A domination of Franklin College: Beyond the Box Score

Junior guard Ari Wiggins scored 11 points in the win against Franklin College. Photo by Makenna Frias.

SAWYER GOLDWEIN | SPORTS REPORTER | sgoldwein@butler.edu 

The Bulldogs tipped off their 2023-24 campaign by defeating Franklin College 108-41 in an exhibition game on Monday at Hinkle Fieldhouse. 

The matchup gave second-year head coach Austin Parkinson the opportunity to see his team in action for the first time this season. Senior guard Caroline Strande was the star of the night. Strande was active on the defensive end, logging four steals. She also paced Butler in scoring with 22 points. 

“Our offense really worked,” Strande said. “We ran pretty much whatever we wanted and got the shots we wanted.” 

Playing fast 

Getting out in transition and moving up and down the floor quickly was a focus for Butler, and will continue to be throughout the season. 

“Yeah, I’d say we have a bunch of fast players this year so getting the ball up and running — our point guards really do a good job of that,” Strande said. 

Coach Parkinson is pleased with his guards’ ability to speed the game up. 

“Point guard-wise I thought we did a nice job, but I still think we can get it out and go faster,” Parkinson said. “Last year was tough because we couldn’t heat up the ball, and now we can heat up the ball with [junior guard Ari Wiggins and first-year guard Karsyn Norman].” 

Putting consistent pressure on the ball worked, as the Bulldogs forced a whopping 31 Franklin turnovers. Graduate wing Rachel Kent led the team with six steals, while senior guard Kendall Wingler added four. The Dawgs were able to convert those steals into 49 points off turnovers

Butler did go through a rough defensive stretch in the second quarter, but they regrouped and bounced back. 

“At halftime they had 18 points in the second quarter,” Parkinson said. “We just said, hey, it doesn’t matter the opponent we’re playing, we’ve gotta develop an identity. You know, it says on our shirts, ‘defense lives here’. Last year, defense vacationed here. We’ve gotta get back, and you’ve gotta do that possession by possession.” 


Parkinson’s squad showcased their versatility throughout the game. They looked to get out and run early and often, but were willing and able to slow their offense down and operate from halfcourt sets. 

“We’ve got some size this year, and we’ve gotta find a way to get that size on the floor because it provides us length on defense,” Parkinson said. 

When Butler plays through their bigs during the regular season, it will likely be junior forward Sydney Jaynes shouldering the majority of that load. For their first game, however, first-year forward Cristen Carter made her presence felt, putting up 16 points

Parkinson has high hopes for Carter, but knows the Dawgs cannot lean on size alone when the regular season gets underway. 

“Cristen, she’s been very solid,” Parkinson said. “She played really well in our scrimmage. She’s learning this level — what that looks like. You know, tonight, obviously we had a huge size advantage. So, what does that look like when we’re going against 6’3” to 6’4” [players] — we’ll see.” 

Butler will continue to find out what their team looks like when they open their season on Nov. 6 on the road against Iowa State


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