December 9, 2011

Bulldogs Visit Streaking Ball State

Butler at Ball State
Saturday, December 10, 2 p.m. (ET)
Worthen Arena - Muncie, Ind.
Television:  HTSN 6.2, Comcast Indianapolis (Ch. 420), Brighthouse Indianapolis (Ch. 164)
Game Notes | Live Stats | Audio

HOLIDAY TRAVEL:  Butler, looking to snap a two-game skid, will begin a stretch of four consecutive games away from home when it visits Ball State for a non-league game on Saturday, Dec. 10.  The two central Indiana foes will square off at 2 p.m. (ET) at Ball State’s Worthen Arena, and the game will be televised in Indianapolis on Hometown Sports.  The Bulldogs (4-5) are trying to rebound from a 73-61 loss to #8 Xavier on Wednesday (Dec. 7).  That loss was Butler’s second to a “Top 10” ranked team already this season, following an earlier defeat by #7 Louisville.  And the Bulldogs are coming off back-to-back home losses for the first time since 2006-07.  Ball State’s fortunes have headed in the opposite direction.  After dropping the first two games of the season, the Cardinals have won five consecutive contests by an average of 19.4 points, including three straight at Worthen Arena.  The Cardinals defeated Southern Illinois-Edwardsville, 76-55, on Tuesday (Dec. 6) in their last outing.   Following the Ball State game, the Bulldogs will have a week off for final exams before playing Big Ten foe Purdue in the Close the Gap Crossroads Classic at Conseco Fieldhouse on Dec. 17.                                 

Butler and Ball State will be meeting for the 62nd straight year.

CHALLENGING STRETCH:  Butler’s current five-game, pre-Christmas schedule includes four teams that are either nationally-ranked or receiving votes in the national polls.  The Bulldogs, coming off a game with #8 Xavier, will face 5-2 Ball State (Dec. 10), 8-2 Purdue (RV, Dec 17), No. 23 Gonzaga (Dec. 20), and 8-1 Stanford (RV, Dec. 22).  Butler has already played No. 7 Louisville and unbeaten Indiana (RV).

Butler’s next four opponents boast a combined 26-6 record.  

HOME VISIT:  Butler has three players on its roster from the Muncie area.  Brothers Emerson and Elliott Kampen are from Muncie and both attended Yorktown High School.  Emerson, a junior, has played in seven games this season, while Elliott, in his first season with the Bulldogs after transferring from Indiana, has seen action in two contests.  And junior Chase Stigall is from nearby New Castle.  Stigall, who’s played in all nine games, is Butler’s third-leading scorer (9.6), and he leads the Bulldogs in three-point field goals (21).
 
RUNNING SCORE:  In a game that featured several big scoring runs, nationally-ranked Xavier had the final decisive one and remained unbeaten with a 12-point victory over the Bulldogs.  The eighth-ranked Musketeers used a 17-0 scoring run in the first half to grab a commanding 21-6 advantage, and the visitors increased their lead to 16 points, 39-23, at halftime.  Butler answered with a 16-2 run in the first six minutes of the second half to trim Xavier’s advantage to four, 43-39, but the Musketeers responded by scoring 13 of the game’s next 17 points.  The visitors then used a 10-0 run in the final eight minutes to turn a 58-50 advantage into their biggest lead of the game.  Butler held Xavier without a field goal for the final five-and-a-half minutes of the game, but the Musketeers hit five of six free throw attempts down the stretch and 18 of 19 charity shots over the final 20 minutes.       

Butler has been out-scored at the free throw line, 124-78, in its five losses.

FIRST DOUBLE:  Butler freshman Roosevelt Jones (right) recorded the first double-double of his collegiate career to pace the Bulldogs against Xavier.  And he did it while sitting out the final 7:45 of the game with leg cramps.  Jones, a 6-4 guard-forward from O’Fallon, Ill., shared the team scoring lead with 10 points against the Musketeers, and he led the Bulldogs with a career-high 11 rebounds in the game.  Jones helped spark Butler’s comeback with six points in the Bulldogs early second half run.  But he went to the floor after grabbing a rebound with just under eight minutes remaining and the Bulldogs trailing, 58-50.  He didn’t return for the remainder of the game.  Jones is expected to play at Ball State.

Roosevelt Jones has averaged 8.7 points and 7.7 rebounds in three games as a Butler starter.

BOARD WORK:  Led by the efforts of freshmen Roosevelt Jones and Kameron Woods, the Bulldogs out-rebounded Xavier, the top rebounding team in the Atlantic 10.  The Musketeers entered the game with a +7.8 rebounding margin over their first six opponents, but the Bulldogs wound up winning the rebound battle, 39-38.  Jones led all players in the game with 11 rebounds, while Woods added eight.

