Horizon League foes lock horns in Green Bay
Green Bay, WI (Sports Network) – The 15th-ranked Butler Bulldogs have lost two
of their last three games, and they hope to get back on track in tonight’s
Horizon League clash with the Wisconsin-Green Bay Phoenix.
Butler appeared to be running away with the Horizon League regular season
crown, but a loss to Wright State on February 10th pulled the Raiders even
with the Bulldogs. Since that outing, Butler has played two straight non-
conference tilts, and after beating a weak Florida Gulf Coast team, the
Bulldogs fell to nationally-ranked Southern Illinois on Saturday in
BracketBuster action. The loss halted the Bulldogs’ 22-game home winning
streak, and although their resume’ is still strong for the upcoming NCAA
Tournament, a loss today could change things.
Wisconsin-Green Bay has recorded back-to-back wins to improve to 16-12
overall and 7-7 in league play. On Saturday, the Phoenix took a break from
conference action to post an 82-76 decision over Northern Illinois.
Butler crushed Wisconsin-Green Bay in an 80-59 final back on January 20th, and
the Bulldogs own a 22-13 advantage in the all-time series.
Butler’s matchup with Southern Illinois was one of the most highly-anticipated
games of BracketBuster weekend, and the two mid-major powers did not
disappoint. The contest was close throughout, but the Bulldogs suffered a
33-24 rebounding disadvantage and a 27-19 deficit in points from the foul line
in the loss. Those negatives overshadowed the fact that Butler turned the ball
over only six times in 40 minutes of action. Mike Green scored 18 points for
the Bulldogs, and Peter Campbell pitched in 17 points off the bench.
Unfortunately, A.J. Graves finished with just five points on 1-of-8 shooting
from the field. Graves is the team’s leading scorer through 28 games with 17.1
ppg, but his 38.7 percent efficiency from the floor leaves much to be desired.
Green adds 14.3 ppg, and he has dished out 113 assists. Butler is limiting foes
to 56.8 ppg on 39.9 percent overall shooting, key to the squad’s success.
Mike Schachtner scored 25 points to lead Wisconsin-Green Bay to its six-point
victory over Northern Illinois last time out. Ryan Evanochko and Ryan Tillema
tallied 17 points apiece in the win, while Terry Evans added 10 points and
eight rebounds off the bench. The Phoenix shot 50 percent from the floor and
turned the ball over six times. Also, a 25-of-29 showing from the foul line
also helped the cause. Evanochko leads the team with 15.4 ppg, and he has
dished out 145 assists against only 64 turnovers. Schachtner adds 15.0 ppg, and
those two players clearly form one of the top duos in the Horizon League.