Butler runs past Wright StateJan 6, 2007 - 11:11 PM INDIANAPOLIS (Ticker) -- A.J. Graves and Butler sent an early message to Wright State about who is the team to beat in the Horizon League.
Graves scored 19 points and the 13th-ranked Bulldogs took control of the game with a first-half run and never looked back en route to a 73-42 victory over the Raiders.
Butler (14-1, 3-0) and Wright State entered the game as the only teams undefeated in league play but the Bulldogs showed early on that they were going to be the ones to stay that way.
Graves hit a 3-pointer to give Butler a 5-2 lead and jump-start a 28-9 run. The junior guard capped the run with three free throws with 5:11 left in the first half to extend the lead to 30-11.
"We needed to defend with great purpose as a team and I thought we established that early," Butler coach Todd Lickliter said. "And I thought we moved the ball really well and that's what really makes good shooting teams."
Wright State (9-7, 2-1) had won six of the last seven meetings with Butler but trailed by as many as 35 and became the Bulldogs' 16th consecutive victim at home.
"Our big key today was that we defended well and we communicated well," Graves said. "On offense we did a better job of moving the ball. We had gotten away from that the past couple of games and we worked really hard on that this week in practice and it showed today."
Pete Campbell scored 12 points and Drew Streicher had 10 both off the bench for Butler, which hit 12 3-pointers and had a 32-23 edge on the boards.
"We got great contributions off the bench," Lickliter said. "I told the team that we play five guys at a time, but that doesn't mean everyone shouldn't prepare to play, and I think we have guys on this team who prepare to play."
DaShaun Wood scored 12 points for Wright State and was the only Raider to reach double figures.
- NCAA BB
FINAL 1ST 2ND TOTAL
--- --- -----
WRIGHT ST 20 22 42
BUTLER (13) 36 37 73 FINAL
Jan 6 3:54 PM
- NCAA BB
WRIGHT ST 20
BUTLER (13) 36 HALFTIME
Jan 6 2:51 PM
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