Butler bulldozes through Jags in opener

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The Butler Bulldogs routed the IUPUI Jaguars 80-47 in both teams’ first game of the season. The deficit for the Jags was 10 at halftime, but Butler pulled away, outscoring IUPUI 44-21. Butler senior Sean McDermott shot 10-11 from the field on his way to 26 points, pacing the Bulldogs.

The first half looked promising for IUPUI. Butler was shooting 50% from the field in the first half, but IUPUI came out hot on the offensive glass, snagging 12 offensive rebounds in the first period to help them stay in the game. Additionally, they were managing to keep Butler with passable defense, allowing 53% shooting from the field and generally answering every time Butler scored.

However, the signs of trouble were already there for IUPUI. In the first half, they only shot 12-33, meaning they rebounded more than half of their misses. Additionally, the team allowed McDermott to start 6-6 from the field, enabling him backdoor cuts and open threes off of movement. A theme that kept occurring in the first half was that every time IUPUI pulled within eight, Butler would score to increase that lead back to ten.

In the second half, the dam broke with Butler clamping down on the Jaguars. IUPUI shot 9-24 from the field, but only 1-10 from the three-point line, and 2-6 from the foul stripe. The offense bogged down, with IUPUI guards Jaylen Minnett and Marcus Burk combining to shoot 18 threes and making the only threes that IUPUI made. Burk shot 7-21 from the field, and Minnett shot 3-12. Butler badly outscored IUPUI in the paint, 50-22, and the Bulldogs had 19 points off of turnovers as opposed to 7 for IUPUI. McDermott and the Bulldogs got whatever they wanted, shooting 19-29 from the field in the second half. 

After his first game as the coach of IUPUI, Byron Rimm II seemed despondent, saying that the effort was not there: “Our guys gotta learn how to trust each other, trust oneself, and I gotta learn how to trust them. We played like how we practiced, and it shows (them) that they cannot just do it their way.” He also relayed the story of how his team faded in the second half on the offensive glass: “First half we ran offense, let’s move the ball back and forth. But we come down (and) turn the ball over, we come down jack the shot, then we are not in the right position to get the ball. Second half it kinda got out of hand, we turned the ball over, guys got attitudes.” 

IUPUI will next take on Bradley on the road this Saturday.

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