INDIANAPOLIS, IN – The Butler Bulldogs men’s basketball team kicked off its regular season with an 89-58 victory over the visiting Lamar Cardinals Saturday night at Hinkle Fieldhouse. The win was head coach Brandon Miller’s first as a head coach. The win Saturday night was also Butler’s 15th straight win in a home opener. Of those 15 wins, the win over Lamar came by the largest margin since 1997, when Butler beat Indiana Wesleyan by 43 under the leadership of Barry Collier.
“What a tremendous atmosphere for a basketball game,” Miller said. “It was a great place for a basketball game and I was proud of our effort from start to finish.”
The Butler Seniors, after an impressive win earlier in the day for the Butler Football team on Senior Day, picked up on the theme and really led the way against Lamar. Senior forward Khyle Marshall led the team with 19 points and 13 rebounds. Fellow senior Erik Fromm got the scoring under way with a wide open three pointer early in the first half and a big baseline dunk for the team’s first five points. He finished with 10 points. Butler outscored Lamar 62-22 in the paint on the night.
“We really made a big emphasis to work in the paint,” Marshall said. “That worked really well for us in the second half.”
Sophomore guard Kellen Dunham overcame a slow start to finish with 13 points and two assists. Junior forward Kameron Woods scored 11 points and pulled down seven rebounds in a starting role.
Junior point guard Jackson Aldridge scored nine points and dished out two assists in 13 minutes of play.
“It’s not something we’ve even talked about,” Aldridge said of the team’s offensive production. “It’s the way this team may evolve, but we need to continue to make sure our defensive mindset is there.”
Brad Stevens won his home opener as head coach by a margin of 28 to start the 2007 season. That game was played against Indiana State. Miller’s margin of victory was 31 points.
“It feels great,” Miller said of his first win. “What made the win really special was the atmosphere. You come into Hinkle Fieldhouse and you see packed crowds to the very top, it feels terrific. There was a different feeling in the air because it was the first regular season game.”
Fans packed the house for the first game of Brandon Miller’s head coaching career and Butler offered quite a second-half show. The 9,617 in attendance was the most for a Butler home opener since 1993 — when the Bulldogs hosted in-state rival Indiana, and beat the Hoosiers 75-71
Miller and the Bulldogs continue the 2013-2014 campaign against Princeton next Saturday at Hinkle Fieldhouse. The game will tip at 8 p.m. and will be televised on FOX Sports 2.
Chris Fultz is a Senior Writer and the Butler Athletics beat writer for the Indiana Sports Report. Chris Fultz is recognized as an accredited member of the media by Butler University Athletics and has full media access.
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