November 23, 2019 / 2:17 AM / 21 days ago

Butler hands Morehead State second straight loss

Kamar Baldwin scored a game-leading 17 points and picked up eight rebounds, Bryce Nze added 16 and six boards and Sean McDermott finished with 10 points to give Butler its 55th straight home nonconference win in a 68-50 triumph over Morehead State on Friday in the Hall of Fame Classic in Indianapolis.

The Bulldogs (5-0) made 12 of their first 24 shots in the second half to pull away from the Eagles (4-2).

James Baker and Djimon Henson both scored 11 to lead Morehead State.

The Eagles lost their second straight game after opening the season with four consecutive victories. Morehead State, which was averaging 77.4 points per game, never got on track offensively en route to shooting 34 percent (16 for 47) from the field.

The Bulldogs broke open the game with a 13-3 run to start the second half. McDermott scored five straight points, including burying a 3-pointer, to give the Bulldogs a 37-32 lead at the 15:39 mark. Aaron Thompson hit a jumper and added a free throws to pad the lead to 40-33. Jordan Tucker gave the Bulldogs some more breathing room with a 3-pointer, off an assist from Thompson, to pad the lead to 43-33. Tucker came right back and drilled another 3 to extend the margin to 46-35.

The first half featured a back-and-forth, evenly matched game in which neither team could play away. Each time the Eagles took a lead, the Bulldogs answered with a basket to tie the game in a first half that featured 11 ties.

Khalif Battle drained a jumper to give the Bulldogs a 25-21 lead with 5:49 left in the first half. But Morehead State answered with a 3-pointer by Henson to cut the deficit to 25-24.

The Bulldogs, who ranked 12th in the country in 3-point field goal defense by allowing opponents to shoot just 23.2 percent, had trouble containing the Eagles in the first half. Morehead State shot 44.4 percent (4 for 9) on 3s to enter halftime tied at 30-30.

Meanwhile, the Eagles came with an equally stingy perimeter defense, ranking 30th in the county by holding opponents to a 24.8 percent clip on 3s. Butler shot 3-for-12 on 3s (25 percent) in the opening half to finish 9 for 26.

—Field Level Media

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