IUPUI (3-6) at Butler (5-2)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, December 5, 7 p.m. (et).
FACTS & STATS: Site: Hinkle Fieldhouse (10,000) -- Indianapolis, Indiana. Television: Local. Home Record: IUPUI 2-1, Butler 3-0. Away Record: IUPUI 0-3, Butler 0-1. Neutral Record: IUPUI 1-2, Butler 2-1. Conference Record: IUPUI 0-2, Butler 0-0. Series Record: Butler leads, 3-0.
GAME NOTES: The Butler Bulldogs welcome the IUPUI Jaguars to Hinkle Fieldhouse this evening for a non-league matchup.
Butler leads the all-time series, 3-0, although these teams have not met since the 1999-2000 campaign. IUPUI is winless on the road in three tries this season, while Butler has won all three of its home games so far.
IUPUI opened its Summit League schedule with a 79-65 setback to UMKC on Nov. 29 and followed that up with another league loss at South Dakota (88-68) this past Saturday. This is the third stop of a four-game road swing for the Jaguars, although their campus is only about six miles away from Butler's. They'll conclude the road trip at Western Kentucky on Saturday.
Meanwhile, Butler is seeking a third straight win and fifth victory in its last six outings. Most recently, the Bulldogs claimed a 67-53 triumph against Ball State over the weekend. After tonight's contest, they'll hit the road to visit Northwestern on Saturday.
In each of its last two games, IUPUI has dug itself a big first-half hole and been unable to climb out of it. On Saturday, USD guard Juevol Myles went off for 19 first-half points as the Coyotes shot a blistering 68 percent from the floor in the opening frame en route to a 49-33 halftime lead. For IUPUI, senior guard John Hart finished with a career-best 29 points, although he was the only Jaguars player in double figures. IUPUI shot just 39.7 percent for the game and was outrebounded, 42-27. The Jags were also outscored at the free-throw line, 28-5.
On the season, Hart paces the squad with 16.6 points per game and he has knocked down an impressive 24-of-57 3-point tries (.421). However, Hart's long-range success has not quite translated to the foul line, where he has missed 6-of-17 attempts (.647). Mitchell Patton is next in line with 15.1 points and 6.0 rebounds per game, while Donovan Gibbs averages 9.0 ppg and a team-best 8.1 rpg. Both Gibbs and Patton are shooting 50 percent or better from the floor.
Three players are averaging double figures for Butler, led by Rotnei Clarke and his 18.0 ppg. Like Hart, Clarke commands plenty of attention along the perimeter, having buried 28-of-68 threes (.412). Khyle Marshall patrols the paint, tallying 13.1 points and 6.3 rebounds per tilt, while Kellen Dunham is scoring 10.1 ppg and has sank 21-of-22 free throws.
Against Ball State on Saturday, the Bulldogs overcame a sluggish first half and opened the second stanza with a decisive 21-5 run. The Cardinals, who played to a 33-33 tie at intermission, never got closer than 14 points the rest of the way. Clarke led all scorers with 15 points in the victory, although he shot just 5-of-18 from the floor, including a 3-of-12 effort from beyond the arc. Andrew Smith added 12 points and Marshall finished with 10. Butler committed only five turnovers for the game and forced 19 on the other end.
It has been a tough road so far for IUPUI, and things won't get any easier tonight inside Hinkle Fieldhouse. Expect the Bulldogs to ride their balanced attack to another home victory.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Butler 79, IUPUI 66
12/05 10:38:33 ET