 lead into the locker room.

A 12-0 Butler run to begin the second half cemented their lead even further. Butler went on a 23-0 from the end of the first half to just under four minutes into the second half.

The visiting Spartans (1-8) struggled in the second half, shooting just 14 percent. Butler’s lead stretched to as many as 61 with just over a minute to play.

Freshman guard Michael Volovic hit both ends of a one-and-one with 1:19 left to stretch Butler’s point total into triple digits.

Butler coach Brandon Miller said the scoreboard did not dictate the way he coached his players.

“From the start of the game to the end of the game, we’re coaching what we normally coach in practice, we’re coaching habits that we’re trying to build on both ends of the floor, we’re trying to do the right thing on every possession more times than we did in the previous game and more than we did at the beginning of the year,” Miller said. “That’s how we coached tonight and that’s how we played tonight, and I thought we stayed true to this game more than any other.”

Miller said he was pleased with his team’s ability to put together a strong effort for 40 minutes.

“I thought our guys played Butler basketball from start to finish, especially when we settled into the game,” Miller said. “We talked about playing to the standard and playing the way we wanted to play from the start of the game to the end of the game. Our guys took pride in that and we did that.”

Butler excelled at the free throw line, shooting 86 percent.

Butler’s bench had an opportunity to showcase its abilities in the contest, scoring 48 points.

“It was good to see a lot of different guys play,” Miller said. “We saw a lot of different combinations in terms of guys playing together. When you can do that when the lights are on and the officials are blowing whistles, it’s a little bit different than practice.”

Butler’s 59-point win was its largest margin of victory in the modern era. The Bulldogs had previously defeated Indiana University South Bend by 54 in 2008.

Butler next faces Purdue in the Crossroads Classic at Bankers Life Fieldhouse Saturday. The game will follow a matchup between Indiana University and Notre Dame. Tip-off is set for 6 p.m.

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