After winning their first two games in Australia, Butler found their final two games to be more of a challenge. After losing to the Australian National Team on Saturday, Butler again came up short on Sunday morning to the Cairns Taipans 97-73.
Butler was led once again by sophomore Kellen Dunham. The 6-foot 6 guard scored 16 points on 6/16 FG including 4-of-11 from 3-point range. He also grabbed 3 rebounds and had 2 assists.
The Taipans were led by Alex Loughton with 16 points, while Cam Tragardh had 15. Former St. Mary's forward Mitch Young scored 11.
Playing their second NBL team of the trip, it was another slow start for Butler as they found themselves trailing the Taipans about midway through the 1st quarter, 14-12. The trend continued as Cairns added to their lead and led at the end of the 1st quarter 28-14.
The Bulldogs began to rally midway through the 1st half. Butler cut the lead to just 12, 38-26 with under 7 minutes left in the 2nd quarter. They continued to chip away and their deficit was just 8 at the break, 48-40.
Butler's defense wasn't up to par in the 1st half. The Bulldogs allowed Cairns to shoot 65% in the first half (17/26) including 64% from 3-point range (7/11). The Bulldogs were just 15/32 from the floor in the first half.
Cairns used a 14-4 run to start the 3rd quarter that lengthened their lead to 18 at 62-44. The Taipans continued the run as the 3rd quarter ended with Butler trailing 73-52.
Cairns shot 33/51 (65%) from the field including 9/19 (47%) from 3-point range. They were also 22/29 (76%) from the free-throw line. Meanwhile Butler was 26/60 (43%) from the field including 6/22 (27%) from the 3-point line. The Bulldogs connected on 15/23 (65%) free-throws.
Despite the loss, the Bulldogs gained a lot of valuable experience and practice time in their anticipation and trip to Australia. The extra time for the freshman will pay dividends down the road as Butler begins its journey in its first season in the newly formed Big East.
- Quarter Breakdown: Cairns/Butler - 1st: 28/18 2nd: 20/22 3rd: 25/12 4th: 24/21
- Butler lost the rebounding margin 30 to 22.
- Freshman Andrew Chrabascz scores 8 points on 3/4 FG (2/3 FT), Elijah Brown scored 2 points on 1/3 FG (0/2 3PT), Nolan Berry scored 7 points on 3/4 FG, and Rene Castro had 1 assist and didn't attempt a shot.
- Cairns finished last season one game (11-17) behind the Sydney Kings (12-16), who Butler defeated in their 2nd game of the trip, in the NBL last season.
-Roosevelt Jones did not play once again for Butler after injuring his wrist in the opening minutes of their first game in Australia.