Feb. 18, 2004
Sophomore Avery Sheets scored 23 points and dished out five assists to lead Butler to a 75-58 upset of league-leading UW-Milwaukee in a Horizon League game at Hinkle Fieldhouse on Wednesday, Feb. 18. The victory lifted the Bulldogs to 12-12 on the year and 7-7 in league play, while UWM fell to 17-8 overall and 12-3 in conference action.
"This was probably as good an effort as we've had this year," said Butler head coach Todd Lickliter. "We really committed to the scouting report and how to defend and then doing it."
Butler never trailed in the game, and Lickliter's squad led by as many as 19 points in the closing minutes. The 75 points were a season-high for the Bulldogs, who entered the game ranked last in the Horizon League in scoring offense.
Sheets, who hit a three-point field goal at the buzzer to beat UW-Milwaukee at Hinkle Fieldhouse a year ago, scored 17 points in the second half to help the Bulldogs pull away. He hit seven of 12 shots over the final 20 minutes, including three of five from beyond the three-point arc. He also had three assists, three rebounds and a steal in the final period.
"Sheets was the difference. We just couldn't guard him," said UWM head coach Bruce Pearl.
The Panthers battled back from a nine-point halftime deficit, 30-21, and tied the game at 39-39 on a basket by Nate Mielke with 14:26 left in the contest. But the Bulldogs answered with a 12-3 scoring run to take command for good.
Monserez hit back-to-back three-point field goals to give Butler a 45-39 lead, and then sophomore Bruce Horan cashed a three-pointer to make it 48-39. Ed McCants stopped the Butler run with a three-point field goal, but Monserez quickly answered with his third three-pointer in the stretch, giving the Bulldogs a 51-42 advantage.
The Bulldogs hit a season-high 15 of 29 three-point field goals in the game, including nine of 15 in the second half. Five different players contributed to the long-range barrage, led by Sheets with five and Monserez with four.
"I believe we have good shooters," stated Lickliter. "The (season) stats are a fluke; I've seen these guys shoot."
Monserez finished with 16 points and eight rebounds, while freshman center Jamie Smalligan added a career-high 15 points and a career-best eight rebounds. Smalligan scored 12 points in the first half to help the Bulldogs to a strong start. Dylan Page, the league's leading scorer, topped UW-Milwaukee with 18 points, while McCants added 14.
The Bulldogs will step out of league play to host Ohio on Saturday, Feb. 21. The game is part of the 23-contest ESPN Bracket Buster Saturday series and will start at 2 p.m.