Butler had to travel over 20 hours to get to Australia and after a couple of days to get accustomed to the time change took on the Norths Bears in their first exhibition game of their Australian tour.
The Bulldogs used an impressive 2nd half defensive performance to defeat the Bears 77-65 in Sydney.
Sophomore Kellen Dunham led the way for the Bulldogs with 22 points on 8-of-16 shooting from the floor. He connected on 5-of-11 from 3-point range.
Senior Erik Fromm was the only other Butler player in double figures with 14 points. He also added 6 rebounds. Khyle Marshall scored 8 points and collected 7 rebounds, while Andrew Smeathers also added 8 points (2-of-5 3PT).
Butler had a scary moment when the 6-foot 3 junior Roosevelt Jones landed awkwardly and hurt his wrist early in the 1st half. He is day-to-day with the injury and will be questionable for the remainder of the trip.
Butler trailed by as many as 12 points in the 1st half before shutting down the Bears in the 2nd half. Norths scored just 28 points in the 2nd half after scoring 25 points in the 1st quarter.
Butler struggled on the defensive end in the 1st half. The Bulldogs trailed Norths 25-17 after the 1st quarter, but rallied back in the 2nd quarter to tie the game at 37-37 at the half.
Butler then outscored the Bears 19-12 and 21-16 in the final two quarters (40-28 in the 2nd half) to seize the victory. The Bulldogs shot 29-of-70 (41%) from the floor including 10-of-30 (33%) from 3-point range. They also connect on 9-of-16 free-throws.
The Bears were led by Nick Blair with 21 points and 5 assists and Michael Rowley who added 13 points. They shot 24-of-61 (39%) from the field including 7-of-25 (28%) from 3-point range.
It was an impressive start for freshman Nolan Berry. The 6-foot 11 center scored 9 points and collected three rebounds. He was 4-of-6 from the floor including 1-of-2 from 3-point range.
Berry helped the Bulldogs out-rebound Norths 39-33. Butler also turned the ball over just 11 times, while the Bears turned it over 18 times.
Butler now takes a day off in Sydney before taking on the Sydney Kings of the NBL on Thursday morning at 5AM EDT.
- Butler starters were Fromm, Jones, Jackson Aldridge, Marshall, and Dunham.
- All Butler players on the trip received minutes in the game.
- Kameron Woods had 4 points and 9 rebounds (4 offensive)
- Freshmen Elijah Brown and Andrew Chrabascz each were held scoreless, while Rene Castro added 2 points. Brown and Castro had 13 and 8 minutes of playing time respectively, while Chrabascz had just under 7 minutes on the floor.
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