Senior Pete Campbell celebrated a personal homecoming and scored a game-high 17 points to lead Butler to a 61-45 victory over host Ball State at Worthen Arena on Friday (Nov. 9). It was the season-opener for both teams.
Campbell, who hails from Muncie and attended nearby Yorktown High School, put on a long-range shooting exhibition to spark the Bulldogs to their fourth consecutive victory over Ball State. Playing in Worthen Arena for the first time, the 6-7 forward hit five of 11 three-point field goal attempts, much to the delight of numerous Yorktown backers including eight former high school mates who painted themselves with the letters C-A-M-P-B-E-L-L-!
Butler's effort was methodical and workmanlike. The Bulldogs built an 11-4 lead in the first five minutes of the contest and stretched the margin to double-figures nine minutes into the game. Butler's biggest first-half lead came at the buzzer, when sophomore Elliot Engelmann threw a length-of-the-floor pass with 0:01.2 remaining. The ball bounced off the hands of freshman Matt Howard and into the hands of Campbell, who nailed a three-pointer at the buzzer to give the Bulldogs a 31-17 halftime lead.
The Bulldogs stretched the margin to 17 points early in the second half, but Ball State guard Peyton Stovall sparked a 10-1 run that cut Butler's lead to 39-31 with 11:44 to play.
That was as close as it would get. Campbell answered with three three-point field goals and Howard added a layup in an 11-4 Butler run and the Bulldogs were in control for the rest of the contest.
"I thought our guys played really hard tonight," said head coach Brad Stevens after picking up his first career victory. "It wasn't perfect and we can get better, but I did think the effort was really good."
Howard, playing his first collegiate game, finished with 14 points, five rebounds and four assists. The 6-8 post player hit five of nine shots in the game. Butler's backcourt tandem of seniors A. J. Graves and Mike Green each added 11 points. Green led the Bulldogs with six rebounds.
Junior Anthony Newell led Ball State with 16 points, while Stovall added 13 points and 12 rebounds.
The Bulldogs will play their home-opener against Indiana State on Wednesday, Nov. 14, at 7 p.m.