ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP)—No. 22 Butler set a tournament record with 17 3-pointers Wednesday to defeat Michigan 79-65 in the first round of the Carrs/Safeway Great Alaska Shootout.
The Bulldogs dished out 19 assists, including eight by point guard Mike Green, in scoring 76 percent of their baskets off passes.
Wolverines coach John Beilein threw a 1-3-1 zone at the Bulldogs but said Butler’s veterans were too much for his young team.
“I thought we handled the pressure well and that led to good shots,” Butler coach Brad Stevens said.
It also helped that his shooters made their 3-pointers, hitting 17 of 32. If they had shot a respectable 12-of-32, Stevens said, the Bulldogs would have lost by one.
“They’re going to slice and dice you no matter what you play against them,” Beilein said.
With the score 10-8, Pete Campbell hit a pair of 3-pointers that started a 15-3 run, culminating with two free throws by Julian Betko with 8:46 remaining. Michigan whittled the lead to seven behind 3-pointers by Ron Coleman and C.J. Lee, and Butler led 40-32 at halftime.
Michigan scored just two first-half baskets in the paint but shot 7-for-13 from behind the 3-point line. The Bulldogs shot 8-for-16.
The Wolverines (2-2) scored the first seven points of the second half to cut the lead to one behind a 3-pointer by DeShawn Sims and four free throws by Manny Harris, but couldn’t maintain their long-range shooting touch.
With Butler (4-0) clinging to a 51-48 lead with about 14 minutes remaining, the Bulldogs put on a shooting clinic.
A.J. Graves hit a 3-pointer, Campbell hit another and Graves hit a third. That started a 18-2 run—all on 3-pointers—and Butler built its biggest lead, 72-50.
All five Butler starters scored on 3-pointers and only Drew Streicher shot less than 50 percent from beyond the arc.
“They have senior guards. We have two freshmen on the floor, and that leads to finding shooters open for the long-range shots,” Beilein said. “They really see the open man an eyelash before the younger players,” Beilein said.
Campbell led Butler with 18 points, all on 3-pointers.
Graves finished with 17 points for Butler. Mike Green had 14 and eight assists. Matt Howard had 12 points and 12 rebounds off the bench.
DeShawn Sims led Michigan with 14 points. Ron Coleman and Manny Harris each had 12.