Jan. 28, 2006
Senior Brandon Polk scored a game-high 19 points and sophomore A. J. Graves added 17 to lead Butler past Wright State, 70-62, in a Horizon League game at Hinkle Fieldhouse on Saturday afternoon (Jan. 28). The win was Butler's second straight and lifted the Bulldogs to 11-8 on the year and 4-3 in league play. Wright State fell to 8-10 overall and 4-4 in league action.
Polk scored 11 of his 19 points in the first half, while helping Butler to a 34-22 halftime lead. Graves tallied 14 points in the second half, including six consecutive shots from the free throw line in the final 1:09. Butler also picked up double-figures from junior forward Brandon Crone, who finished with 13 points.
The Bulldogs, who had dropped five straight games to Wright State, jumped on the visitors right at the outset. Senior Bruce Horan opened the game with a three-point field goal, Polk scored on a lay-up and Graves nailed a three-pointer to give Butler an 8-0 lead three minutes into the contest. The Bulldogs never relinquished the lead.
Butler used a 19-7 run to stretch the lead to 20 points, 27-7 and then held a twin-digits lead for the rest of the half.
"We really defended in the first half," praised Butler head coach Todd Lickliter. "That good start was important, because (Wright State) came right back at us."
The Raiders did cut Butler's margin to 12 points by halftime and then opened the second half with a 15-9 run to close within six points, 43-37. But the Bulldogs answered with a lay-up by Crone and a conventional three-point play by Polk, who scored inside, was fouled and made a free throw.
Wright State made another run late in the contest to close to within six points, 66-60, on a pair of free throws by DaShaun Wood, but the Bulldogs closed out the win from the free throw line. Graves hit two free throws and Crone and senior Avery Sheets each hit one to stretch Butler's lead back to 10, 70-60, before Wright State's Jordan Pleiman ended the scoring with a pair of free throws.
Pleiman and forward Drew Burleson led the Raiders with 18 points apiece, while Wood added 12. Wright State had a 29-22 rebounding edge, but the Raiders committed 12 turnovers to just four for the Bulldogs.
Butler will be back in action on Monday, Jan. 30, with a league game at UIC. That contest at the UIC Pavilion will start at 7 p.m. (CDT) and will be broadcast on GOLD 95.9 (FM).