Butler begins Big East play next week, following Thursday’s final non-conference tuneup against visiting Western Illinois. The Bulldogs rebounded from a recent loss to Purdue with a 16-point win over Morehead State on Tuesday.
Butler dished out 21 assists - a new season high - in the win against Morehead State. Forward Kelan Martin continued to shine, posting 20 points and 10 rebounds for his fourth double-double of the season. The Bulldogs scored 52 second-half points en route to its sixth win in seven games. Butler hopes the momentum carries over against a Western Illinois team that lost a one-point heartbreaker its last time out.
TV: 7 p.m. ET, FSN Indiana
ABOUT WESTERN ILLINOIS (7-3): The Leathernecks fell to Eastern Illinois 78-77 on Tuesday in a game that they led by 11 with about seven minutes left. Kobe Webster had 16 points and seven assists for Western Illinois, which had won three of its previous four games. Dalan Ancrum averages a team-high 17.3 points but has just 34 total points over his last three outings.
ABOUT BUTLER (9-3): Martin’s 20 points all came in a 12-minute stretch and pushed the senior over 1,500 career points. The Bulldogs also received big games from Tyler Wideman and Nate Fowler, who shot a combined 10-of-11 for 26 points against Morehead State. Paul Jorgensen added a career high-tying 16 points, all of which came in the second half, in reaching double figures for the ninth time this season.
1. Butler has won 42 straight non-conference home games.
2. The teams have not met since 1990.
3. The Bulldogs are shooting 53.4 percent from the field in winning all seven of their home games.
PREDICTION: Butler 68, Western Illinois 55