The Bulldogs made it a game down the stretch. Butler struggled from the field in the 1st half (39.7%), but made enough shots in the closing minutes to make the game interesting. They even had a chance to win it from the free throw line, but couldn't convert.
Butler shot 23/58 (39.7%) from the field including 6/21 (28.6%) from three point range. They scored 26 points in the paint and 12 points on 2nd chance opportunities (10 offensive rebounds).
The Bulldogs were led by Elijah Brown who scored 15 points off the bench on 5/11 shooting (1/6 3PT). Alex Barlow scored a career-high 12 points and Kameron Woods continued his dominant play by scoring 12 points and grabbing 9 rebounds.
Leading scorers Kellen Dunham and Khyle Marshall couldn't get the offense going early, but continued to stay active and found ways to get involved. Dunham finished with 9 points on 3/14 shooting (2/7 3PT) and Marshall had 8 points on 4/9 shooting (0/2 FT).
Butler improved their free throw shooting to 78.9% (15/19), but Marshall had two costly misses in the closing seconds that could have won the game for the Bulldogs.
The Bulldogs turned the ball over just 7 times, which continues to be a strength of this team.
Containing Marcus Smart to just 17 points on 8/15 shooting (1/5 3PT) indicates how well the defense played. The Cowboys entered the game averaging 99.7 points per game and Butler held Oklahoma State to just 69 points.
Kameron Woods drew the duty of slowing down Smart on the perimeter. The downside of having Woods guard Smart was that Butler was undersized against many of the other Oklahoma State players. The Cowboys were able to get into the paint and finish, scoring 40 points in the paint.
Overall Oklahoma State shot 29/58 (50%) from the field including 4/15 (26.7%) from the three point range.
Butler shut down the Oklahoma State offense in the 2nd half. After allowing 44 points on 58.1% shooting in the opening frame, Butler limited the Cowboys to just 25 points on 40.7% shooting in the final 20 minutes.
The Bulldogs also limited Oklahoma State at the free throw line despite their athleticism and ability to drive to the basket. The Cowboys went to the line 12 times and connect on 7 free throws (58.3%). Butler committed just 15 team fouls and played solid defense for much of the game.
Butler also won the turnover battle once again forcing 9 turnovers from Oklahoma State on 7 steals.
Despite the loss this was the most impressive performance of the year for the Bulldogs. They used their defense to overcome a few offensive struggles and had a chance to win the game down the stretch. They held their own against the #5 team in the country.
Butler played well defensively limiting the 2nd best scoring team in country (99.7 ppg) to just 69 points.
Kellen Dunham and Khyle Marshall were not as dominant as they were against Washington State, but Butler hung around and came alive down the stretch. They chipped away at the lead and never game up.
The Bulldogs can build on this game. They will learn from their mistakes and use the confidence gained later in the season.