Butler looks to start winning streak vs. Saginaw Valley State

Butler bids to follow up a strong performance against one Division II-level opponent with another on Tuesday when it hosts Saginaw Valley State in Indianapolis.

Jayden Taylor scored a season-high 21 points as the Bulldogs snapped a three-game losing streak with an 84-51 win over Chaminade on Wednesday in the Maui Invitational in Las Vegas. Taylor wasn’t alone as Ty Groce (18) and Bryce Golden (16) also put forth season-high point totals for Butler (4-3), which responded after posting 52, 52 and 50 points in its previous three games.

The Bulldogs, who scored the first nine points and bolted out to an 18-2 lead, shot a robust 63.0 percent from the floor and 50.0 percent from 3-point range on Wednesday. The power surge helped them offset the Silverswords’ dominant display on the glass.

“Everyone’s good across the country, no matter where they play, what division they’re in,” said Golden, who also had a team-high seven rebounds. “Everyone’s good, and everyone’s got good players. And they’re going to make you make a choice, day in and day out.”

Butler is navigating the waters without several key players, including Chuck Harris (foot). Jair Bolden stepped up in Harris’ place and registered 12 points, six assists, five rebounds and three steals against Chaminade.

Bolden, in fact, averages a team-leading 12.3 points per game. Taylor has chipped in 12.0 points per game while Groce adds 9.8 points and 5.0 rebounds per contest.

Saginaw Valley State (5-2) cruised to a 92-57 win over Great Lakes Christian on Sunday. James Toohey drained five 3-pointers to highlight his team-high 17-point performance for the Cardinals, who rebounded from a 90-80 loss at Gannon on Nov. 21.

Tre Garrett and Alijah Harrison each had 11 points and Tyler Witz and Tyrik Singh added 10 points apiece for Saginaw Valley State, which shot a sizzling 54.3 percent from the floor.

“This team expects to win each time we step on the court,” Saginaw Valley State coach Randy Baruth said. “… This group is the epitome of family. They just play for each other.”