Butler struggled all day on offense. The Bulldogs at one point in the game were shooting 25% from the field and finished 22/62 (35.5%) including 3/11 (27.3%) from 3-point range. They made just 6 outside shots (3 from 3-point range).
Leading scorer Kellen Dunham, who entered the game averaging 18.3 points per contest had a rough day from the field. Dunham scored the first 5 points for Butler, making a three and a dunk, and finished with 8 points on 2/13 shooting from the field.
Freshman guard Elijah Brown was another bright spot for the Bulldogs. He finished with 13 points on 5/9 shooting, which tied a career-high.
The Bulldogs need to be more consistent with their production from the bench as well. The Bulldogs managed just 15 points from the bench, but just 2 outside of Brown's 13.
Butler did take care of the ball relatively well. The Bulldogs turned the ball over just 9 times and were extremely effective on the offensive glass. The 20 offensive rebounds covered up some of the problems with the outside shooting.
Junior point guard Alex Barlow completes Butler's double-figure scorers (12 points) and many of his came off turnovers and easy layups.
Brandon Miller's crew struggled again from the free-throw line finishing 12/22 (54.5%).
Butler's defense is what won the Bulldogs the game and they did it by forcing 17 turnovers with 10 Butler steals. Butler scored 23 points off of the Cardinal turnovers.
The Bulldogs shut down the Cardinals most effective scorers from the perimeter led by the defense of Alex Barlow. Leading scorers Zavier Turner (17.2 ppg) and Jesse Berry (17 ppg) combined for just 15 points on 4/16 shooting from the field.
With Butler shutting down the guards, senior forwards Chris Bond and Majok Majok picked up the slack and made Butler pay. Bond finished with 14 points on 5/9 shooting (1/2 3PT) and Majok couldn't be handled one-on-one defensively. He used a variety of post moves and finished with 15 points on 7/11 from the field.
Ball State shot 21/50 from the field including 8/20 from 3-point range.
Butler got the win, which is the most important aspect and improves the overall grade slightly, but they still have things to work on.
Overall outside shooting still needs to improve, but the inside scoring was a bright spot. Butler had 32 points in the paint, another impressive effort, as was the 20 offensive rebounds.
Defensively Butler ratcheted up the pressure and forced 17 Ball State turnovers, which led to 23 points. The Bulldogs also contained Ball State's most explosive scorers in Turner and Berry.
Free throw shooting is the biggest area where Butler needs to improvement. The Bulldogs shot just over 50% and two costly misses by Marshall with 12 seconds left almost lost Butler the game.
Overall it was a nice comeback win with an impressive run during the 2nd half. A good place to start on the road, but Butler needs to find a way to put teams away when they have them on the ropes.