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5 keys to Butler's 75-68 win over Rhode Island

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For more on college basketball, follow Tom Davis via Twitter at Tom101010.

Bulldogs get defensive - eventually

Sunday, February 3, 2013 - 2:28 am

Butler won its 11th consecutive game at Hinkle Fieldhouse on Saturday with a 75-68 win over Rhode Island.

Here are five keys as to why the Bulldogs won:

1. Free throw shooting

Butler sank 24 of 27 free throws (88.9 percent) against Rhode Island, including a startling performance from sophomore forward Roosevelt Jones (8 of 8), who averages just 56 percent from the line.

2. Defense

The Bulldogs didn’t guard well in their recent loss at Saint Louis and they didn’t do so early against the Rams either. After allowing Rhode Island to shoot 48.1 percent from the field in the first half, the Bulldogs held the visitors to just 30.4 percent in the second half.

3. Halftime adjustments

Butler opened the second half with a 13-0 run and that put Rhode Island out of its comfort zone for much of the second half.

4. Toughness

With two Butler starters fouled out (Andrew Smith and Alex Barlow), Rhode Island made a late run and pulled to within four (72-68) in the final minute. However, Butler connected on 3 of its final 4 free throws and was able to get a final defensive stop to seal the win.

5. Stepping up

With Smith (8 points) and Kellen Dunham (4 points) not playing their best, Bulldogs such as Rotnei Clarke (23 points), Roosevelt Jones (18 points, six rebounds, four assists), Khyle Marshall (13 points), and Kameron Woods (seven points, five rebounds) continued to produce to make up for any shortcomings offensively.