It was a marked improvement from Butler’s prior loss to Providence just a few days ago.
Butler freshman guard Myles Tate led the way with 22 points (a career high), which included 5 made three point shots, as well as added 5 assists and 2 rebounds.
His backcourt teammate in crime, Chuck Harris, also added 11 points, 2 assists, and 4 rebounds–as he had three 3 made three point shots of his own.
Butler got off to a strong start, at one point leading 18-11 with 11:39 in the first half, but Seton Hall amped up the defensive ball pressure and ended the first half on a 23-7 run–as the Pirates led 34-25 at halftime.
Butler struggled with the perimeter pressure and looked out of sorts offensively. Butler not only missed senior point guard Aaron Thompson and his ability to handle pressure and promote ball movement, but their lack of a go-to scorer rears its ugly head from time-to-time.
The Bulldogs did catch fire in the second half though, as Tate, Harris, and even fellow freshman Myles Wilmoth all hit big-time threes, as Butler, at one point, closed the Pirates’ lead to just 52-51 with 5:18 left in the game.
However, the Pirates’ more polished and veteran team closed it out, while Butler couldn’t quite finish off their spirited second half comeback attempt.
It was an encouraging performance by the young Bulldogs though–even if the outcome wasn’t ultimately a win.
Their freshman continue to get meaningful minutes and produce at a high level, holding their own against quality Big East competition–even if there are a few growing pains here and there.
Butler (2-5) will look to rebound, hosting Georgetown (3-5) next on Wednesday.