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Recorder Rewind: Butler Bulldogs hold off Georgetown in Big East battle

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Tuesday night Butler welcomed Ed Cooley and the Georgetown Hoyas into historic Hinkle Fieldhouse. The contest was the opening game of the Big East schedule for both teams and the first Big East matchup played in the conference this season. It was obviously a home game for the Dawgs, but with the students out for Christmas break, the energy in the building was lacking its usual punch!

After 12 years at the helm of Providence College, Cooley decided to make the move this past spring to Washington D.C., to breathe some magic back into a once proud Georgetown program. Coach Cooley’s group came into the game with a 7-4 record, coming off a 4-point victory on the road at Notre Dame last Saturday! This was an important game for both programs to get off to a good start in conference play.

Related: The Indy Classic

Butler Bulldogs versus Georgetown Hoyas men's basketball game at Hinkle Fieldhouse on December 19, 2023. Big East Basketball.
Butler University guard Posh Alexander (5) attempts to secure a loose ball during their matchup against the Georgetown Hoyas on December 19, 2023 at Hinkle Fieldhouse, located near the westside of Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo/Walt Thomas)

As the teams lined up for the tip at center court, Indy native and former Georgetown star D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera made his way to his seat a couple of rows behind the visitor’s bench. Much of the excitement for Butler’s opponents at Hinkle this year has come very early. After winning the tip, Hoyas’ big man Supreme Cook scored the first points of the game off an offensive rebound put back. Next possession, Georgetown’s leading scorer Dontrez Styles scored off a jumper. Good start for the team in blue but that would be the last lead of the game for the Hoyas!

Butler would come through the midpoint of the first half up 2 at 14-12. The last ten minutes before intermission looked a little different as DJ Davis turned up the heat. The Dawgs scored 26 points before the halftime buzzer to push the lead out to thirteen at 40-27. Davis headed into the locker room with 12 points.

Basketball is a game of runs. As the teams came out of the locker room, a Georgetown surge was expected. The big Hoya run never came. Butler led by double digits all but twenty-eight seconds of the second half. They pushed the lead to as many as sixteen. It never got below 8. The Bulldogs shared the ball well in a very workmanlike, balanced last twenty minutes of action. The Hinkle faithful started heading for the exits with a couple of minutes to play in the game.

Related: Butler’s Double Overtime Thriller

Butler Bulldogs versus Georgetown Hoyas men's basketball game at Hinkle Fieldhouse on December 19, 2023. Big East Basketball.
Butler University men’s basketball head coach Thad Matta instills some wisdom in Butler guard DJ Davis (4) during their matchup against the Georgetown Hoyas on December 19, 2023 at Hinkle Fieldhouse, located near the westside of Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo/Walt Thomas)

Butler was led by Pierre Brooks and Posh Alexander with 13 points apiece. Six Bulldog players scored between 8-13 points, continuing a trend of a very balanced offensive attack for this group!

Coach Cooley remarked after the game, “You got to give Thad a lot of credit and his staff. They assembled an older unit. They built chemistry over the summer. They built chemistry within their meetings. And a style of play that fits those levels of players. It is very, very difficult to do what he is doing. I think Butler has now won seven in a row. You got to make sure you give credit to those coaches that do that.”

Butler is now 10-2, on a 7-game winning streak, and sitting atop the Big East.

Posh Alexander told reporters after the game, “We are just showing the world that we are coming!”

The Bulldogs are next in action on Saturday at Providence. The Friars are also 1-0 in conference play after a fifteen-point Tuesday night win over #6 Marquette. Check out the action at Noon on FS1!


Austin Taylor is the Executive Director of The City League. Contact Austin at austin@thecityleague.orgFor more Butler Bulldogs and Big East basketball coverage courtesy of Austin and the Indianapolis Recorder, click here.

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