Marshall, Butler beat NJIT 66-48

CHRIS GOFF (Associated Press)
The Associated Press

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- Khyle Marshall scored 21 points and little-used freshman Rene Castro added 10 off the bench as Butler slugged its way to a 66-48 victory over New Jersey Institute of Technology on Saturday.

It was the final non-conference game for Butler (10-2), which opens Big East play on Tuesday by hosting No. 8 Villanova. The Bulldogs have won five in a row since losing twice at the Old Spice Classic.

Marshall has scored 20 points or more four times this season after having four 20-point games in his first three years at Butler. His big afternoon helped make up for leading scorer Kellen Dunham finishing with just nine points. Kameron Woods had nine points and 12 rebounds for the Bulldogs.

NJIT (6-9), the lone Division I independent, lost its fifth straight. Damon Lynn scored 11 points for the Highlanders, who shot 30 percent from the field to Butler's 49 percent.

Marshall made 8 of 10 shots and contributed five rebounds. Castro, a third-string point guard, was 5 of 8 in a season-high 19 minutes.

The Highlanders switched up their starting lineup, inserting 6-foot Winfield Willis in place of injured center Tim Coleman, who sustained a foot injury in a recent practice. NJIT attempted to spread the floor more than usual with its offensive system built on ball movement and cutting. It didn't work.

Butler adapted well defensively and held the Highlanders to 6-of-29 shooting, including 2 of 11 from beyond the arc, in the first half. The Bulldogs led 29-16 at intermission behind 52 percent shooting and eight points apiece from Marshall and Castro. They missed all six 3-point attempts before the break but used eight offensive rebounds to gain extra chances.

The Bulldogs finished with a 45-27 edge overall on the glass, getting six rebounds from Erik Fromm and five more from reserve Andrew Chrabascz.

Butler went ahead by double figures when Jackson Aldridge's jumper made it 14-4 with 13:08 remaining in the first half. Baskets by Marshall and Chrabascz stretched the lead to 11.

The Bulldogs then went cold offensively, scoring just four points in a stretch of more than 6 1/2 minutes, as NJIT clawed within 20-14 on two free throws from Lynn that capped a 7-2 run.

But Butler responded with a 9-2 burst over the final 5 minutes of the half, getting three layups from Castro, a midrange jumper from Woods and a free throw from Woods.

After Terrence Smith dunked for NJIT with 18:13 left in the game, Butler went on a 6-1 spurt. Alex Barlow found Fromm, whose 3-pointer - Butler's first - made it 39-21. The Highlanders got no closer than 11 the rest of the way.

The Bulldogs improved to 6-0 at Hinkle Fieldhouse, where they are 232-34 since the start of the 1995-96 season.

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