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Recap: La Monroe , Butler
Date: December 28, 2019 4:00 PM EDT
  

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) Derrik Smits is showing his age.

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Smits, who is using his final season of NCAA eligibility as a graduate transfer, scored a season-high 16 points off the bench to lead 12th-ranked Butler to a 67-36 victory over the Louisiana-Monroe on Saturday.

He was 5-of-7 from the field and 6-of-7 on free throws in just his third game since joining the Bulldogs in the offseason after four years at Valparaiso University.

'This game helps me. It's very helpful for my mentality obviously,' Smits said. 'It builds confidence. I figured, eventually, if they start falling I'd start playing a little more. It's good when they start coming at me.'

Bryce Nze had 10 points and seven rebounds and Sean McDermott scored 10 points for the Bulldogs (12-1), closing out the non-conference schedule winning three in a row.

Josh Nicholas had 12 points while Michael Ertel, JD Wiliams and Elijah Ifejeh each scored five points for the Warhawks (4-7), who have lost five straight games.

Butler started the second half on a 13-2 run to build the lead to 28 points.

Nze scored back-to-back baskets and Bryce Golden scored twice. Smits' layup with 13:02 remaining to make it 46-18.

'I thought Butler was everything that I saw on film,' Louisiana-Monroe coach Keith Richard said. 'Everything that was advertised. Really a physical team on both ends of the floor, at all positions. The thing got away from us in the first half because of physical play. We chose not to double down on the post and see if our bigger guys that we have could play one-on-one in there. Of course we struggled scoring on the offensive end and it got away from us.'

The Warhawks shot 17.9 percent (5-of-28) from the field in the first half and finished with a season-low 23.3 percent (14-of-60) shooting overall.

The Bulldogs closed out the first half with an 11-1 run to take a 19-point halftime lead. McDermott scored a 3-pointer with 2:37 remaining in the half to make it 33-14.

'Tomorrow we'll have an opportunity to clean up some stuff from this game and then we'll get ready to head into Big East play, and get ready for a really good St. John's team,' Butler coach LeVall Jordan said. 'I know they'll be ready. We talk about the first season, the non-conference season and finish it the way we want to finish it. We headed into the conference season now so everything that we did doesn't matter anyway.'

COMING HOME

Louisiana-Monroe and Butler played for one player - Ertel, an Indianapolis-native who attended nearby Mt. Vernon High School.

'The reason why we played this game was to bring Mike Ertle back to Indianapolis and play in front of family and friends and we accomplished that,' Richard said. 'Mike's been a good player for us. I'm really glad we got to do that for him.'

BIG PICTURE

Louisiana-Monroe: Even in the Warhawks' losses the team had been scoring 45 or more points. The 36 points against Butler were the fewest points scored this season. It's also the fewest points the Bulldogs have allowed this season.

Butler: The Bulldogs extended their winning streak of non-conference home games to 58 - the longest streak in the nation.

UP NEXT:

Louisiana-Monroe will host Troy on Thursday.

Butler will open Big East play at St. John's on Tuesday.

---

For more AP college basketball:https://apnews.com/Collegebasketball andhttps://twitter.com/AP-Top25

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 CLOSING LAS VEGAS LINE
 Team  ML   SPR   O/U 
 LA MON  +1600   +22   121.5 
 BUTLER  -6000   -22   
LAS VEGAS LINE MOVEMENTS

 BETTING TRENDS
 Team  ML   SPR   O/U 
 LA MON  0%   30%   55% 
 BUTLER  100%   70%   45% 
Betting Trends on Amount Wagered
BT MOVEMENTS

 NCAA BK RECAPS
 Saturday, Dec 28
 
  •  Brown at Duke
11:30 AM EDT
  •  Long Beach State at Florida
12:00 PM EDT
  •  American at Georgetown
12:00 PM EDT
  •  Central Michigan at Purdue
12:00 PM EDT
  •  Youngstown St at Indiana Purdue
12:00 PM EDT
  •  Wisconsin Milwaukee at NORTHERN KY
1:00 PM EDT
  •  St Peters at Hampton
1:00 PM EDT
  •  New Orleans at Memphis
1:30 PM EDT
  •  Wisconsin at Tennessee
1:30 PM EDT
  •  Toledo at Bradley
2:00 PM EDT
  •  Marist at Columbia
2:00 PM EDT
  •  College of Charleston at Drexel
2:00 PM EDT
  •  North Alabama at Florida State
2:00 PM EDT
  •  Bucknell at LaSalle
2:00 PM EDT
  •  Central Arkansas at Marquette
2:00 PM EDT
  •  Northeastern at Towson
2:00 PM EDT
  •  Wisconsin-Green Bay at Wright State
2:00 PM EDT
  •  Texas Southern at Arizona State
3:00 PM EDT
  •  Detroit at Oakland
3:00 PM EDT
  •  Eastern Michigan at UNLV
3:00 PM EDT
  •  Louisville at Kentucky
3:45 PM EDT
  •  La Monroe at Butler
4:00 PM EDT
  •  E Kentucky at East Carolina
4:00 PM EDT
  •  LONGWOOD at George Washington
4:00 PM EDT
  •  Cleveland State at Illinois Chicago
4:00 PM EDT
  •  Hofstra at James Madison
4:00 PM EDT
  •  Florida International at Minnesota
4:00 PM EDT
  •  Fairfield at Wagner
4:00 PM EDT
  •  Eastern Washington at Weber State
4:00 PM EDT
  •  Cal State Fullerton at UCLA
5:00 PM EDT
  •  Northern Colo at Portland State
5:05 PM EDT
  •  Northridge at Boise State
6:00 PM EDT
  •  Sacramento State at Montana State
6:00 PM EDT
  •  Cal Poly SLO at San Diego State
7:00 PM EDT
  •  UNC Wilmington at Delaware
7:00 PM EDT
  •  Niagara at Syracuse
7:00 PM EDT
  •  Belmont at W. Kentucky
7:30 PM EDT
  •  Seattle University at St. Mary's California
8:00 PM EDT
  •  Pepperdine at San Jose State
9:00 PM EDT
  •  Oral Roberts at Brigham Young
9:00 PM EDT
  •  Cal Riverside at Fresno State
9:00 PM EDT
  •  Idaho at Idaho State
9:00 PM EDT
  •  Northern Arizona at Montana
9:00 PM EDT
  •  Pacific at UC Irvine
10:00 PM EDT
  •  Morgan State at Loy Marymount
10:00 PM EDT
 
 
 
  
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