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Indiana States Gabe Moore (1) shoots around the defense of Butlers Elliot Engelmann, center, in the first half of a college basketball game in Indianapolis, Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2007.

Indiana State’s winning streak against Butler ended with a resounding thud at Hinkle Fieldhouse on Wednesday, and ISU guard Gabe Moore isn’t going to take it lightly.

No. 25 Butler controlled the game from the opening tip and looked every bit as poised and confident as their ranking (and experience) would indicate in a 76-48 victory.

“We have to improve on ball-handling, passes, cuts, everyone has to work on shooting. There’s a lot we need to improve because we’re not ready,” Moore said. “Butler’s a good team, but what was the final score? I don’t think they’re that much better than us. If we had fought all the way to the end, but this loss? I can’t accept it.”

Moore and Jay Tunnell led the Sycamores (1-1) with 10 points apiece. ISU shot 32.7 percent from the field, never overcoming a 20.8 percent first half shooting hole.

Butler guard and Switz City native A.J. Graves, who had never participated in a Butler win over ISU, was an electric presence for Butler as he led all scorers with 26 points, making 8 of 12 from the field. Graves had never participated in a win over ISU and admitted that the Bulldogs thought about that going in.

“It was on our minds, how could you not think about it?” Graves said. “But we wanted to take it as just another game. They’re on our schedule and we want to go and execute our system and come out with a win no matter what’s happened in the past.”

Whatever could go wrong offensively did for ISU in the first half. It started when Moore picked up his second foul barely three minutes into the game and snowballed into a poor shooting performance that didn’t abate until the Sycamores finished the half 5 of 24 from the field.

Butler’s man-to-man defense had a lot to do with it, as the Bulldogs (2-0) jumped out on the ISU shooters and closed off passing lanes, but aside from Marico Stinson, the Sycamores lacked aggression getting to the basket.

“Our first shot defense was really good all night. We have up some offensive rebounds that led to points [ISU scored 10 second-chance points], but the Butler way is to guard, and I’m pleased they did so,” said Butler coach Brad Stevens, who won his home debut as coach.

ISU pulled itself together to start the second half, doing a good job feeding the ball into the post. Tunnell was the beneficiary as he scored nine straight points in one stretch to help ISU cut its deficit to nine points. The Sycamores then began to find their outside stroke to give itself a chance to get back into it.

It didn’t last. With Butler up 44-34, Graves hit a 3-pointer at the 10:24 mark, the floodgates opened, and didn’t stop until Butler polished off a 23-4 run. ISU fell apart, failing to score on 13 of 15 possessions during the run. Butler would finish the game scoring on 17 of its final 21 possessions and scored 49 points in the second half overall.

“We were still kind of hanging in there and we had some careless turnovers, had some lapses on defense, it got out of hand,” ISU coach Kevin McKenna said. “For a team like Butler, it’s kind of like a wounded animal. They sensed us a little bit, went for the jugular and stepped on it.”

The inability to answer the bell in the final 10 minutes of the game was bitterly disappointing for ISU veterans that had never lost to the Bulldogs.

“Coach talked about that after the game, if we lower our intensity level just a little bit and your focus, against a team like Butler, if you give them second or third chances, they get on you in a hurry,” Tunnell said.

ISU has one day of practice on-campus before it hits the road again. ISU travels to North Texas on Saturday.

“This is our first test. Can we go to practice with our heads up tomorrow and try to get better?” McKenna said. “In a lot of ways we’re a young team, our sophomores and freshmen haven’t been through enough wars to fight through some things and tonight we weren’t able to.”

• Signing day — ISU coaching staff left for Indianapolis on Tuesday night, so it was not in a position to receive letters of intent from its recruits on the opening day of the early basketball signing period. Carl Richard Jr., Tyler Cutter, Koang Doluony are ISU’s verbal commitments for its 2008-09 class. Players have a week to make their official commitment.



Indiana State 48

Player mi fg 3pt ft r a pf tp

Arnold 29 1-4 1-3 0-0 6 1 3 3

Tunnell 28 3-4 0-0 4-5 6 0 1 10

Moore 25 3-5 1-2 3-6 1 3 2 10

Holmstrom 23 2-10 2-7 0-0 3 0 1 6

Stinson 27 4-11 1-4 0-0 7 0 0 9

Lee 9 1-3 0-2 0-0 0 0 2 2

Martin 11 1-1 0-0 0-0 2 0 1 2

Marshall 24 1-8 0-2 3-4 2 4 2 5

Carter 16 0-3 0-2 0-0 0 0 2 0

McCoy 7 0-0 0-0 0-0 1 0 0 0

Yelovich 1 0-0 0-0 1-2 0 0 1 1

Totals 200 16-49 5-22 11-17 32* 8 15 48

Butler 76

Player mi fg 3pt ft r a pf tp

Streicher 30 0-2 0-2 0-0 1 1 4 0

Campbell 29 4-9 3-5 0-0 7 3 0 11

Betko 20 1-2 1-2 0-0 1 1 3 3

Graves 34 8-12 6-9 4-4 3 1 1 26

Green 31 5-8 1-2 4-5 8 4 1 15

Vanzant 6 2-3 0-1 2-2 0 0 0 6

Hahn 20 1-3 1-1 0-0 2 3 1 3

Slaton 2 0-0 0-0 2-2 0 00 2

Anglin 2 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0

Rodgers 2 0-1 0-1 0-0 0 0 0 0

Leiendecker 3 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 2 0

Engelmann 5 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0

Howard 16 3-4 0-0 4-4 0 0 4 10

Totals 200 24-45 12-23 16-17 24* 13 16 76

Halftime score — Butler 27, ISU 14. FG Pct. — ISU .327, BU .533. 3-pt FG Pct. — ISU .227, BU .522. FT Pct. — ISU .647, BU .941. Steals — ISU 4 (Moore 3), BU 5 (Graves 3). Turnovers — ISU 14, BU 9. Blocks — ISU 3 (Martin 2), BU 7 (Streicher 3). (*) Includes team rebounds — ISU 4, BU 2. Att. — 3,555.

Next — Indiana State (1-1) travels to North Texas on Saturday. Butler (2-0) is at Evansville the same day.

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