INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Jared Rhoden scored 17 points, Alexis Yetna had 14 points and 10 rebounds, and No. 24 Seton Hall beat Butler 71-56 on Tuesday night.
Bryce Aiken added 12 points and seven assists for the Pirates (10-3, 1-2 Big East), who avoided their first 0-3 start in league play since 2009-10. Seton Hall has won four of its past six at Hinkle Fieldhouse.
Bryce Golden scored 20 points for Butler (8-5, 1-1), and fellow big man Bryce Nze added 12 points. The Bulldogs were outrebounded 36-25 even though Seton Hall played without Tyrese Samuel, who averages 10.8 points and 6.9 boards.
Seton Hall led 34-26 at halftime and controlled the second half, making timely shots each time the announced crowd of 7,234 began to get noisy.
Yetna’s 3-pointer from the left corner pushed Seton Hall’s lead to 50-38 with 13 minutes to play, and Butler never got closer than six points after that.
Aaron Thompson and Jayden Taylor scored 10 apiece for the Bulldogs.
Bo Hodges, who was expected to be Butler’s starting small forward this season and is recovering from a leg injury, had hoped to make his season debut. But he was a late pregame scratch.
Seton Hall: The Pirates, who opened Big East play with tight losses to ranked foes Villanova and Providence, continue to be powered by defense. With length, athleticism and physicality, they showed an ability to win on the road.
Butler: Coach LaVall Jordan and his staff must figure out why this team keeps falling behind by so much. Butler has faced a double-digit deficit in 27 of its past 38 games dating to last season. Hodges’ return should add physicality on both ends and much-needed offense from the wing.
Seton Hall: Hosts Connecticut on Saturday in what is set to be the Huskies’ first game since Dec. 21 following a pair of postponements.