The Butler Bulldogs fell to the Providence Friars on Wednesday evening, 71-55, as the Dawgs couldn’t seemingly buy a bucket.
Whether it was a ‘holiday hangover’ or having to play Providence on a back-to-back under a short timeframe, the Bulldogs stalled offensively all evening.
Butler shot 21-61 (34.4%) from the field and 7-26 (26.9%) from 3 point range, while Providence shot 28-48 (58.3%) and 6-13 (46.2%) from 3 point range–which tells you all you need to know how this one went for the Bulldogs.
Junior center Bryce Golden got into early foul trouble in the first half, and after the Friars’ lead ballooned to 35-18 at halftime, the game never really felt that close, although the Bulldogs’ did make a little noise in the last few minutes where it felt like they could make a serious push–but never did.
Providence guard David Duke led all scorers with 22 points (9-11 FG), while Bolden led the Bulldogs with 15 points. Two other Butler players, Bryce Nze and Chuck Harris, also scored in the double-digits with 10 points a piece.
It’s hard to dwell too much on this loss if you’re a Butler fan.
The team was once again without senior point guard Aaron Thompson (knee), and Butler’s offensive ball movement and perimeter defense (especially on Duke) really wasn’t where it otherwise would’ve been with a healthy Thompson.
This is a young team with a starting freshman backcourt of Harris and Tate right now, and their first big off the bench, freshman JaKobe Coles (who had some impressive buckets), all playing major minutes this season–which is a good thing.
There’s going to be some growing pains. There’s going to be some ups and downs, but the Butler basketball program will be better off for it in the long-haul.
The Bulldogs drop to 2-4 and will take on Seton Hall (7-4) to start the New Year on Saturday early evening at 4:30 PM EST on FS1. KenPom has Butler at #83 overall now, whereas Seton Hall is much higher at #37 respectively.