Eastern Round Up: Butler Is Wronged by Wright State

In wins against Ohio State and Detroit, Butler was able to overcome poor games by A.J. Graves and Mike Green. Freshman forward Matt Howard had strong games and Butler prevailed without playing their best. The third time wasn't the charm, however, as Graves played poorly again and the Bulldogs were knocked from the ranks of the unbeaten at Wright State. To be fair, his teammates weren't much better in the 43-42 loss. They shot 32% from the floor as a whole, led by their backcourt's 4-of-23 brickfest. Graves had a chance to win the game at the buzzer but missed a three and Wright State's fans flooded the court in a frenzy after knocking off the nation's 13th ranked team.

Unlike those previous games, though, Howard couldn't pick up the slack. He finished with just five points to complete a defensive effort that should make coach Brad Brownell very proud of his Raiders. Offensively, Wright didn't do much to overwhelm the Bulldogs but they moved the ball, found the open man and made the most of their limited opportunities.

Elsewhere on the mid-major hardcourts:

Charlotte 71, Southern Illinois 56 - Things aren't going the Salukis way right now. They lost their third straight to the 49ers and, again, found their trademark defense exposed by an opponent. Charlotte reeled off a 20-0 first half and led by as many as 23 in the second half to cruise to an easy win. Leemire Goldwire led them with 24 points and the Niners held SIU to 32% shooting to improve to 6-2 on the year.

Illinois State 62, Cincinnati 52
- The news wasn't all bad for MVC fans. Osiris Eldridge had 20 points and the Redbirds led by as many as 19 in the second half before Cinci pulled off a last, futile rally to get within six. Dom Johnson nailed a three, though, and sent Normal into a tizzy with the win over the Big East squad. These aren't your father's Bearcats, though. They've now lost to teams from the Atlantic Sun, MAC, CUSA and MVC.

Kent State 73, George Mason 55
- The Golden Flashes blew open a three point game with a 25-8 run early in the second half and improved to 8-2. Kent turned the ball over just five times in the game and got 17 points from Al Fisher and a double-double from Haminn Quaintance. Folarin Campbell struggled for GMU who have now lost two of their last three.

Sam Houston State 61, Saint Louis 53 - It might not be quite as high-profile as beating Oklahoma in Norman but the Bearkats stayed undefeated by handing Rick Majerus his first home loss at Saint Louis. The Billikens were totally hapless offensively, shooting 29.3% from the floor, while DeLouis Ramirez and Shamir McDaniel combined for 31 points and 13 rebounds for SHSU. SLU was able to cut a 15 point lead to two with a minute to play but McDaniel hit a three and the Bearkats made their free throws to move to 8-0.

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