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Butler vs. Indiana State 2016: What we learned from the Bulldogs’ loss to the Sycamores

A big performance from Tyler Lewis wasn’t enough for the ‘Dawgs to overcome their in-state rivals from Terre Haute.

NCAA Basketball: Butler vs Vanderbilt Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports

The No. 16 Butler Bulldogs were dealt their first loss of the season on Wednesday night.

The defeat came at the hands of an unlikely foe, as the Indiana State Sycamores of the Missouri Valley Conference handed the first tally in the win column to the ‘Dawgs, edging them out 72-71.

Butler and Indiana State traded blows for a majority of the game. The Sycamores built up a lead as big as eight points in the late goings of the second half before the Bulldogs resiliently fought back into contention.

Late free throws by Tyler Lewis would tie the game, but a foul call in the final seconds gave Brenton Scott the opportunity to win the game. Scott would make good on it, sinking one of the two free throws he was handed, and as a result ISU would scoop up a huge victory.

Juxtaposed, it’s an awfully tough loss for Butler to take and levies more pressure on them to get the job done against Cincinnati this weekend.


What we learned

Tyler Lewis put Butler in position to win

Stating the obvious here because of his late free throws, but Lewis was dynamic and terrific all night. He’d finish the game with 15 points, seven assists and four boards and missed just two field goals all night. None of those came from the outside as the senior guard shot 3-for-3 from the 3-point line. Butler had to lean on Lewis tonight with Kelan Martin struggling from the floor, and he almost won them the game himself.

The Bulldogs couldn’t stop Scott or Van Scyoc all night

Two of the Sycamores’ best players were the ones who helped lead them to victory. The aforementioned Scott as well as Matt Van Scyoc scored 48 of Indiana State’s 72 points Tuesday evening and shot a combined 16-for-31 from the field. Considering that five other players who took the floor for ISU scored zero points, including some who logged more than 15 minutes of action, it was clear that this tandem was incredibly impactful. Butler had no answer for them on defense, and it wound up costing them hugely.

The Bulldogs had their clunker - and took a loss

The hope for Butler fans and for the Bulldogs themselves is that they get this and anything close to it out of their system. Butler has two big games coming up against the Bearcats and the in-state rival Indiana Hoosiers. They will have to sharpen up focus fast if they want to remain among the top teams in the country. Otherwise it could get ugly... in a hurry.