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Butler 57, New Orleans 44

The SportsXchange

INDIANAPOLIS -- Kellen Dunham scored 15 points and Khyle Marshall added 13 points and eight rebounds to help No. 17 Butler defeat New Orleans, 57-44, on Saturday at Hinkle Fieldhouse.

Roosevelt Jones added 11 points and six rebounds for the Bulldogs (12-2), who shot only 40 percent from the field but out-rebounded the Privateers, 33-22, to win their ninth consecutive game.

Butler's top scorer, Rotnei Clarke, had averaged 17.2 points this season, but he was held to a season-low four points in 36 minutes. Butler matched a season low by making only four 3-pointers, but pulled away in the second half.

Traddarius McPhearson led New Orleans with 10 points and Cory Dixon added nine points for the Privateers (3-10), who have lost five straight, all by at least 13 points.

Butler allowed its lowest point total of the season, and it was New Orleans' lowest point total of the season.

Butler's offense was stagnant out of the gate, and the Bulldogs fell behind before Alex Barlow found Marshall for an alley-oop dunk that tied the score, 9-9, with about nine minutes left in the first half.

A putback dunk by Marshall gave the Bulldogs a 22-15 lead with about two minutes remaining in the half and a bucket in close by Andrew Smith with three seconds left in the half gave the Bulldogs a 24-18 lead at halftime.

Butler got away with shooting 32 percent from the field in the first half by taking a 21-12 advantage on the boards and holding the Privateers to 35 percent shooting. Clarke was scoreless at halftime.

Marshall slammed home another alley-oop two minutes into the second half on an assist from Jones to push Butler's lead to 29-18. Clarke's first points, on a 3-pointer, made it 32-20.

A four-point play by Dunham put the Bulldogs up 38-25 with a little under 13 minutes to play and finally gave them a bit of separation.

New Orleans tried to stay in the game, and a 3-pointer by McPhearson cut Butler's lead to 40-32. Jones converted a 3-point play at the other end with 10 minutes left to boost the Bulldogs' lead back to double digits.

NOTES: Butler improved to 7-0 at Hinkle Fieldhouse this season. ... The Bulldogs are off to their best start since the 2008-09 season, when they started 19-1. ... New Orleans coach Mark Slessinger is from Bloomington, Ind., assistant coach Kris Arkenberg is from Trafalgar, Ind., and junior guard Isaac Mack is from Indianapolis. ... New Orleans had only one offensive rebound in the first half and finished with three.
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