Butler (5-1) vs. LSU (4-2)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Sunday, December 1, 2:20 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: HP Field House (5,000) -- Orlando, Florida.
Television: ESPNU. Home Record: Butler 3-0, LSU 3-0. Away Record: Butler 1-0,
LSU 0-1. Neutral Record: Butler 1-1, LSU 1-1. Conference Record: Butler 0-0,
LSU 0-0. Series Record: LSU leads, 1-0.
GAME NOTES: After both teams suffered hard-fought losses in the semifinal
round, the Butler Bulldogs and the LSU Tigers will duke it out on Sunday
afternoon for third place in the Old Spice Classic at HP Field House.
Following the opening-round victory over Washington State (76-69), Butler was
a perfect 5-0 and set to take on fifth-ranked Oklahoma State in the
semifinals, and while it was down by as many as 16 to the Cowboys, it managed
to climb all the way back to make it just a one-point game with two minutes to
play. With nine seconds left, the Bulldogs had a chance to tie or take the
lead when Khyle Marshall was sent to the free-throw line, but he missed both
and the Bulldogs were on the wrong end of a 69-67 final.
LSU was also on the wrong side of a tough battle on Friday. It led by two
points with six minutes remaining, but Memphis finished strong by ending the
game on a 16-7 run to capture a 76-69 triumph. The Tigers have still been
impressive this season, as they sit with a 4-2 record.
In the only previous meeting between the teams, LSU claimed a 75-71 win in the
first round of the 2009 NCAA Tournament.
Ultimately, Butler's comeback attempt on Friday fell short due to its
lackluster shooting effort, as it shot less than 40 percent from the field,
including just 6-of-21 from 3-point range. Sparking the team off the bench was
Elijah Brown, who scored 15 points on 5-of-11 from the field. Kameron Wood and
Alex Barlow put up 12 points apiece, while Woods also pitched in nine
rebounds. On the season, the Bulldogs have performed modestly on the offensive
end of the floor, draining 44.7 percent of their shots for 74.3 points per
game, but their defensive play (66.3 ppg) has been stellar. Kellen Dunham
makes less than 39 percent of his field goal attempts on the campaign, but he
generates enough volume to lead the team in scoring (17.3 ppg). Marshall (16.8
ppg, 6.8 rpg) brings senior leadership to the frontcourt, while Woods (10.5
ppg, 9.2 rpg, 1.7 bpg) has also been strong down low.
LSU was able to keep pace with Memphis for most of its semifinal-round matchup
by shooting a lofty 56.6 percent from the field, but only 5-of-20 came from 3-
point range. It's biggest issue came in protecting the ball, as it committed
24 turnovers that resulted in 33 Memphis points. Anthony Hickey led all
scorers with 20 points. Johnny O'Bryant tallied 14 points and nine rebounds
but was responsible for 10 giveaways all by himself. Jordan Mickey added 10
points and four blocks to the losing effort. The Tigers have been efficient
from the floor all season long, netting nearly 47 percent of their field goal
tries for 83.2 points per game, 12.0 points more than it allows, but their
turnover problem (-3.5 margin) is starting to catch up to them. O'Bryant (16.3
ppg, 10.5 rpg) is one of the top forwards in the SEC, and Mickey (13.5 ppg,
9.2 rpg, 3.8 bpg) joins him for an imposing duo in the frontcourt. Andre
Stringer (15.5 ppg) and Hickey (11.8 ppg, 4.5 apg, 2.8 spg) have both drained
Both teams showed promise in the semifinals but fell short against superior
competition, proving that they are not yet ready to join the ranks of the
elite. Both benches have ample talent, but Butler's strong defensive pressure
should get the best of the Tigers down the stretch.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Butler 77, LSU 75
12/01 10:36:38 ET
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