The Butler Bulldogs struggled with their shooting throughout the game, but strong defense proved to be enough in a 59-56 win over the George Washington Colonials on Saturday afternoon. Neither team shot better than 40 percent from the field in a game that the 14th-ranked Bulldogs would likely prefer to forget.
While George Washington entered the Saturday match-up just one game above .500 this season, Butler had to battle on the road to avoid its fifth loss of the season. The Bulldogs carried a nine-point advantage into halftime and led by double digits throughout the second half, but simply couldn't put away the Colonials.
After a pair of Rotnei Clark jumpers, Butler had expanded its lead to 48-31 with roughly 12 minutes left, seemingly pulling away as GW struggled to make any shots. The Bulldogs would proceed to score just two more field goals over the final 12 minutes as the Colonials trimmed the lead to just one point with 45 seconds left in regulation.
The Colonials, trailing 59-56 at this point, had a pair of opportunities to tie the game in the final 10 seconds, but a missed three-point attempt and a turnover ended the game.
One of the nation's most dynamic scorers, Clark had an up-and-down game for Butler, knocking down just 5 of 16 shot attempts as part of a 14-point, six-rebound, four-assist, three-steal effort. Roosevelt Jones added 12 points for the Bulldogs, but his inability to make free throws (2 of 9 on Saturday) made things far more difficult.
The Colonials were terrible on offense throughout the game, shooting 28 percent from the field, including 1 of 12 from beyond the arc. No player on the team made more than four field goals, but 30 free throw attempts kept the team competitive despite its inability to make shots.