Just over nine minutes into Butler’s season opener against visiting IUPUI on Tuesday night, the Bulldogs trailed 9-7 with just one made field goal and four turnovers.
Butler quickly fixed the early problems, going on a 22-10 to lead 29-19 at the half and went on to win 56-47.
The Bulldogs’ leading scorer from last season, Chuck Harris, a preseason All-Big East honorable mention selection, scored a team-high 16 points, doing most of his damage at the free throw line (10-for-13).
Freshman Jayden Taylor scored 12 points, Bryce Nze finished with nine points and seven rebounds, and Simas Lukosius, a freshman from Lithuania, added eight points and seven boards.
Transfer B.J. Maxwell led IUPUI with 14 points, although he was only 4 of 11 from the floor, and added six rebounds, and Bakari LaStrap was next with eight points.
IUPUI hung around in the second half, cutting the lead to eight on a jumper by LaStrap with 3:16 to play, but the Jaguars got no closer, and the Bulldogs scored their final points of the game from the line to close it out.
Neither team shot well, with Butler at 34.1 percent and 28 percent (7 of 25) from 3-point range. IUPUI finished at 37.5 percent overall, and an anemic 3 of 23 from long range.
The Bulldogs also took advantage of their free throw opportunities, hitting 9 of 23, while the Jaguars made 8 of 15.
Butler took the lead for good at 10-9 on a 3-pointer by Jair Bolden. Bryce Golden’s jumper minutes later extended the lead to 18-13, and IUPUI got no closer than five the rest of the way.
Butler, which will be at home for its first six games of the season, will host Central Arkansas on Friday night, and IUPUI remains on the road to face Evansville on Thursday night.
–Field Level Media