First-year guard Finley Bizjack scored six points and contributed five assists off the bench on Nov. 10 at Hinkle. Photo by Jonathan Wang.
SARAH HOHMAN | SPORTS EDITOR | email@example.com
The men’s basketball team took a commanding 91-56 victory against Southeast Missouri State at Hinkle Fieldhouse on Nov. 10.
The Dawgs are now 2-0 to start the season, with two victories of marginal sizes. Butler has shown a lot of toughness and skill in just two games, and the team has shown overall improvement each game.
Starting senior point guard Posh Alexander was the team’s leading scorer with 15 on the night. He added two assists and two steals. He also scored his 1,000 collegiate point. The other starters had strong performances with junior guard Pierre Brooks, senior forward Jahmyl Telfort and senior guard DJ Davis scoring 14, 12 and 11 points, respectively.
The bench got plenty of minutes on the night and definitely showed improvement from last game. First-year forward/center Boden Kapke led the bench with 11 points and six rebounds. First-year guard Finley Bizjack followed with six points and five assists. The young guard has looked quick towards the basket and is definitely someone who might gain more playing time throughout the season.
Early start on offense leads to success
The starting offense took full control early in the game as they put Southeast Missouri State (SEMO) into a hole they could never get close to digging out of. Butler dominated in the paint in the first half scoring 22 compared to SEMO’s four points. The defense let up a bit in the second half, as SEMO outscored Butler in the paint 18-14. Senior center Andre Screen emphasized what he focuses on during a thirty-point game like this one.
“It’s possession by possession,” Screen said. “[We have to focus on] our principles — our defensive principles, our offensive principles — and getting into our flow … I think for me it’s breaking it down play-by-play, possession-by-possession.”
An area the Dawgs still need to improve on is their three point shots. Butler only shot 36% from three compared to 48.3% from the field. This has consistently been an issue for the Bulldogs through exhibition games and the first two regular season games. The shots are there, so hopefully they begin to fall as this offense continues to get minutes.
“A sign of a good team is a team that can learn from a win,” Matta said. “We can take a look at it and say ‘here’s the things we need to get better at.’”
What’s going on with the bigs?
This is the big question for this team at the moment. Jalen Thomas, Andre Screen and Boden Kapke all got about even time at the five. After a game against Eastern Michigan where rebounding and aggression down low was an issue, it seems that Matta wants to give these three guys a chance to prove what they got.
Senior Thomas looked more aggressive on the boards in this matchup versus the last, but he got less playing time. He played 13:31, while first-year Kapke played 13:39. Kapke more than doubled his minutes from the last game.
“Everytime I go in, I’m just trying to work my butt off, work the hardest,” Kapke said. “[I just want to] impact this team in a positive way.”
There is no doubt that opponents are getting way too many second chances against the Bulldogs and this needs to be a priority going into the tougher competition coming up.
The next test for this Butler team will be against East Tennessee State on Monday, Nov. 13 at Hinkle to complete this three game home stretch.