INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Avery Woodson and Tyler Wideman scored 14 points apiece to lead a balanced and efficient Butler attack, and the Bulldogs turned back Bucknell 86-60 on Saturday afternoon at Hinkle Fieldhouse as part of the Continental Tire Las Vegas Invitational.
Nana Foulland hit 7 of 8 shots from the field and scored a team-high 16 points to go with five rebounds for the Bison, who fell to 2-2 on the season. Zach Thomas added 12 points and five boards, but the Bison just could not get enough defensive stops against a Butler (3-0) team that shot 62.1 percent for the game.
“Butler is an extremely disciplined and well-coached team,” said head coach Nathan Davis afterward. “They make you work for everything at both ends of the floor, and any time you make a mistake they make you pay for it. We are disappointed with the outcome, but this is a great opportunity for us to show our guys where we want to be.”
The first five minutes of both halves proved to be decisive. Butler outscored the Bison 16-4 to start the game, and then after the Bison pulled within 11 by halftime, the Bulldogs opened the second half with a 13-4 run.
Butler shot 65.4 percent in the first half and led 44-33 at intermission. The Bulldogs went up by as many as 16 in the half at 36-20, but Thomas hit two 3-pointers, Kimbal Mackenzie hit a corner three, and Thomas fed Ben Robertson for a transition layup over the final six minutes to keep the Bison in it.
Bucknell had two turnovers and two missed 3-pointers on the first four possessions of the second half, and Butler went up by 18 on a 3-pointer by Andrew Chrabascz, a shot-clock-beating jumper by Tyler Wideman, and a backdoor cut for a dunk by Avery Woodson. Butler would run its lead up to as many as 29 late in the contest.
Bucknell received some good minutes from freshmen off the bench. Robertson hit 4 of 5 shots and scored the first nine points of his career, and Bruce Moore added seven points on 3 of 5 shooting.
Bucknell shot 45.7 percent for the game (7-19 from 3-point distance) and hit 11 of 13 from the free-throw line.
Kelan Martin added 13 points, and Kamar Baldwin had 10 for Butler, which hit 8 of 15 from long range.
This was just the second all-time meeting between the two teams, with Butler winning 68-56 in the 2013 NCAA Tournament.Bucknell’s road trip continues Monday night at Vanderbilt at 9 p.m. (Eastern). The game will be televised on the SEC Network.