Listen Live
COLLEGE BASKETBALL: DEC 23 Butler at Providence

Source: Icon Sportswire / Getty

CINCINNATI — It appeared as if the Butler Bulldogs would be a handful all night long for Xavier in the early going of their match-up on a frigid night in Cincinnati, but the proverbial game of runs turned on the Dawgs as Xavier rolled to an 85-71 victory.

The shooting was hot from Pierre Brooks who drained 11 of Butler’s first 16 points. Two of six of those points came from behind the arc. Leading 16-8 as Xavier called their first timeout, it seemed Butler was in the groove.

Like the flow of water ceasing as the dam operator closes the floodgates of Eagle Creek Reservoir, so too did the scoring for Butler. What would ensue over the next seven minutes would be a 20-3 scoring swing for the Musketeers, during which Butler would go more than six minutes without a bucket.

What also didn’t help was early foul trouble by Butler’s big man Jalen Thomas, who ended the half on the bench with three fouls.

By the 7:09 mark of the first half, Butler’s once 8-point lead turned into a 16-point deficit as Xavier led 35-19. The deficit reached its peak with 3:30 left in the half as Quincy Olivari hit a dagger three to put Butler down 43-27.

Despite a quick run by the Bulldogs late in the half, Butler would trail 46-32 at the intermission.

The Bulldogs were in need of a jolt, and they found it in Posh Alexander in the second half. After being held scoreless in the first half, he nailed each of Butler’s first two shots, a two and then a three, of the second half.

Xavier’s Desmond Claude kept it tough though scoring more of his 26 points on the night in the second half.

Trailing 55-40 with 16:08 to play, Alexander kept the motor running, weaving, bumping, and punching his way leading Butler on a 17-3 scoring run that cut the Xavier lead to one 58-57. The run was capped off with a three by Alexander to give Butler their first lead since early in the first half.

Alexander would finish with 21 points for the night.

Once again, the aforementioned operator of the floodgates closed the dam on the Dawgs again as Xavier responded with a 13-0 swing of their own off of several settled possessions by Butler that came up empty.

Gytis Nemeiksa would help ensure the Dawgs would never get any closer than eight points in the last five minutes as Xavier stifled any signs of resistance from Butler down the stretch to hold on for an 85-71 victory.

Brooks was the leading scorer for Butler with 22 points, half of which came in the game’s first four minutes. Thomas played to the end despite his foul trouble gathering 11 points and 10 rebounds for another double-double.

DJ Davis had his second game in a row without a three going 0-for-8 from the field and only contributing two free throws.

Butler has lost five of their last six games falling to 2-5 in Big East play. DePaul will visit Hinkle Fieldhouse on Saturday.

The post Xavier Runs Over Butler; Dawgs Lose Five Of Last Six appeared first on WIBC 93.1 FM.

Xavier Runs Over Butler; Dawgs Lose Five Of Last Six  was originally published on

Leave a Reply