Score: No. 6 Butler 68, No. 11 Bucknell 56
Star(s): Butler: Rotnei Clarke 17 Pts, 2 Ast. Andrew Smith 14 Pts, 16 Reb.
Story: Brad Stevens and Butler are back in the NCAA Tournament, and yet again, it looks like the Bulldogs will be a tough out. Butler defeated 11-seed Bucknell today in its second round game despite an early second half lull and an overall poor shooting performance.
The first half saw 35 points combined from the two schools. Somehow, Butler actually led at the half, 21-14, despite missing all nine of its three-point attempts. Bucknell’s 14 points came on seven made baskets, as the Bison attempted zero free throws in the first session.
In the second half, Bucknell got more aggressive, eventually going on a 19-2 run to take a 37-31 lead with just under 10 minutes to play. But Butler’s Andrew Smith and Rotnei Clarke both responded, nailing consecutive three-pointers to take the lead back for the Bulldogs. Butler started to pull away with about five minutes remaining, and the Bulldogs made 18 free throws down the stretch to seal the deal. In a game in which both teams shot under 40%, it was the free throw disparity that ultimately proved to be the advantage for Butler. The Bulldogs were 25-of-28 from the line, while the Bison were just 5-of-8.
This butler bucknell game is good twitter.com/TaronAllDayLon…
— Taron Long (@TaronAllDayLong) March 21, 2013
— Carson Cunningham (@CarsonC5) March 21, 2013