INDIANAPOLIS – My look at some of the best and worst performances and happenings from ninth-ranked Butler’s 83-71 victory over Temple on Saturday at Hinkle Fieldhouse:
Best performance: I went back and forth on this one, before deciding to give it to Kellen Dunham. The Butler freshman reserve guard made 5 of 6 three-pointers en route to scoring 17 points. Two of Duhman’s three-pointers came during the decisive 16-4 run late in the game. He also finished the game with four rebounds, a steal and an assist in 28 minutes.
Worst performance: I had to give this award to Jake O’Brien. The Owls’ 6-foot-9 forward struggled in his second consecutive start of the season. O’Brien went 1-for-5 from the field to score three points in 18 minutes. The Boston University transfer didn’t grab a rebound and committed three turnovers, He was extremely ineffective on the low post and had one would-be rebound snatched out of his hands.
Best defensive performance: Roosevelt Jones gets this award. The Butler forward shut Temple guard Khalif Wyatt down. Wyatt finished with a team-high 22 points. Yet he was held to just six after intermission on 2-for-8 shooting while being guarded primarily by Jones. He began guarding Wyatt late in the first half.
Best performance in a losing effort: This was a tough one, because Scootie Randall and Anthony Lee are both deserving of the award. But after a lot of thought, I gave it Lee. The sophomore center made 5 of 9 shots en route to scoring 12 points. He also finished with a game-high seven rebounds. The Owls must find a way to get him more involved in the offense if they expect to make a sixth consecutive NCAA tourney appearance.
Worst statistic: You have to give this to Temple’s fast-break points. The Owls only scored two fast-break points. That’s not good for a team that’s as athletic as Temple.
Best statistic: This award goes to Butler’s shooting. The Bulldogs shot 26-for-50 (52 percent) from the field.
Worst of the Worst: This award goes to Temple’s performance during the deciding stretch. The Owls missed five of six shots and committed two turnovers during Butler’s late 16-4 run that decided the game.
Best of the Best: The Hinkle Fieldhouse atmosphere gets this award by a landslide. This place is a cross between the Palestra and Allen Fieldhouse. The electricity created by the knowledgeable 10,000 fans on hand is something that I’ll always remember. It’s not quite as electric as Allen Fieldhouse. Yet, it is a great place to watch a game. This is an experience I’ll remember for some time.