Butler got smacked around a bit on Monday afternoon in Las Vegas. The Bulldogs’ opener in the Maui Invitational didn’t go too well, as the 15th-ranked Houston Cougars took them out 70-52.
The Dawgs faced an early uphill battle and couldn’t recover. They fell behind 17-0 through the first 6+ minutes of the game. Jair Bolden’s 3-pointer finally put them on the board at the 13:39 mark of the game. Bolden, in fact, was the only player for the Bulldogs to record points up until the 7:33 mark of the first half. He scored the team’s first 11, but that obviously wasn’t a predictor of success at all.
The Bulldogs went into the half trailing 41-20. They tried making a bit of a run, and to their credit, they outscored the Cougars at the start of the second half. By the 10:13 mark, Butler outscored the Coogs 16-9 to make it a 14-point game. But the Coogs kept the clamps on after that. The lead swelled to as large as 24 points with 48 seconds to go. Butler cut it to an 18-point deficit by the end of the game, but it felt so much larger than that.
Butler was mired in turnovers all afternoon. They committed 20 of them and Houston scored 27 points off those 20 turnovers. They made them pay and then some, as BU will need to do some quick refocusing. Granted, they will not face a team the caliber of Houston throughout the rest of this event. But they certainly have to hope for an easier landing in their next go-around.
That aforementioned game will come against Texas A&M at 2:30 p.m. ET on Tuesday.