Butler makes fifth straight appearance in Horizon League tourney championship game

Bulldogs play in fifth straight tourney championship game
2010-03-10T00:00:00Z Butler makes fifth straight appearance in Horizon League tourney championship gameBY PAUL SHEPHERD - Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
March 10, 2010 12:00 am  • 

INDIANAPOLIS | Tuesday's Horizon League championship game between top-seeded Butler and No. 2 Wright State marked the third straight year the championship game was played at Butler's Hinkle Fieldhouse.

The Bulldogs were making their fifth straight conference championship game appearance coming off four consecutive regular-season titles. Butler entered the game just 1-3 in those previous four title tries, with its only win prior to Tuesday's victory coming in 2008 against Cleveland State.

Wright State was making its first title game appearance since beating Butler 60-55 in the 2007 championship game.

Butler also has reached at least the conference semifinal in 12 of the past 14 years.

Bulldogs shoot well against Raiders: Butler beat Wright State by 12 points twice during the regular season, with a 77-65 win Jan. 8 at Wright State and a 74-62 victory Feb. 6 at Butler. In both games, the Bulldogs shot the ball well from the field and the foul line.

Butler shot a season-high 67.5 percent from the field in the second meeting, making 27-of-40 shots to go with 16-of-18 free-throw shooting.

In the teams' first meeting, Butler shot .511 from the field, including 8-of-16 from 3-point range and 23-of-24 from the foul line.

Butler continued its torrid shooting Tuesday in taking a 42-28 first half lead, shooting .667 from the field, including 8-of-13 from 3-point range and all six of its free throw attempts.

DePauw a coaching hotbed?: Maybe it's something in the Greencastle, Ind. water.

Both Butler coach Brad Stevens (1999) and Wright State coach Brad Brownell ('91) graduated from DePauw University, located about 50 miles southwest of Indianapolis.

Both coaches have also had exceptional starts to their coaching careers.

Stevens, in his third year at Butler and overall, improved his record to 84-14 following Tuesday's victory. His win total is the most in NCAA history by any men's coach in his first three years.

Brownell closed the contest with an 84-44 record in four years at Wright State and a 167-85 mark overall.


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