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Bulldogs Snap Seven Game Slump Against DePaul On The Road

Chris Fultz
ISR Butler Beat Writer

ROSEMONT, IL- The Butler Bulldogs were ready for redemption after a 19 point loss seven days ago to nationally ranked Villanova. Thankfully, it was the Bulldog squad of November that showed up against the DePaul Blue Demons. Junior point guard Alex Barlow scored a career-high 19 points and senior forward Khyle Marshall added 18 to lead Butler to a 79-46 victory over DePaul in a BIG EAST Conference game at Allstate Arena on Thursday, March 6. The win snapped a seven game losing streak and brings the Bulldogs to 13-16 on the year, 3-14 in conference play and into ninth place in the BIG EAST standings.

Photo: Butler Athletics/Alex Barlow (John Fetcho)
Photo: Butler Athletics/Alex Barlow (John Fetcho)

Butler and DePaul met for the second time this season and for the eighth time overall. The Bulldogs were left with a bad taste in their mouth after the Blue Demons stole the first meeting in early January, 99-94 in a double overtime match in Hinkle Fieldhouse. That win increased their series lead to 6-1. DePaul has six straight wins in the series.

Seeking revenge, the Bulldogs jumped to an 18-4 lead in the first 10 minutes of the game, and DePaul (11-20, 3-15 BIG EAST) never got closer than 10 points the rest of the way. Butler opened the second half with a 15-2 run to increase the lead to 53-20 with just over 16 minutes remaining.

Barlow hit seven-of-nine shots, including a career high four-of-five from deep, and he added five steals, three assists and three rebounds in his career best performance. He had 13 points in the first half, while helping Butler to a 38-18 halftime lead. Marshall remained a consistent scorer throughout both halves, scoring his points evenly in the first and second. He also added four rebounds and a steal in 27 minutes of action.

Two minutes into the second half, Barlow had 18 points and DePaul had 18 points.

“We played about as well as we could play from start to finish,” said Butler head coach Brandon Miller after the Bulldogs’ 33-point victory. “We executed on both sides of the ball. I thought our defense allowed our offense to get a couple of easy baskets early in the game.”

Butler’s 79-point outburst came just one game after the Bulldogs scored a season-low 48 points in a loss at Villanova. The 79 points were the Bulldogs’ second-highest total in a regulation BIG EAST game this season.

“We were efficient on the offensive end. We got the shots that we wanted and we got the ball in the paint,” noted Miller.

Barlow scored eight of the 18 points in Butler’s opening run. He went on to hit five of six shots in the first half, including all three of his three-point attempts. His final three-pointer of the opening half came after he stole the ball in the closing seconds and launched a desperation shot at the buzzer.

“Alex is always one of our more solid guys, one of our sound guys,” said Marshall of Barlow’s performance. “He’s definitely capable of scoring in double-digits as he’s done throughout the season. He was hot tonight. Our guys did a good job of getting him the ball, and he did a good job of finding his spots. He played a very complete game tonight.”

Miller used all 13 players on his roster, and 11 of those players cracked the scoring column. Butler’s bench out-scored DePaul, 24-10.

Brandon Young, playing his final home game for DePaul, led the Blue Demons with 24 points, while freshman Billy Garrett added 12.

The Bulldogs finished with a commanding 46-29 rebounding advantage, including a 16-6 edge in offensive rebounds. Sophomore Kellen Dunham led the Bulldogs with a career-high nine rebounds while only posting 6 points on 2-12 shooting.

Butler can clinch the No. 9 seed for the upcoming BIG EAST Tournament with a win in its final regular season game on Senior Night against Seton Hall on Saturday (March 8). That contest at Hinkle Fieldhouse will start at 4:30 p.m.

Chris Fultz is the Butler Athletics beat writer for the Indy Sports Report and is recognized as an accredited member of the media by Butler Athletics and has full media access. Follow Chris and the Indy Sports Report on Twitter.

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