Sophomore Jayden Taylor scored 17 points in the first half of the game. Photo by Lauren Gdowski.
MATTHEW CRANE | SPORTS CO-EDITOR | firstname.lastname@example.org
The Butler men’s basketball team lost for the second game in a row with a 68-62 defeat to the Georgetown Hoyas. The Bulldogs were led by sophomore guard Jayden Taylor who led all scorers with 21 points. Senior guard/forward Ali Ali and sophomore guard/forward Simas Lukosius each scored 11 points to round out the double-figure scoring effort. The other six Bulldogs combined to score 19 points off of 33% shooting from the field.
Georgetown trailed the majority of the game but was still able to pick up their first conference road win of the season. The Hoyas had a balanced scoring attack with every player that appeared in the game scoring a basket. They were led by sophomore Brandon Murray with 17 points. Senior Qudus Wahab added 14 points and eight rebounds off the bench. Junior Jay Heath contributed 12 points and seven rebounds.
Let’s go beyond the box score to recap the Dawgs’ poor showing in the loss to the Hoyas.
Ice-cold shooting in the second half
After shooting 46% from three in the first half, the Bulldogs shot 1-13 from distance in the final half. That poor shooting combined with an inability to get to the free-throw line caused the team to only score 25 points in 20 minutes. Coach Thad Matta explained that the team simply could not hit shots.
“We couldn’t put the ball in the basket to open things up,” Matta said. “I thought we had some phenomenal looks in the second half and just could never get that one to go for us. Obviously, they adjusted and said make somebody else score and we didn’t.”
After Jayden Taylor scored 17 points in the first half, the Hoyas made sure he was locked down for the rest of the game. Taylor shot 1-7 and only scored four points in the second. No teammate was able to step up the rest of the way and help offset the loss of Taylor’s scoring.
Regardless of how the entire team shot, it never looked like the Bulldogs were sharp or locked into the game. Matta mentioned a lack of execution that began in the first half and continued throughout the game.
“We didn’t have it today,” Matta said. “We did not have it today. Even at the beginning, we were sloppy. We had three on one’s, four on two’s and we weren’t converting. Our pace was not good, our activity on defense was not good. They got comfortable, they got some momentum and we allowed them to do that. There’s no question about that.”
Battle of the boards
With graduate center Manny Bates not playing, it was expected that the Bulldogs might struggle to rebound. The Bulldogs certainly faltered and did not help themselves at all by continually giving up offensive rebounds. Matta talked about the rebounding disparity and his disappointment with the team’s overabundance of fouls.
“We gave up 14 offensive rebounds,” Matta said. “We fouled 19 times … fouling is a sign of weakness. You are not playing hard enough when you are fouling.”
The Hoyas had 13 second-chance points and it could have been even more if the Hoyas had hit their open threes in the first half.
Butler will take on the DePaul Blue Demons at Wintrust Arena in Chicago, Illinois on Feb. 22. The Bulldogs won the first meeting 78-70 on Jan. 4. The Blue Demons are coming off an 82-68 loss to No. 16 Xavier.