INDIANAPOLIS (AP) Bryce Golden scored 12 points on 4-of-5 shooting to lead No. 18 Butler’s balanced scoring attack in a 66-41 romp over Southern on Saturday.
Also cracking double figures for the Bulldogs (10-1) were Sean McDermott with 11 points on 3-of-5 3-point shooting and Khalif Battle with 10. Twelve Bulldogs played and 11 scored.
Kamar Baldwin, Butler’s leading scorer with 17.1 average entering the game, missed his first six shots before finally scoring with 10:49 remaining in the second half. Baldwin finished with two points on 1-of-8 shooting and five assists. Aaron Thompson led the Bulldogs with eight assists.
Isaiah Rollins topped Southern (3-8) with 13 points.
Butler led by as many as 25 points in the second half.
After sitting out the first 10 games with a knee injury, graduate transfer Derrik Smits finally made his debut with Butler. Smits, a 7-foot-1 center who played at Valparaiso and son of ex-Indiana Pacers center Rik Smits, scored his basket with 11:46 left in the second half, drawing huge applause. Smith had two points and three rebounds in 11 minutes.
Butler never trailed, scoring the first eight points. The Bulldogs shot 46% to lead 34-16 at halftime while the Jaguars shot just 25%. For the game, Butler hit 45% and Southern 28%.
The Bulldogs extended the nation’s longest nonconference home games winning streak to 57.
Butler is 1-1 for the week, but the other loss was on the road to No. 11 Baylor Tuesday so the Bulldogs’ ranking isn’t likely to change much.
Southern: The Louisiana school lost its fourth game in a row. The Jaguars have had just two home games, the last one Nov. 18, and don’t have another home date until Jan. 11 against Grambling State.
Butler: The Bulldogs, who have victories over Minnesota, Missouri, Stanford, Mississippi and Florida, will get another major test against Purdue Saturday.
Southern is set for a two-game California swing with games at California Baptist Wednesday at UC Santa Barbara Friday
Butler faces Purdueon Saturday in the annual Crossroads Classic at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.