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Butler cashes in at foul line to beat Florida Gulf Coast

Feb 14, 2007 - 4:50 AM INDIANAPOLIS (Ticker) -- Struggling with its trademark 3-point shooting, Butler took a safer approach - at the foul line.

Mike Green scored a career-high 24 points to lead the 12th-ranked Bulldogs to a 79-65 victory over Division II Florida Gulf Coast.

After setting a school and Horizon League record with 20 3-pointers made in Thursday's 92-50 win over Cleveland State, Butler hit only 5-of-26 in a loss to Wright State on Saturday, snapping a nine-game winning streak.

The Bulldogs (24-3) again were off the mark from the arc against the pesky Eagles, hitting just 6-of-18, but they made up for it at the free-throw line to improve to 12-0 at home.

Green finished 14-of-16 from the stripe, including six in a row in a 29-second span after Florida Gulf Coast had closed to 71-62 on a 3-pointer by Casey Wohlleb with 1:51 remaining.

Overall, Butler hit 27-of-31 foul shots, including 6-of-6 by A.J. Graves, the nation's leading free-throw shooter who finished with 22 points. Graves has missed just four foul shots in 115 attempts this season.

The Bulldogs never appeared in danger of losing to Florida Gulf Coast, which is moving up to Division I next season and will play in the Atlantic Sun Conference.

Butler led by as many as 17 points in the first half but the Eagles closed within 39-28 at the break.

Florida Gulf Coast again fell behind by 17 points at the outset of the second half but rallied with a 14-4 spurt to close within 49-42 on Yavney Neptune's jumper midway through the second half.

A 3-pointer and two free throws by Graves gave the Bulldogs their biggest lead, 66-48, with 4:30 left, but the Eagles used a 14-5 run to halve that deficit before Green hit six straight from the line.

Pete Campbell added 12 points for Butler, which had five players in double figures in snapping Florida Gulf Coast's 14-game winning streak.

Beau Bauer scored 17 points and Wohlleb 12 for the Eagles (22-6), who played their third Division I foe of the season.

    --- --- -----
    FLA GULF COAST 28 37 65
    BUTLER (12) 39 40 79 FINAL

    Feb 13 9:05 PM


    Feb 13 7:51 PM