Jones nets 24 as #17 Butler wins 8th in a row
Just as he did against then-#1 ranked Indiana in mid-December, Roosevelt Jones took a great opportunity and ran with it for an entire game. He put his Bulldog teammates on his back and led them to a victory. Jones led all scorers with 24 points, 15 coming in the first half, en route to a 70-57 Butler Bulldog win over the Pennsylvania Quakers to ring in the new year on Wednesday, January 2.
The visiting Quakers from the Ivy League stayed at just a slight distance, making the Bulldogs work for the win, even though they were double-digit winners. With a team in Penn that came into the game with just two wins, it was assumed that Butler would dominate this game pretty handedly. That obviously wasn't the case.
Leading just 35-29 at halftime, the Bulldogs knew they had their work cut out for them in the final 20 minutes. This biggest thing that Pennsylvania can say they accomplished in their trip to Butler was that they were able to hold high-scoring guard Rotnei Clark in-check and well below his season average (18.1) with just six points in his 29 minutes of action.
Penn stayed close and trailed by just a 52-49 margin with just under nine left in the contest. The Bulldogs forced a chunk of the Quakers' 19 turnovers down the stretch to help propel them on an 18-8 run to close out visiting Pennsylvania (2-10) and win their eight game in a row, 70-57.
Butler found itself shooting an uncharacteristic 4-of-19 from three-point range and allowed Penn to knock down 8-of-15, which obviously kept the Quakers within striking distance throughout most of the game. The Bulldogs controlled the boards by outrebounding Pennsylvania 36-21, which helped Butler keep control of the game.
Pennsylvania spread out their scoring, but the Quakers were only able to get two in double-figures, Miles Cartwright with 15 and Tony Hicks 10.
The Bulldogs (11-2) got a trio into double-digit scoring, but with their offense so spread out, but really didn't matter. Jones had a game-high 24, Khyle Marshall with 14 and freshman Kellen Dunham added 10.
#17 Bulldogs roll to ninth straight with win over New Orleans
Whenever the Butler Bulldogs play an opponent that they're expected to blow out, they've tended to make it more of a challenge to win. The New Orleans Privateers gave Butler more of a game on Saturday, January 5 at Hinkle Fieldhouse than the 7,000-plus in attendance really hoped.
New Orleans made their trip to Indianapolis to face Butler with just three wins to their credit on the season.
The game started with neither squad shooting well at all. Very little scoring and a whole lot of turnovers provided fans with just a 9-9 tie with just 7:40 left until halftime.
A Kellen Dunham trey and Andrew Smith layup gave Butler 13-11 and 15-13 leads, respectively. Smith and Khyle Marshall combined for nine points, igniting a 9-3 Bulldog run to end the first half and give Butler a 24-18 lead at the break.
The Bulldogs opened the second half on a 14-7 run in the first seven minutes. Lovell Cook made the mistake of fouling Dunham on a three-point attempt, which he sank, and the freshman then completed the four-point play with a free throw, putting Butler up 38-25 with 12:59 left.
There were a few instances in the second half that the Privateers closed the gap to eight or nine points. But, that's the closest that New Orleans would get, as Butler would pull away enough for a second straight 13-point victory for their ninth consecutive win overall.
Lovell Cook led New Orleans (3-10) with 11 points and Traddarius McPherson added 10 for the Privateers.
Dunham led all scorers and the Butler Bulldogs (12-2) with a game-high 15 points, while Marshall had 13 and Roosevelt Jones finished with 11.
January schedule...and a pre-conference look at the Atlantic 10
The #14 ranked Butler Bulldogs enter the second week of January ready for their first Atlantic 10 matchups with a 12-2 overall record. Winning nine straight games, a newcomer to the A-10, Butler will look to make its impression right away.
They'll have quite the challenge, as they are one of nine with 10-plus wins before A-10 play starts, which will make things extremely exciting for the next couple months of the regular season.
Butler opens play on Wednesday, January 9 on the road at Saint Joseph's (8-4) at 7 p.m. Continuing their short road trip to start conference play, the Bulldogs come back through Ohio and play the Dayton Flyers (9-4) on Saturday, January 12 at 2 p.m. Hinkle Fieldhouse will get its first taste of Atlantic 10 basketball when the Richmond Spiders (10-5) visit next Wednesday, January 16 for a 7 p.m. tip. ESPN's College Gameday will set up shop at Hinkle on Saturday, January 19 for a 9 p.m. showdown with highly ranked Gonzaga (14-1). Butler takes a midweek trip to Philadelphia to meet up with the LaSalle Explorers (10-3) on Wednesday, January 23 at 7 p.m. The Temple Owls (10-2) will bring their high-speed attack to Indianapolis on Saturday, January 23 at 6 p.m. January's schedule doesn't really wind down, but escalates with a trip to St. Louis to face the Billikens (11-3) on Thursday, January 31 at 9 p.m.
How the Atlantic 10 looks prior to conference play...
Saint Louis 11-3
St. Joe's 8-4
St. Bonaventure 7-6
George Washington 6-7
Rhode Island 5-8