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Shorthanded Butler cruises to 89-42 win over The Citadel

Host Butler reeled off the game’s first 17 points in the opening five minutes and rolled to an 89-42 nonconference win over The Citadel on Saturday night at Indianapolis.

Simas Lukosius and Jayden Taylor scored 18 points apiece as Butler (3-1) enjoyed its final prep for The Battle 4 Atlantis tournament. Eric Hunter Jr. added 15 points, 6 assists and 5 steals and Chuck Harris posted 13 points.

Manny Bates grabbed 9 rebounds and blocked 5 shots for the Bulldogs, who finished one shy of the school record with 11 blocks.

Iowa grad transfer Austin Ash scored 10 points to pace The Citadel (2-2), which shot 30.8 percent from the field and got outrebounded 42-24.

Hunter Jr. drilled a 3-pointer on the game’s first possession, but the Bulldogs’ offense didn’t go into overdrive until they scored 10 points in a 74-second stretch to take a 17-0 lead at the 15:15 mark.

Lukosius and Taylor started the 10-0 run with 3-pointers, then Taylor turned back-to-back steals into breakaway one-handed jams that forced The Citadel to call its second timeout. At that juncture, The Citadel was 0 of 4 from the field — three of those shots blocked — with seven turnovers.

The visiting Bulldogs finally got on the board with Stephen Clark’s layup at the 15:00 mark, but the host Bulldogs resumed their assault. When Lukosius tossed an alley-oop to Bates for a resounding jam at the 11:17 mark, Butler extended its lead to 28-5.

Butler seized its biggest lead of the first half when Taylor cashed a 3-pointer with 51 seconds left to make it 53-22.

The Bulldogs maintained the heat in the second half as the starters extended the margin to 65-29 on Harris’ 3-pointer with 13:23 to go. Head coach Thad Matta made his first second-half substitutions shortly thereafter.

With four players out due to injury, Butler had just nine available players so the hosts just kept adding to the lead. Ninth man Connor Turnbull gave the Bulldogs their biggest lead — 89-40 — when he swished a baseline jumper with 44 seconds left.

–Field Level Media

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