A must-win Big East game vs. Villanova: What you need to know

DJ Davis matched his career high with 28 points against Villanova on Jan. 27. Photo by Elle Rotter

SARAH HOHMAN | SPORTS EDITOR | shohman@butler.edu 

Butler will start a two-game road stretch as they travel to Villanova on Feb. 20. The Dawgs are coming off of two-straight losses at home to No. 7 Marquette and No. 15 Creighton and have fallen to eighth in the Big East. 

The last matchup between the Dawgs and the Wildcats came down to two overtimes, and Butler did not even have a lead until 41 minutes. Butler came out on top 88-81 with a 28-point show by senior guard DJ Davis

Here’s what you need to know for Butler’s second matchup vs. Villanova. 

Who: Butler at Villanova 

When: Feb. 20, 6:30 p.m. 

Where: Finneran Pavilion 

How to watch/listen: FS1, WXNT 1430 AM 

Cleaning up the ball 

This may sound like a simple solution, but turnovers have been Butler’s achilles’ heel recently. The Dawgs have had double-digit turnovers in their last four games and went 1-3 in this stretch. Against tough Big East competition, you are just beating yourself if you can’t take care of the ball. 

These turnovers have given Butler less opportunities on offense, including getting to the free throw line. Butler’s three free throw attempts against Creighton on Feb. 17 were the fewest by the Bulldogs in a contest since attempting only two against Indiana on Dec. 15, 2018 in the Crossroads Classic. Davis is the top free throw shooter in the country and the Dawgs have to get him to the line more. 

Scouting report 

Since last facing Butler, the Wildcats have gone 3-2 with wins over Providence, Seton Hall and Georgetown, but losses to Marquette and Xavier. They sit at 7-7 in the Big East, while the Dawgs fall just behind at 7-8. Looking at standings, this is a significant game for both teams that will affect seeding in the Big East Tournament. 

In the last matchup, redshirt senior Eric Dixon put up 28 points for the Wildcats, and in their last five games, the forward is averaging 15.6 points per game. Senior guard TJ Bamba was just added to the Big East Weekly Honor Roll on Feb. 19 after putting up 14 points against Georgetown. 

This really feels like a must-win game in a stretch of very winnable matchups for Butler. The Dawgs need to get off to a hot start on this road trip and prove to everyone that they are still a force to be reckoned with this season. 


Related posts