1. Free throw shooting
Butler sank 24 of 27 free throws (88.9 percent) against Rhode Island, including a startling performance from sophomore forward Roosevelt Jones (8 of 8), who averages just 56 percent from the line.
The Bulldogs didn’t guard well in their recent loss at Saint Louis and they didn’t do so early against the Rams either. After allowing Rhode Island to shoot 48.1 percent from the field in the first half, the Bulldogs held the visitors to just 30.4 percent in the second half.
3. Halftime adjustments
Butler opened the second half with a 13-0 run and that put Rhode Island out of its comfort zone for much of the second half.
With two Butler starters fouled out (Andrew Smith and Alex Barlow), Rhode Island made a late run and pulled to within four (72-68) in the final minute. However, Butler connected on 3 of its final 4 free throws and was able to get a final defensive stop to seal the win.
5. Stepping up
With Smith (8 points) and Kellen Dunham (4 points) not playing their best, Bulldogs such as Rotnei Clarke (23 points), Roosevelt Jones (18 points, six rebounds, four assists), Khyle Marshall (13 points), and Kameron Woods (seven points, five rebounds) continued to produce to make up for any shortcomings offensively.