Butler (1-0) at Xavier (1-0)
The Sports Network
DATE& TIME: Tuesday, November 13, 4 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Cintas Center (10,250) -- Cincinnati, Ohio. Television: ESPN. Home Record: Butler 1-0, Xavier 1-0. Away Record: Butler 0-0, Xavier 0-0. Neutral Record: Butler 0-0, Xavier 0-0. Conference Record: Butler 0-0, Xavier 0-0. Series Record: Xavier leads, 30-16.
GAME NOTES: The Xavier Musketeers and Butler Bulldogs will meet in their last non-conference matchup, when the two teams collide at the Cintas Center in a an afternoon affair.
Butler has been the poster child for mid-major success of late, as Brad Stevens has won more games in his first five seasons than any coach in NCAA history. The team has some new faces on the roster as Butler heads into its first season in the Atlantic 10. The team opened the season with a 74-59 win over Elon at home.
The Musketeers have been a fixture in the Atlantic 10 for some time now. The team takes aim at another NCAA Tournament bid, but with no starters returning, Chris Mack would have to do an unbelievable job to match Xavier's Sweet 16 appearance a year ago. Xavier opened the 2012-13 season in record-setting fashion, recording a 117-75 win over Fairleigh Dickinson.
While these two teams are now conference foes once again (former MCC rivals), this contest does not count as an A-10 game, as it was scheduled prior to Butler's move. Xavier leads the all-time series by a 30-16 count and has won the last two meetings.
Arkansas transfer Rotnei Clarke (senior guard) made his presence felt right away, netting Butler's first 12 points and finishing the season-opening win against Elon with a whopping 21 points. Clarke was a solid 8-of-16 from the floor in the win, including 5-of-10 from three-point range. Freshman Kellen Dunham made an immediate impact as well, coming off the bench to pour in 18 points, while junior forward Khyle Marshall added 14. Marshall led the team in field goal percentage a year ago (.553) en route to 11.5 ppg. Butler shot an even 50 percent from the floor against the Phoenix and knocked down nine three-pointers. The team also benefited from a huge advantage on the glass (39-20).
Xavier's 117 points in the opener set a Cintas Center scoring record, as seven Musketeers finished in double figures, the first time that has happened since the 2007-08 campaign. Xavier scored 68 points over the first 20 minutes of action, thanks to a scorching 70.6 percent from the field. The 68 points in the first half were the most by Xavier since 1988. The big first-half lead was fueled by a 30-6 run over a span of seven minutes. Dee Davis was unstoppable, finishing with career-highs of 22 points and 15 assists. Travis Taylor recorded a double-double as well, posting 20 points and 12 rebounds, followed by Brad Redford's 19 points off the bench. Jeff Robinson added 16 points, followed by James Farr (14 pts), Erik Stenger (12 pts) and Justin Martin (11 pts).
Things certainly won't come as easy offensively for Xavier this time around. The Bulldogs have always played tough in this rivalry and the fact that the two teams are once again conference foes only ups the ante.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Xavier 74, Butler 71
11/13 10:37:32 ET