Butler Defeats Penn 63-53, Advance to CBI Final Four

Butler Defeats Penn 63-53, Advance to CBI Final Four

Different tournament, same result.  With their 63-53 win over the Quakers of Penn, the Butler Bulldogs advance to their third consecutive final four appearance. this time it’s the final four of the College Basketball Invitational presented by Zebra Pen

Ugly shooting and numerous turnovers, due mainly to stringent defense, lead to a rather lackluster first half from both squads. Butler shot just 26% from the field and committed 10 turnovers. However they lead by three at half by out-rebounding the Quakers 27-17 including 12 offensive boards, and thanks in large part to Penn’s 24% field goal percentage. After scoring a season low 17 points in the first half Penn’s head coach Jerome Allen was asked what they could do differently in the second half,  Allen simply quipped “Yeah… put the ball in the basket.”

Both teams kept up with the smothering defense until about the 11:00 minute mark in the second half when the scoring flood gates seemed to open up.  Butler opened up a seven point lead on a 9-0 run only to be countered with a 8-4 run by the Quakers which coincided with Fran Dougherty being reinserted back into the game.

Penn’s senior guards Zac Rosen and Robert Belcore kept it close with great all-around efforts,  the former chipping in 11 points and 5 boards, the latter filling out the scoreboard with nine points, eight rebounds, and five assists.   But in the end it was the senior leadership of Ronald Nored, playing in his Butler record 141st game, and a double double by sophomore Khyle Marshall that proved to much for the Quakers.  Marshall finished with 14 points and 13 rebounds and Butler made  nine of their final 11 free throw attempts to ice the game away.

Next up for the Bulldogs will be the Panthers of Pitt who defeated Princeton 82-61.  The two will square off in the CBI semi-final which will be aired LIVE this Wednesday, March 21st on HDNet. The Quakers finish the season at 20-13.

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