HELPING HAND:  Ronald Nored led the Bulldogs in assists for the eighth straight game and moved closer to the No. 5 spot on Butler’s all-time assist chart with a game-high five assists against Xavier.  It was the seventh time this season that the 6-0 guard recorded at least five assists in a game. Nored currently stands sixth on Butler’s all-time list with 352 career assists, five assists shy of former teammate Shelvin Mack (2008-11) in the No. 5 spot on the career list.

Butler All-Time Assist Chart
    540    Thomas Jackson, 1998-2002
    471    Tim Bowen, 1989-93
    457    Jeff Rogers, 1994-98
    411    Darrin Fitzgerald, 1983-87
    357    Shelvin Mack, 2008-11
    352    Ronald Nored, 2008-
    323    Avery Sheets, 2002-06
    316    Mike Green, 2006-08
    316    A. J. Graves, 2004-08
    310    Mike Monserez, 2001-04

Ronald Nored ranks second in the Horizon League in assists (5.3).   

STEAL TOWN:  Ronald Nored, who had a team-high two steals against Xavier on Wednesday, enters the Ball State game with 166 career thefts.  Butler’s all-time record for steals in 207, set by Thomas Jackson, 1998-2002.
 
INCREASED PRODUCTION:  Junior Chase Stigall came off the bench and shared Butler’s scoring lead with 10 points in 29 minutes against Xavier.  It was the first time in his collegiate career that the 6-3 guard topped the Bulldogs in scoring.  Stigall hit Butler’s only two three-point field goals in the game to help fuel the Bulldogs’ 16-2 scoring run early in the second half.  The New Castle Chrysler product has averaged 10.8 points over Butler’s last five games, and he’s scored in double-figures in five of Butler’s last seven outings.

Chase Stigall ranks second in the Horizon League in three-point field goals (2.3).

STARTING BLOCKS:  Freshman Kameron Woods made his third consecutive start for the Bulldogs against Xavier, and he wound up posting nine points and eight rebounds against the nationally-ranked Musketeers.  In three games since joining Butler’s starting lineup, the 6-8 forward has nearly averaged a double-double with 9.7 points and 10.0 rebounds.  He posted back-to-back games with 10 points and 11 rebounds against Oakland City and Valparaiso and became the first Butler freshman with consecutive double-doubles since current Utah Jazz forward Gordon Hayward accomplished the feat in 2008-09.

BULLDOG BITS:

•Butler has had five different players lead the team in scoring and two other players share the team lead in scoring in the first nine games this season.

•Senior Ronald Nored is closing in on his 100th career start.  Nored enters the Ball State game with 98 career starting assignments.

•Ronald Nored leads the Horizon League in assist/turnover ratio (1.9).

•Ronald Nored ranks second in the Horizon League in steals (2.8).  Nored has had three or more steals in six of Butler’s nine games this season.

•Senior co-captain Garrett Butcher posted nine points against Ball State in his second collegiate game in 2008-09, and that still stands as his career-high.  He later matched that total against UIC.  Butcher had seven points and four rebounds in 11 minutes against the Cardinals last year.

•Junior Andrew Smith, who had five rebounds against Xavier, ranks seventh in the Horizon League in rebounding (6.6).  He’s eighth in the league in offensive rebounds (2.4).

•Andrew Smith came off the bench with seven points and six rebounds in 18 minutes against Ball State a year ago.

•Junior Chase Stigall matched his career-high with six rebounds in his reserve stint against Xavier.  Stigall also pulled down six rebounds against Utah at the 2010 Diamond Head Classic, against Cleveland State in the semifinals of the 2011 Horizon League Championship and at Evansville earlier this season.

•Sophomore Khyle Marshall made his first appearance in Butler’s starting lineup in last year’s game against Ball State.  The 6-6 forward finished with six points and three rebounds in that game.

•Sophomore Chrishawn Hopkins has averaged 20.5 points in Butler’s two road contests this season.  The 6-1 guard scored a career-high 22 points at Evansville and then tallied 19 points against unbeaten Indiana in Bloomington.

•Chrishawn Hopkins is tied for third in the Horizon League in free throw shooting (.840).  He had a streak of 16 consecutive free throws made snapped with a miss against Valparaiso.

•Sophomore Erik Fromm hit his first two collegiate three-point field goals in last year’s game against Ball State.

•Freshman Jackson Aldridge has moved into sixth place in the Horizon League in free throw shooting (.792).  Aldridge hit five of six free throw attempts against Xavier.