Johnnies losing streak grows to 9 as they fall 78-58 to the Butler Bulldogs. Prior to the game Butler honored the recent passing of former player Andrew Smith with a video montage and a moment of silence. Emotions were running high for Butler's players as they got off to a slow start. There were 7 total turnovers committed before the first TV timeout, 4 of which belonged to Butler.
Butler would eventually settle down as they finished the final 2:43 of the first half on a 10-0 run. Butler led 39-25 at halftime and wouldn't look back. Senior forward Ron Mvouika was held scoreless in the first half for the Johnnies for a second straight game.
Federico Mussini and Felix Balamou were bright spots for the Johnnies as they combined to score 27 of the teams 58 points. Johnnies will have 6 days to get ready to face Marquette on Saturday, January 23rd as they seek to snap a 9 game losing streak and earn their first Big East win of the season.
Johnnies continue to hurt themselves with turnovers. Coming into this game Johnnies were 298th in the nation averaging 14.6 turnovers per game. They committed 17 turnovers today against Butler. Johnnies have to take care of the ball if they want to win games in the Big East, especially on the road. Turnovers go hand in hand with offensive rhythm, during this 9 game losing streak the Johnnies have not been able to establish any offensive rhythm because they continue to turn the ball over. If the Johnnies want to snap this 9 game losing streak they have to limit turnovers and establish an offensive rhythm early in games.
Kellen and Kelan
Kellen Dunham led Butler in scoring today with 24 points. He made 10/11 free throws and 3/4 three-pointers. Johnnies needed to make life hard on Dunham and force him into tough shots and some early foul trouble, instead Dunham had his way with the Johnnies today as he was able to shoot 50% overall and 57% from three-point range.
Kelan Martin recorded his 3rd double-double of the season with 22 points and 10 rebounds off the bench. Martin played with a lot of energy as he dominated the glass and the paint area where he did most of his work.
Coach Mullin stated the importance of experience multiple times throughout the year. This holds true for both the players and the coaching staff. They're in this together, every game will be a learning curve for the coaches and players. The important thing is to move forward as a team and draw positives from every game. The Big East is a hard conference to play in, Hinkle Fieldhouse is tough arena to get earn a win in. Every game matters whether it's a win or loss, playing against teams like Butler on the road will only make the Johnnies better moving forward.