Butler Finishes Exhibition Stretch With Win Over Taylor

Sophomore Shelvin Mack scored 12 points and junior Matt Howard posted a double-double to lead Butler to a 75-44 victory over Taylor in an exhibition men’s basketball game at Hinkle Fieldhouse on Saturday (Nov. 7).  It was Butler second exhibition win in six day, following a 77-45 victory over DePauw on Nov. 1.

For the second straight game, Butler sprinted to a big early advantage.  The Bulldogs scored the first 14 points of the game, holding Taylor scoreless for nine and a half minutes.  Sophomore Gordon Hayward sparked the early run with a pair of fast-break dunks and a free throw, while senior Willie Veasley added three points.  Five different Bulldogs contributed to the first 14 points.

The Bulldogs stretched the margin to 38-18 at halftime and that was a close as the visitors would get for the remainder of the game.

“The game was what I thought it would be, not from a final score standpoint, but from how it would be played,” said Butler head coach Brad Stevens after the win.  “(I knew) we would have to be really tough deep into the possessions and keep playing, and that’s not always easy to do.  I thought our guys for the most part did a pretty good job with defending late into possessions.”

Butler limited Taylor to 34% shooting for the game, including 30% (6-20) in the first half.  The Bulldogs hit at a 50% (13-26) clip in the first 20 minutes, before setting for 46.4% for the game.

Mack hit six of 10 shots and scored his 12 points in 20 minutes of action.  Howard added 11 points and 10 rebounds in 23 minutes, while Hayward finished with 10 points in 19 minutes.  Stevens used 14 players in the game and 12 cracked the scoring column.

The Bulldogs, led by Howard, had a 41-24 advantage in rebounding, including 15 offensive boards.

“I’m happy with the percentage of offensive rebounds we got,” added Stevens.  “And I’d like to see us finish even more of those.  (Offensive rebounding) was an area we need to improve and we’ve emphasized it.”

Freshman Casey Coons, who attended Franklin Central High School in Indianapolis, led Taylor with 14 points, including four of 11 shooting from beyond the three-point arc.

The Bulldogs will begin regular season play at home against Davidson on Saturday, Nov. 14.  That home-opener is scheduled for 2 p.m. (ET) at Hinkle Fieldhouse.