Indianapolis, IN – The Butler Bulldogs extended their non-conference home winning streak to 20 Sunday evening, defeating the Belmont Bruins 67-56. The contest was a hard fought battle; Belmont came out and executed their game plan to perfection early jumping out to an 11-point lead taking advantage of Butler switching on ball screens. After the halftime adjustments, Butler began to dig in and took control of the game holding the Bruins to 18 second half points on 27 percent shooting. On top of the stout defense, Butler controlled the boards tonight nearly doubling the Bruins in that area 38-21.
The Bulldogs were led by their two stars junior’s Roosevelt Jones and Kellen Dunham. Jones utilized his size and power advantage to overcome all the defenders Belmont put in front of him. He attacked the basket continuously finishing with 20 points and pulling in seven rebounds. While Jones had a great night for the most part, he continues to struggle from the free throw line shooting 4-for-9 this evening.
Dunham looked a little more aggressive with his shot this evening which benefited Butler greatly in the first half, when they were struggling. Dunham never fails to show off his effective offensive game with and without the ball. Tonight he finished with 15 points and went 4-for-6 from the 3-point line.
Belmont’s leader, junior 6’3” guard Craig Bradshaw, started off the game hot finishing the first half with eight points, four rebounds, three assists, and two steals. Unfortunately, Butler’s halftime adjustments were centrally focused on Bradshaw and not allowing him to get into a favorable matchup off Butler’s switching of screens. Bradshaw finished the evening with 11 points, six rebounds, five assists and five turnovers. Bradshaw is a fiery fundamentally sound player. He has a very good feel for the game and is a great shooter with and without the basketball. On the defensive end he moves very well laterally and gets into his man. He is very physical and does not give up on plays; he’s fully committed to the defensive end.
Belmont will travel back to Nashville to play at home for the first time since December 11th and opens up Ohio Valley Conference play against Southwest Missouri on New Year’s Day. Butler begins their Big East portion of the schedule with a very tough road game on New Year’s Eve at 7th ranked Villanova.
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