Bulldogs and Panthers meet in Horizon League tussle
Indianapolis, IN (Sports Network) – The 13th-ranked Butler Bulldogs are the
class of the Horizon League, and they will attempt to knock off the
Wisconsin-Milwaukee Panthers for the second time this season.
UW-Milwaukee managed to halt a two-game slide with a 57-56 overtime victory
over Cleveland State on Monday. Still, the Panthers are just 8-16 overall,
including 5-6 in league play, and they have lost 10 of their 11 road games
heading into today’s contest.
Butler owns a seven-game winning streak and is 10-0 at home, so there is
plenty of reason for the team to be confident. Six victories during the
current run have come by double figures, including a 71-58 triumph over
Youngstown State on the road on Wednesday night.
Butler owns a 23-9 advantage in the all-time series with UW-Milwaukee,
including a 55-50 win over the Panthers earlier this season.
The top scorer for UW-Milwaukee is Avery Smith, as he is posting 16.2 ppg. The
only other double-digit performer in the lineup is Paige Paulsen, as he is
contributing 11.3 ppg despite his 38.3 percent shooting from the field. The
Panthers are only shooting 38.3 percent from the floor as a team, as a lack of
efficiency at the offensive end is perhaps the most obvious reason for the poor
record. UWM found a way to beat Cleveland State on Monday despite shooting only
33.9 percent from the field, including a 7-of-25 effort from behind the arc.
Fortunately, the Panthers were able to limit the Vikings to 37.0 percent
shooting, including 4-of-19 from three-point range. Smith scored 17 points in
that clash, and Allan Hanson added 13 points.
Butler is scoring a modest 68.5 ppg this season, but the club thrives at the
defensive end of the floor, as it is limiting opponents to 55.8 ppg on 39.5
percent overall shooting. A.J. Graves continues to pace the Bulldogs with 17.9
ppg, and although his 39.2 percent shooting from the field could certainly
stand some improvement, he is a 97 percent shooter from the foul line. Mike
Green adds 13.7 ppg to the lineup, and Brandon Crone checks in with 10.1 ppg.
Butler has enjoyed the best three months of basketball in the history of the
program, and Youngstown State found out why on Wednesday. The Bulldogs limited
the Penguins to 38.8 percent shooting from the field in what was yet another
stellar defensive effort.