Butler hopes to bounce back against South Dakota State
Indianapolis, IN (Sports Network) – The 12th-ranked Butler Bulldogs take a
break from Horizon League action, as they play host to the South Dakota
State Jackrabbits from Hinkle Fieldhouse in Indianapolis this afternoon.
The Bulldogs will attempt to bounce back from their first league loss, as they
fell to Illinois-Chicago on Wednesday in an overtime affair (73-67). The loss
was just the second of the year for Butler, which had a four-game win streak
Win streaks have eluded the Jackrabbits this season, as South Dakota State
has just four wins against 12 losses. The team has dropped two in a row since
its only win streak of the season (two games), and is coming off a 72-61
loss against UCF last weekend.
This is the third straight year that these two teams are meeting, with
Butler winning each of the last two matchups.
When a team is giving up over 12 more points than it is scoring on average, it
isn’t a big surprise that wins are hard to come by. The Jackrabbits are
averaging just 62.9 ppg and have been extremely generous at the other end of
the floor, allowing 75.5 ppg. As one can imagine, there aren’t a whole lot of
scoring options on this roster, with only Matt Cadwell averaging double digits
at 14.2 ppg. Kai Williams and Garrett Callahan do what they can in support,
adding 9.6 and 9.2 ppg, respectively. South Dakota State shot 50 percent from
the floor in the second half against UCF, but just 40.4 percent for the game,
as the team fell to 2-3 at home this year. Callahan did all he could to lead
his team to victory, erupting for 21 points in the loss. Cadwell added 14
points, while Williams chipped in with 13.
A.J. Graves poured in a season-high 31 points, but the Bulldogs fell for the
first time in league play, dropping an overtime decision to the Flames last
time out. The Bulldogs got off to a real slow start, shooting just .179 from
the floor in the first half (5-of-28) and scoring a mere 15 points. The team
rallied and scored 43 points in the second stanza to force the extra session,
but could not get the victory. Joining Graves in double figures were Brandon
Crone, who just missed a double-double with 14 points and nine rebounds,
followed by Pete Campbell, who came off the bench to chip in a dozen points in
23 minutes of work. Butler isn’t an offensive juggernaut (67.9 pg), but it
doesn’t have to be when allowing an anemic 57.0 ppg. Still, Graves certainly
knows how to fill up the basket, leading the team in scoring with 18.8 ppg.
However, he has thrown up 62 more shots than anyone else on the roster and is
converting just 39.1 percent of the time. Mike Green and Crone give the team a
couple more scoring options at 13.9 and 10.3 ppg, respectively.