It would appear that whatever scoring issues the No. 23 Butler Bulldogs (6-1) had during the Battle 4 Atlantis last week were left behind in the Bahamas. The Bulldogs were dominant from the floor against Indiana State (3-4), shooting nearly 54 percent as a team en route to a 77-54 victory on the road.
While Butler was certainly more efficient at the rim tonight than in their last few outings, they also opened up the floodgates from behind the three-point line, hitting nearly 43 percent of their attempts. The Bulldogs were led once again by junior Kellen Dunham, who scored 14 points and added two steals on 5-7 shooting. I wrote before the game that Dunham and the Bulldogs needed to focus on finding their shooting touch offensively, and Dunham finished a perfect 3-3 from behind the arc.
Freshman Kelan Martin added another eleven points for Butler off the bench, his fifth double-digit scoring performance in the team's seven games. The Big East has a lot of talented freshman this season, but Martin has continued to impress. He's a confident shooter with a killer stroke, but can be a bit inconsistent. Butler's weakest performances this year have come against Oklahoma and Chattanooga, and Martin combined for just three points in those two games. When he plays well, the team usually plays well too.
Butler was terrific once again on the defensive end, grabbing eleven steals and poking away numerous passes throughout the game. Senior forward Kameron Woods has been using his length to his advantage on the defensive end all year, and picked up a double-double tonight with ten points and 12 rebounds. Woods also added two more steals to the Butler total, and senior guard Alex Barlow grabbed three of his own to lead all Butler players.
Indiana State was a mess offensively, shooting just 37.5 percent as a team and 25 percent from three-point range. The Sycamores were led by guard Devonte Brown, who had 16 points, and had three players score in double digits. However, just three other players score for a combined total of 14 points for the entire game, and the team seemed flustered by the stifling Butler defense.
In the end, there were no real surprises here, as the Bulldogs were clearly the better team on the floor, but there was a lot to like from Butler tonight. They'll have a nice test with Northwestern on Saturday, and the newly ranked Bulldogs will look to keep dominating their opponents on both ends. They continued to show that ability tonight.