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INDIANAPOLIS — There are no easy games in the Big East.

That was apparent last year and it is ever apparent again this year, especially for the Butler Bulldogs who despite a solid day shooting the ball did not have an answer for Seton Hall’s tough play in the paint, as the Pirates had 13 blocked shots en route to a 78-72 win over the Dawgs.

“We didn’t do a good job adjusting,” said Butler head coach Thad Matta. “The second half we had to get up and get active with more pressure. They found well around the rim. We have to have everybody clicking on all cylinders and play a full 40 minutes.”

The competitiveness of the game was palpable from the very beginning as each team matched the other shot for shot into the first media timeout. With a 17-13 lead at that juncture, Butler appeared crisp and clean.

Seton Hall would then embark on a 12-2 scoring run to take the lead midway through the first half. That run was partly fueled by superb play in the paint by Jaden Bediako, who made it virtually impossible for Butler to work down low all game long.

Nevertheless, Butler kept with it shooting 50% from behind the arc by halftime, during which Butler trailed 45-37.

Jalen Thomas sparked a 9-0 Butler run early in the second half that was capped off by a Posh Alexander lay-up to tie the game at 48-48 going into the first media timeout of the half.

“We came out with more energy in the second half,” said Jahmyl Telfort after the game. “We had a lot more aggression, but we have to play two halves. When you let a team like that go in the first half it’s hard to get them back.”

Telfort finished the day with 13 points.

Rolling through the second half, Butler and Seton Hall traded the leads and tied the game up several times. Butler forced the Pirates to make some tough plays, plays that they ended up making.

“We forced them into nine turnovers in the second half,” Matta said. “That got us going. The problem wasn’t our offense. It was our defense today. We weren’t as sharp and aggressive as we needed to be.”

The shot-blocking continued to be tough to deal with for the Dawgs as Seton Hall kept forcing Butler to take shots from outside. A three from Boden Kapke was one of those shots to give Butler a slim lead that was bolstered by five straight foul shots made by Alexander giving Butler a 67-66 lead with 4:24 left.

Tied at 72-72 with 1:57 left, Butler missed their last four shots and Seton Hall made big plays to come away with the 78-72 victory.

“They blocked 13 of our shots,” said Matta. “That should tell you something about our shot selection today. We have to do a better job of that. Our margin for error is slim.”

Bediako had five of the 13 blocked shots for Seton Hall coupled with six points. Butler also surrendered a double-double of 24 points and 14 rebounds to Kadary Richmond.

Four of Butler’s starting five were in double figures led by Posh Alexander’s 17 points. DJ Davis had a rough game only mustering four points.

Seton Hall keeps a share of the lead in the Big East at 5-1 in conference play. Butler falls to 2-4 on the Big East and 11-6 on the year as they will look to rebound against Xavier in Cincinnati on Tuesday.

The post Seton Hall Blocks Their Way To 78-72 Win Over Butler appeared first on WIBC 93.1 FM.

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