INDIANAPOLIS — Roosevelt Jones scored 23 points Wednesday as Butler eased to a 67-53 victory against DePaul at Hinkle Fieldhouse. While Butler ended a two-game skid, DePaul fell to 7-13 overall and 1-7 in the Big East under first-year coach Dave Leitao.
Here are some thoughts on the Blue Demons’ defeat in Indianapolis.
—Silly fouls in opening minutes. A mixture of hand checks, loose-ball fouls, off-ball fouls and moving screens by DePaul put Butler in the bonus with 14:38 remaining in the first half. It’s one thing if Butler was attacking the rim at will and forcing DePaul to foul in order to prevent easy buckets, but not a single one of the Blue Demons’ first nine fouls occurred with the ball even inside the paint.
Ironically, when DePaul coach Dave Leitao wanted his team to foul Jones on a fast break with 12:16 left in the first half, Darrick Wood instead let Jones go in for an uncontested layup.
DePaul played more disciplined during the period’s latter portion, finishing the half with 11 fouls as Butler shot 5-of-6 at the foul line.
However, the early fouling spree still had a major impact as it thinned the DePaul front court. Senior forward and leading scorer Myke Henry had two fouls in the first five minutes. Junior Peter Ryckbosch, who started for the third time this season, also received a pair of quick whistles.
With Henry, their best offensive player sitting the final 15 minutes, the Blue Demons finished the first half averaging 0.72 points per possession.
—Roosevelt Jones’ early dominance. Jones scored 10 points in the first eight minutes and finished the first half with 13 points on efficient 6-of-8 shooting along with four assists. As usual, Jones was very crafty using the glass when he got into the lane.
DePaul allowed him to drive into the lane easily during the opening minutes, and it’s game over at that point with Jones.
Jones was not as explosive in the second half but still finished with a game-high 23 points on 7-of-11 shooting.
—Myke Henry’s technical. Henry received a technical foul for hanging on the rim after slamming home a fast break dunk with 8:40 remaining. The dunk completed a 6-1 spurt, quieted Butler’s home crowd and brought DePaul back within 49-42.
The Blue Demons spent the next 2:29 without scoring a point while the Bulldogs rattled off seven unanswered to take a 14-point lead entering the closing minutes.
—DePaul held its own in field-goal shooting but had a major deficit at the foul line. The Blue Demons had a 43.5 effective field-goal percentage compared to the Bulldogs’ 46.7 percent.
However, Butler shot 16 more free throws than DePaul, and to worsen matters the Blue Demons failed to take advantage of their few opportunities.
The Blue Demons shot 6-of-13 (46.2 percent) at the charity stripe, including a pair of crucial misses by freshman Eli Cain late in the second half. DePaul trailed 50-42 with 7:53 remaining, and Cain missed consecutive free throws after driving and drawing a shooting foul.
Butler guard Kellen Dunham drew a foul on the floor 12 seconds later. He converted both ends of a one-and-one to bump Butler’s lead back to double digits.
—What’s next? DePaul receives the comfort of returning home to Allstate Arena but the discomfort of hosting No. 7 Xavier and No. 10 Providence in its next two games.