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Howard, Green take turns leading charge in Butler win

Jan 11, 2008 - 7:05 AM INDIANAPOLIS (Ticker) -- A.J. Graves once again struggled, but No. 14 Butler found a way to hold off a feisty Wisconsin-Green Bay team.

Freshman Matt Howard did his damage in the first half, and Mike Green came through big in the second as the Bulldogs posted a 74-65 victory over the Phoenix in a Horizon League contest on Thursday.

Graves, who scored just seven points in a 66-55 win over Loyola-Chicago on Monday, had 13 points on 4-of-10 from the floor in this one.

It did not matter though as Howard scored 18 of his 22 points in the first half, while Green racked up 14 of his 18 following intermission to lead Butler (15-1, 4-1 Horizon) to its seventh straight win.

Terry Evans and Rahmon Fletcher scored 12 points apiece for Wisconsin-Green Bay, which had its three-game winning streak snapped.

Howard scored Butler's first 12 points, and the Bulldogs held a 37-34 advantage after 20 minutes.

Butler used a 24-11 run to take a 61-49 lead with 7:24 remaining, but Wisconsin-Green Bay (9-6, 3-2) would not go away. The Phoenix went on an 8-1 tear capped by two free throws from Randy Berry that made the score 62-57 with 4:28 left.

Evans hit a pair of free throws to help Wisconsin-Green Bay pull within 64-59 with 3:11 to play, but Butler put the game away with an 8-2 spurt that made it 71-61 with 57 seconds remaining.

Green and Graves hit layups during the run, and Green then converted three straight free throws to seal the win.

Howard did the majority of his damage at the free-throw line, converting 12-of-15 attempts. The 6-7 freshman also grabbed nine rebounds as the Bulldogs finished with a 38-30 margin on the glass.

Willie Veasley added seven points and 11 boards for Butler, which hosts Wisconsin-Milwaukee on Saturday.

Evans also pulled down 13 rebounds and blocked five shots and Mike Schachtner scored 11 points for the Phoenix, who shot 45.5 percent (25-of-55).