San Juan, PR - It wasn't as easy as the first two games of the season, but the Bulldogs came out of top once again. Butler (3-0) used a 21-25 performance from the free throw line to outlast Temple 74-69 to advance to the finals of the Puerto Rico Tip Off.
Butler was led by another solid, balanced attack. The Bulldogs had four players in double figures led by junior point guard Tyler Lewis and senior shooting guard Kellen Dunham who each scored 16 points.
The Bulldogs used their aggressiveness to their advantage. The Bulldogs outscored Temple (1-2) 21 to 8 from the free throw line which proved to be the difference in the game.
Roosevelt Jones and Andrew Chrabascz each added double-doubles for Butler. Jones scored 12 points and grabbed 11 rebounds before fouling out late in the 2nd half, while Chrabascz had 13 points and 10 rebounds.
While those four reached double digits, it was Kelan Martin who ignited the offense off the bench. Martin's energy led to Butler regaining the lead in the first half. He finished with 8 points and 9 rebounds.
Temple jumped out to an early lead against the Bulldogs and gave them their first challenge of the season. The Owls were led by Quenton DeCosey, who scored a game-high 24 points on 9/16 shooting.
Despite not being able to get their offense off the ground like in their previous two games, Butler used their renowned defense to top the Owls.
The Bulldogs held Temple to 38% shooting from the field to overcome a 36.4% night of the own.
The Bulldogs advance to the finals of a non-conference tournament for the 8th time in 13 tries. Butler will take on Miami (FL) (4-0) on Sunday night.
NOTES: Just 7 players entered the game for the Bulldogs against Temple...Jordan Gathers was the 7th player in for Butler, he finished with 0 points and 1 assist in 7 minutes...Butler was outrebounded 41-47...Just 12 total turnovers were committed in the game (7 for Temple and 5 for Butler)...Butler had 13 assists in the game, but none from Lewis, who finished with 10 in the previous game.