No. 11 Butler hangs on to oust Davidson
Maybe No. 11
Or perhaps the problem was just facing another strong mid-major program so early in the season.
Whatever the explanation, the Bulldogs strung together a 15-4 closing run to pull away from
“It’s a lot of fun, but I’m sure there are some anxious moments and that’s OK,”
Clearly, the Bulldogs (1-0) have plenty of things to clean up before heading to
It has consistently ranked among the national leaders in fewest turnovers, points allowed, 3-pointers and free-throw differential. On Saturday, the Bulldogs struggled with all of those facets early.
The Bulldogs committed seven of their 10 turnovers in the first half, a span in which it also committed 11 fouls and was shooting only 31.8 percent through the first 16 1/2 minutes.
Eventually, the players started playing
Each contributed to the two key runs that changed the game – the first late in the first half, the other coming midway through the second half.
“I don’t know about the expectations, I just think we had so much time playing against one another, we were just excited for the season to start,” Veasley said. “As a group, we were ready. You could tell with our fight throughout the game, we were just anxious.”
The Wildcats, playing their first game since losing
They jumped to a quick 20-10 lead in the first half and still led by 10 with 3 1/2 minutes to go in the half. Then, after falling behind early in the second half, they rallied to take a 58-56 lead with 9:37 left before succumbing to
After losing 59 percent of its scoring and 44 percent of its rebounding from last season, coach Bob McKillop called it an encouraging start.
“When you see 18 points off (our) turnovers, that’s the story of the game to me, their ability to create some chaos on the catch, I would say led to eight to 10 points,” said McKillop, who has five straight 20-wins seasons. “But it’s a new experience for all of us. Everyone is adapting to new roles.”
You wouldn’t have from the start.
With the Bulldogs out of sync, the Wildcats still had a 31-21 lead with 3 1/2 minutes to go in the half.
That’s when things began to unravel.
Hayward closed out the half with two more free throws to make it 37-35 and suddenly
“We let our guard down a little bit, I think it came a little too easy, we took shots too early and they capitalized on every one,” McKillop said.
The Bulldogs were only getting started.
Veasley opened the second half with another and two free throws from
After trading a basket for another
Hayward’s layup with 9:20 to go ignited a 12-0 run that sealed the outcome.
“It’s great opening against a team like this,” Stevens said. “You have to do everything well to compete against them. I’m talking about entering the ball out of bounds, moving from side-to-side. I’m a real admirer of the program. These are two good teams.”