Senior A. J. Graves tallied a game-high 19 points and Butler pulled away to a 25-point over Saint Joseph's, 75-50, in an exhibition basketball game at Hinkle Fieldhouse on Thursday, Nov. 1. The game was the first 2007 test for both squads.
Graves scored 10 points in the second half, when the Bulldogs put the game out of reach. He also led both teams with five assists, while playing 28 minutes in the contest. He was one of four Bulldogs who finished with double-figures. First-year head coach Brad Stevens used 14 different players in the contest.
"I thought this was a good game for for us to play at this time," said Stevens after the contest. "They really made us guard, and we'll be able to learn from this."
The game was much closer than the final score. The Pumas scored the first five points of the contest and held a lead for the first eight minutes of the contest. Butler tied the score at 13-13 on a dunk by freshman Matt Howard and took its first lead at 15-13 on a layup by Pete Campbell. The Bulldogs led at halftime, 35-30.
Senior Drew Streicher gave the Bulldogs a double-figures lead, 46-36, with a three-point field goal at 14:08 of the second half, and the Bulldogs gradually stretched the margin to 20 points in the final three minutes. The final score was the largest margin of the game.
Butler limited Saint Joseph's to 29.6% shooting and just 20 points in the final 20 minutes. The Bulldogs, who shot 42% from the field in the first half, picked up the pace in the final 20 minutes, hitting 51.9% from the field and 54.5% from the three-point arc.
Senior Mike Green and Howard each tallied 12 points for the Bulldogs, while Streicher added 10. Green had a team-high six rebounds, while Howard and Streicher each added four. Devin Thomas led the Pumas with 12 points, while Brandon Mayse grabbed 12 rebounds.
The Bulldogs will be back on the court on Saturday, Nov. 3, with an exhibition game against Marian. That contest is slated for 7 p.m. in Hinkle Fieldhouse.