Dec. 7, 2002
Senior Darnell Archey scored a season-high 17 points and junior Mike Monserez added 15 to lead Butler to a 77-64, victory over Evansville at Roberts Stadium on Saturday, Dec. 7. The win was Butler's fifth straight against no losses, while the Purple Aces fell to 2-3.
For the fifth straight game, the Bulldogs jumped out to a double-figures lead in the first 10 minutes of the contest. Archey's three-point field goal with 9:45 left in the first period gave Butler at 21-11 lead and the Bulldogs stretched that to 17 at halftime, 44-27. Senior Brandon Miller scored 10 points in the first 20 minutes, while Monserez added nine.
"We had a good idea of what (Evansville) wanted to do and our guys committed to what we wanted to do. It was a hard 20 minutes," said Butler coach Todd Lickliter, who picked up a win in his first visit to Roberts Stadium as a head coach.
As hard as the first half was, the second half became downright brutal! The Bulldogs were whistled for 11 of their season-high 21 fouls in the final period, while Evansville committed 12 fouls. The Aces were charged with two technical fouls and a couple of intentional fouls.
"It was an emotional, hard-fought game," said Lickliter. "This is a tough place to win. We knew it would be a tough game. We were really tested in the second half."
The Aces, spurred by a vocal crowd of 6,550, scored the first six points of the second half to cut Butler's lead to 11. Evansville further trimmed the margin to seven at 51-44, before Archey answered with a pair of free throws and freshman Avery Sheets returned the lead to double-figures with five consecutive points.
Archey tallied nine of his points in the second half to help the Bulldogs hold off the charging Aces. Perhaps his biggest basket was a long three-pointer with 2:05 left in the game after the Aces had cut Butler's lead to six, 70-64. The Bulldogs then finished the game with a free throw from Miller, who finished with 14 points, and three consecutive charity tosses from Monserez.
Butler hit a season-high 14 three-point field goals in the game, paced by Monserez with four. Archey, Miller and Curry, who finished with 11 points, each added three three-pointers.
Evansville had a 35-21 rebounding advantage over the Bulldogs, who played much of the second half without 6-9 Joel Cornette. The Butler center, who finished with a team-high eight rebounds, picked his fourth foul 10 minutes into the final period and spend much of the final 10 minutes on the bench.
Butler came up with a season-high 17 steals in the game, while committing a season-low six turnovers. Cornette, Archey and junior Duane Lightfoot each had three steals.
The Bulldogs return to Hinkle Fieldhouse to host Bradley on Tuesday, Dec. 10, at 7:30 p.m.