Butler downs Davidson in inter-conference showdownFeb 21, 2009 - 11:38 PM DAVIDSON, North Carolina (Ticker) -- Even with Stephen Curry, Davidson was no match for Gordon Hayward and Butler.
Hayward scored a season-high 27 points Saturday afternoon as the 22nd-ranked Bulldogs crushed Davidson, 75-63, in a showdown between first-place teams from mid-major conferences.
The victory snapped a two-game losing streak for Butler (23-4), which owns the top record in the Horizon League.
The Bulldogs avoided their first three-game skid since January 2005 thanks largely to Hayward, a 6-8 freshman who entered as Butler's second-leading scorer. The Indiana native shot 6-of-12 from the floor, went 11-of-12 from the free-throw line and sank four 3-pointers.
"Personally, I love playing on the road," Hayward said. "I don't know what it is. It's something about just silencing the crowd and just coming in and sticking together."
Matt Howard scored 12 points while Willie Veasley chipped in 10 for Butler, which completely stifled Curry and the Southern Conference-leading Wildcats (22-6).
"I think that our guys got excited for the chance to play against a great player, a team that went to the Elite Eight last year," Butler head coach Brad Stevens said.
The nation's leading scorer, Curry finished with 20 points but shot just 6-of-23 from the floor and went 2-for-13 from beyond the arc. The junior missed Davidson's last game due to a sprained ankle but did not appear limited by the injury in this contest.
"It's been a week since I played live action," Curry said. "That might have had something to do with it, but when it comes to game time, you've got to make those shots."
"It was debatable as to whether (Curry) was going to play as much as an hour before the game," Davidson head coach Bob McKillop added. "I think his rhythm was not there."
Andrew Lovedale added 15 points for Davidson, which has lost three of its last five since a 10-game winning streak.
Butler built a pair of 10-point leads in the first half before Davidson ended the half on a 12-7 run to claw within 34-29.
Curry opened the second half with a 3-pointer, pulling the Wildcats to 34-32. But the Bulldogs responded with a 10-0 run ignited by a 3-pointer from Hayward, who scored seven points during the outburst.
- NCAA BB
FINAL 1ST 2ND TOTAL
--- --- -----
BUTLER (22) 34 41 75
DAVIDSON 29 34 63 FINAL
Feb 21 2:09 PM
- NCAA BB
(22) BUTLER 34
DAVIDSON 29 HALFTIME
Feb 21 12:53 PM
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