INDIANAPOLIS >> Interim coach Chris Holtmann knew Butler was going to have a big night.
Roosevelt Jones had 19 points, seven rebounds and seven assists, and the No. 15 Bulldogs beat Kennesaw State 93-51 on Monday.
“You usually know if you’re not as locked in as you need to be,” Holtmann said. “I thought our guys had a really good approach today and we noticed that in shootaround.”
Kelan Martin had 17 points and Kellen Dunham added 13 for the Bulldogs (8-1), who have won four straight games.
Yonel Brown had 14 points for the Owls (3-7), who have lost three in a row. Delbert Love and Orlando Coleman each scored 11.
The Bulldogs led by as many as 26 points in the first half. Butler was 16-for-25 from the field in the first half and led 52-27 at the break.
“They’re the 15th-ranked team in the country for a reason,” Owls coach Jimmy Lallathin said. “They did exactly what we thought they were going to do. I think we succumbed a little bit to their physicality. We couldn’t match their physicality.”
Butler took advantage of Kennesaw State’s struggles when it comes to taking care of the ball. The Owls committed 22 turnovers, and the Bulldogs finished with a season-high 17 steals.
“We felt like if we could be active in gaps, we could turn them over and that could create some offense,” Holtmann said. “We do a pretty good job of doing that anyway and we were able to do that today.”
NO. 20 MIAMI 70, SAVANNAH STATE 39
CORAL GABLES, Fla. >> Angel Rodriguez scored 17 points, leading the Hurricanes (9-1) over the Tigers (3-7).
The Hurricanes shot 51.2 percent and never trailed.
BIG WEST CONFERENCE
SMU 80, UC SANTA BARBARA 73, OT
dallas >> Keith Frazier scored a career-high 20 points and Yanick Moreira added 15 as the Mustangs needed overtime to hold off the Gauchos.
Gabe Vincent nailed a 3 with 10 seconds left for UCSB (4-4) to tie the score at 67 and force overtime.
The Mustangs (6-3) made five free throws to seal the win in overtime.