Bulldogs host Raiders in Horizon League clash
Indianapolis, IN (Sports Network) – The 13th-ranked Butler Bulldogs have been
one of the nation’s most surprising teams thus far, and they may be challenged
a bit in today’s Horizon League clash with the Wright State Raiders.
On Thursday, Wright State recorded an impressive 76-62 decision over
Illinois-Chicago to improve to 9-6 on the season, including a perfect 2-0
in league play. While the Raiders have won their last four outings overall,
they own a disappointing 2-5 record in true road games.
Butler, which is 5-0 at home, owns a 2-0 record against Horizon League foes,
so outright possession of first place is on the line today. The Bulldogs
have been idle since last Saturday when they posted a 55-50 decision over
Wisconsion-Milwaukee. They have now won three straight decisions since
suffering their only defeat of the season to Indiana State on the road.
Butler owns a 15-12 edge in the all-time series with Wright State, and the
teams split a pair of meetings last season.
Through 15 outings, DaShaun Wood is the only double-digit scorer on the Wright
State roster, as he is posting 18.8 ppg on the strength of his 90 percent
shooting from the foul line. Wood also tops the roster with 51 assists and 26
steals for a Wright State squad that is only posting 60.7 ppg 42.1 percent
shooting from the floor. The Raiders allow 63.6 ppg to the opposition, but the
most important stat of all is that they are three games over the .500 mark. In
the 14-point victory over Illinois-Chicago last time out, Wright State was able
to get strong offensive contributions from several individuals. Jordan Pleiman
racked up 20 points and 12 rebounds to lead the charge, while Drew Burleson
netted 18 points. Both Wood and Todd Brown finished with 12 points.
Strong play at the defensive end has enabled Butler to win 13 of its 14 games
to date. The Bulldogs are limiting opponents to 56.9 ppg while forcing 15
turnovers per outing. They are committing just over 10 giveaways per contest
and are netting a respectable 67.6 ppg. The top offensive performer for Butler
is A.J. Graves, as he has knocked down 75-of-76 free throws en route to 17.9
ppg. While he has been unbelievably efficient from the charity stripe, Graves
is shooting a lackluster 38.3 percent from the field. Mike Green is
contributing 15.1 ppg for the Bulldogs, and Brandon Crone checks in with 10.2
ppg. Last Saturday, Green racked up 16 points and 12 rebounds to lead his group
to the win over UW-Milwaukee. Graves added 14 points for the Bulldogs, who won
despite finishing with four assists, 15 turnovers and a 34.1 percent shooting
performance from the field.