Butler Rolls Over Detroit, 87-64
DETROIT, MICH. -- Senior Matt Howard led five Butler players in double-figures with 17 points and the Bulldogs pulled away to an 87-64 victory over Detroit in a first place showdown at Calihan Hall on Friday, Jan. 14. The 23-point win left the Bulldogs tied with Valparaiso for the top spot in the league.
Howard nailed a career-best five three-point field goals and added a pair of free throws for his team-high total. He scored nine points in the first half, while helping the Bulldogs build a commanding, 42-20, halftime lead.
"I was getting some open shots," said Howard after the game. "We were running some spread on-balls and Shelvin (Mack) and our other guards really did a great job of finding me, and I just wanted to step in and let it go."
Howard wasn't alone in letting it go and finding the net. The Bulldogs hit 10 of 17 (.588) three-point field goal attempts and shot 57% overall for the game. Butler hit 13 of 21 (.618) shots after intermission!
Freshman Khyle Marshall came off the bench with a career-high 16 points, sophomore Andrew Smith added 15, senior Shawn Vanzant had 14 and Mack finished with 10. Junior Ronald Nored scored just six points, but he led all players with seven assists.
The Bulldogs (13-5, 5-1 Horizon League) pulled away with a 16-2 scoring run midway through the first half. Smith broke a 12-12 tie with six straight points to put Butler on top for good. A basket by Detroit's Chris Blake cut the margin to 18-14, but the Bulldogs responded with 10 unanswered points and maintained a double-digits lead for the rest of the game.
Butler led by as many as 30 points in the second half, before handing the Titans their biggest margin of defeat this season.
The Titans (10-8, 4-2 HL), who played without starting center Eli Holman (one-game suspension for fighting), were led by Chase Simon with 19 points and Blake with 15.
Butler will wrap up its two-game road trip on Sunday evening at Wright State. That game at the Nutter Center is scheduled for a 7 p.m. (ET) tip.