Mack scores 20 to help Butler beat Loyola-Chicago

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CHICAGO (AP)—Butler felt right at home on Loyola’s court. The Bulldogs feel right at home anywhere these days.

Shelvin Mack scored 20 points and Matt Howard had 18 points and 11 rebounds to help the No. 17 Butler beat Loyola of Chicago 78-55 Thursday night, winning its seventh straight.

The Bulldogs (15-1, 6-0 Horizon League) improved to 7-1 on the road this season.

“Once you get going, with anybody, once you let them get going, they feel good and they start making shots,” Howard said. “I think that’s what happened with us. We got going, I think Shelvin made a couple of 3’s to start the game. It just went from there and everybody started making shots.”

Ross Forman scored 13, Marcus Thomas had 12 and Leon Young added eight as the Ramblers (10-8, 2-4) lost for the third time in five games.

The Bulldogs dominated, shooting 50 percent (29-of-58) from the field while holding Loyola to 33.9 percent (19-of-56). Butler also controlled the boards, winning the rebounding battle 43-26.

The Bulldogs outscored the Ramblers 28-16 in the paint and beat Loyola 13-4 on fast breaks. Butler had 21 assists to only 10 turnovers.

Butler took control early by hitting six straight shots in a 22-0 run to take a 24-4 lead with 10:25 left in the first half. Mack had three straight 3-pointers during that stretch. The Bulldogs opened the second half with 12 straight points to take a 51-24 lead with 16:13 remaining.

“I think the game was pretty self-explanatory. The first seven minutes of the first half, Butler jumped us real well,” Ramblers head coach Jim Whitesell said. “The beginning of the second half, I was really disappointed with the way we played. We were down 15 and it goes to 27.”

Butler shot 11-of-22 on 3-pointers. It was the 14th time this season the Bulldogs have hit seven or more 3’s.

“It was good,” Bulldogs head coach Brad Stevens said. “Part of that was we were making some shots. I think our first six points were on the offensive glass. I think that’s important for this team.”

It was Loyola’s worst home loss since losing to then-No.2 Michigan State 103-71 in December of 2000.

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