Butler looks to bounce back from a loss in the quarterfinals of the PK80 Tournament when it faces Portland State in the consolation bracket on Friday. The Bulldogs were held to 33 percent shooting from the floor en route to a 61-48 setback to Texas and hope to solve their offensive woes by knocking off a Vikings squad that had top-ranked Duke on the ropes for the first 20 minutes of their quarterfinal matchup before losing 99-81.
“We got good looks from the guys that we wanted taking them but they didn’t fall,” Butler head coach LaVall Jordan told reporters. “We didn’t finish possessions like we needed to offensively.” Butler has held three opponents to 65 points or less this season and aims to put the defensive clamps on Portland State, which is averaging 89.8 points over its first five games. The Bulldogs can score as well and are 3-0 when going over the 80-point mark under Jordan as they hope to match baskets with Portland State in their first-ever meeting. The Vikings led Duke 49-45 at halftime before running out of steam down the stretch and hope to go one step further and pull off the upset on Friday.
TV: 3 p.m. ET, ESPNU
ABOUT PORTLAND STATE (4-1): Deontae North led the way with a game-high 24 points to go along with four assists in 20 minutes before fouling out in the loss to Duke. Bryce Canda was the only other Viking to finish in double figures as he added 14 points and 10 rebounds for his second double-double in the last three games. “Our program was excited to play Duke for a long time and I thought we responded very well,” Portland State head coach Barret Peery told reporters. “Our guys reacted well to the setting and the way things were set up for us.”
ABOUT BUTLER (3-2): Kamar Baldwin scored a team-high 15 points and pulled down six rebounds while Kelan Martin added 12 points but finished 4-of-19 from the field as the Bulldogs missed their first 18 of their first 22 attempts from the field in the loss to Texas. Sean McDermott went 3-of-5 from 3-point range en route to 11 points but the rest of the team went 3-of-17 from beyond the arc against the Longhorns. “Obviously we wanted to play better,” Jordan said. “Defensively we did a lot of good things probably enough to win.
1. Baldwin has scored at least 15 points in four straight games.
2. Martin is 11-of-46 from the field in his last three contests.
3. Canda has scored in double figures in all five games this season.
PREDICTION: Portland State 81, Butler 78