Solid play at home has been a highlight to the start of Butler’s season.
However, maintaining that undefeated home mark could be seriously tested Tuesday night in Indianapolis, when the Bulldogs host a Yale squad that’s off to its best start in 77 years.
Butler’s 5-0 showing at historic Hinkle Fieldhouse is its best home start since winning the first nine there in 2019-20. The Bulldogs (6-3) are averaging 85.8 points and shooting 57.4 percent at home, while guard Chuck Harris (15.6 points per game) has averaged 19.8 points on 59.3 percent shooting there this season, including 16 of 30 from 3-point range.
Harris set career highs with 32 points and six made 3-pointers on eight attempts during Saturday’s 80-66 home win against Tennessee Tech. Harris’ effort proved vitally important for the Bulldogs, who scored 20 of the game’s final 27 points to pull away from the pesky Golden Eagles.
However, the fact Butler struggled to shake Tennessee Tech and allowed the visitors to shoot 6 of 11 from 3-point range in the second half was concerning for coach Thad Matta.
“They spread us out and they took advantage of us, but that can’t be who we are,” Matta said. “We have to play smarter, we have to play harder and it’s gotta be more important to us.”
Especially against Yale (8-1), which is off to its best start since going 14-1 in 1945-46. These Bulldogs are averaging 80.2 points, shooting 49.8 percent and 34.9 percent from 3-point range. Yale has also held all but two opponents to 60 or fewer points.
Yale allowed its most points of the season and 11 3-pointers at Stony Brook on Saturday, but it managed a 77-72 victory to improve to 2-1 in true road games.
“It was a gutsy performance from our guys to pull it out,” Yale coach James Jones said.
Matt Knowling (17.3 ppg) and John Poulakidas (11.4 ppg, 23 of 48 from 3-point range) have paced Yale, which is 0-13 on the road against Big East opponents since the start of the 1996-97 season.
–Field Level Media