Dawgs fight off Wildcats: Beyond the Box Score

Caroline Strande led the Bulldogs in scoring and rebounds against Villanova. Photo courtesy of Butler Athletics.

SAWYER GOLDWEIN | STAFF REPORTER | sgoldwein@butler.edu 

The Bulldogs were playing with newfound intensity in their 55–52 win at Villanova on Feb. 17. Butler has seemingly turned over a new leaf in the month of February, giving No. 20 Creighton all they could handle, before rattling off three straight wins. 

First the Dawgs defended their home court with a 64-59 win over St. John’s. Then Butler marched into Providence and grabbed a 55-48 victory. Lastly, the Bulldogs made back-to-back road triumphs by taking down Villanova. 

The streak has moved Butler within striking distance of a .500 record on the season, at 12-13. The recent success also has the Dawgs up from 10th to ninth place in the Big East

Senior guard Caroline Strande led the Bulldogs in both scoring and rebounding against Villanova. She scored 19 points and added nine rebounds. The only other player who scored in double figures for Butler was junior forward Sydney Jaynes, who notched 12 points. 

Paint persistence 

Butler utilized an inside-out approach on offense for the majority of the game, looking to score in the paint, and kicking out to open shooters if needed. It wasn’t always smooth sailing in the lane for the Bulldogs, but they continued to pound the ball inside, and it paid off. 

The Dawgs outscored the Wildcats 28-20 in the paint, despite Villanova’s best efforts on the defensive end. The ‘Cats rejected 11 Butler shots, while the Dawgs only turned away two Villanova offerings. 

Butler’s willingness to play inside and embrace some of the physicality that comes with playing in the Big East is a welcome change — one that may be indicative of significant growth by a young Bulldog team. 

Up next 

Butler will have a prime opportunity to extend their win streak when Xavier travels to Hinkle Fieldhouse on Feb. 21. The Musketeers are 1-21 on the season, including 0-13 in conference play. The Bulldogs took home a 90-57 road win when the two teams met earlier this season.


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