Butler unveils banner, matches best start in school historyJan 21, 2007 - 1:10 AM INDIANAPOLIS (Ticker) -- Butler unveiled its 2006 NIT Season Tip-Off championship banner at halftime. By then, A.J. Graves had already given the home crowd plenty to celebrate.
Graves scored 21 of his 28 points in the first half when the 15th-ranked Bulldogs built a big lead en route to an 80-59 victory over Wisconsin-Green Bay in a Horizon League contest.
Graves made 5-of-8 shots from the arc and all nine of his free throws, extending his streak to 64 in a row at the line. The junior guard has made 91-of-92 free throws this season for a Division I leading 98.9 percent.
"I'm pretty much 100 percent, except for some aches in my lower left jaw," said Graves, who missed one game after having four wisdom teeth removed last week.
Last Wednesday, Graves played just 13 minutes due to dehydration in a win over Youngstown State.
Butler moved into the top 25 of the polls after beating Notre Dame, Indiana, Tennessee and Gonzaga in the NIT Season Tip-Off.
A banner signifying that tournament title was unveiled at halftime.
Since then, the Bulldogs (17-2, 5-1) lost games at Indiana State and Illinois-Chicago, but still matched the 1928-29 team for the best start in school history.
The Horizon League's second-leading scorer at 18.6 points per game, Graves scored nearly half of Butler's points in the first half when the Bulldogs built a 45-26 lead on 61 percent shooting (11-of-18).
"Just having my stamina back and being able to have my legs and get the liftoff is what helped me get back into it so quickly," Graves said.
Pete Campbell scored 14 points and Brandon Crone added 13 for Butler, which extended its home winning streak to 19 games.
Ryan Evanochko led Wisconsin-Green Bay (10-9, 2-4) with 21 points on 8-of-11 shooting. No other Phoenix player was in double figures.
"We have to have some other guys step up and perform," Wisconsin-Green Bay coach Tod Kowalczyk said.
The Phoenix held a 14-9 lead before managing just one basket in the next nine minutes.
Graves then hit three 3-pointers in a 14-0 run which put Butler in control.
The Bulldogs led by as many as 25 points in the second half.
- NCAA BB
FINAL 1ST 2ND TOTAL
--- --- -----
WISC GREEN BAY 26 33 59
BUTLER (15) 45 35 80 FINAL
HIGH SCORERS: WISC GREEN BAY - RYAN EVANOCHKO 21
BUTLER - AJ GRAVES 28
Jan 20 4:00 PM
- NCAA BB
WISC GREEN BAY 26
BUTLER (15) 45 HALFTIME
Jan 20 2:56 PM
- Butler basketball coach agrees to contract extension May 18
- Butler fills assistant coaching void with hire of Schrage May 12
- Butler adds graduate transfer Avery Woodson to roster Apr 25
- Butler partners with bone marrow registry in Smith's honor Mar 18
- Shut out of NCAA games, Butler's mascot hard at work outside Mar 18
- No. 1 seed Virginia prepares for 2nd-round test from Butler Mar 18
- Texas A&M aims for respect in first NCAA tourney since 2011 Mar 17
- Smith leads 5th school to NCAAs as Texas Tech faces Butler Mar 16
- Emotional season helps Butler finds its way to NCAA tourney Mar 15
- Green Bay announcer says game ejection was misunderstanding Mar 9
- No. 16 Providence rallies late, downs No. 18 Butler 71-68 Jan 19
- Green Bay pulls away from Morehead State in 2nd half, 78-72 Dec 28