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Butler eyes Horizon title

Feb 28, 2009 - 11:07 AM Cleveland State (21-9) at No. 23 Butler (24-4), 12:00 p.m. EST

INDIANAPOLIS (Ticker) -- Despite losing four starters and four of its top five scorers from a season ago, Butler has a chance to lock up another Horizon League regular-season crown.

The 23rd-ranked Bulldogs look to clinch the Horizon title when they host Cleveland State on Saturday.

Butler (24-4, 14-3 Horizon) clinched at least a share of its third straight league title with a 78-57 victory over Youngstown State on Thursday.

Matt Howard had 25 points and 10 rebounds for the Bulldogs, who have won 17 of their last 18 games at home. Butler, which leads Wisconsin-Green Bay (13-4) by one game, will host the league tournament if it finishes in first place.

Cleveland State (21-9, 12-5) is an extremely live spoiler as it comes in on an eight-game league winning streak. It lost to Wichita State in a non-conference contest last Saturday.

J'Nathan Bullock scored 25 points as the Vikings posted a 70-64 victory over Valparaiso on Thursday. Cleveland State shot 61 percent (25-of-41) in the win.

Butler won the first meeting, 50-48, on Zach Hahn's 3-pointer with one second to play on December 4.