INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Roosevelt Jones scored a career-high 24 points to lead No. 17 Butler over Penn 70-57 on Wednesday night, the Bulldogs’ eighth consecutive victory.
Butler (11-2) has opened the new year with a victory for the ninth straight season. The Bulldogs won their sixth straight at Hinkle Fieldhouse.
Miles Cartwright led Penn (2-10) with 15 points and Tony Hicks added 10.
The Quakers trailed 52-49 with under 9 minutes remaining in the game before an 18-8 run sealed the win for the Bulldogs.
Butler’s Rotnei Clarke entered Wednesday’s game averaging a team-high 18.1 points but struggled against the Quakers. The 6-foot guard was held to a season-low six points on 2-of-11 shooting.
Other Bulldogs picked up the slack as Khyle Marshall added 14 points and Kellen Dunham contributed 10.
The Bulldogs tied a season-low with four 3-pointers but their rebounding helped make up for the shooting woes as Butler won the rebounding battle 36-21.
Butler led 35-29 at halftime and had more offensive rebounds (11) than Penn had total rebounds (8). The Quakers were held without an offensive rebound in the first half.
A slow start by Butler saw the score tied 18-18 with 9:22 remaining in the first half.
Jones scored 15 points in the half on 7-for-11 shooting, only two from his then career-high.
The 3-point shooting of each team in the half kept the game close as Penn shot 5 of 7 from beyond the arc and Butler connected on 2 of 12.
Penn did not fade away in the second half.
Darien Nelson-Henry’s offensive rebound and layup cut the Bulldogs’ lead to 42-40 nearly 5 minutes into the second half.
The Bulldogs responded with seven straight points, including two dunks from Marshall, before the Quakers came back with seven straight of their own.
On consecutive possessions, Hicks made a 3-pointer and then a layup to bring Penn within 52-49 with 8:42 remaining.
Jones scored six of the next eight Butler points, including a steal and coast-to-coast layup to put the Bulldogs ahead 60-49 with 5:50 left.
The Quakers would only get as close as eight points the rest of the game.