Despite a poor offensive performance, Butler relied on its defense to defeat Laney 54-37 on Saturday night at the Augusta Thanksgiving Classic.
"It was an ugly night for us," Butler coach Rob Johnson said. "We played pretty good defense tonight, but we just could not score. For a team that averages 70 to 80 points a game, we did not play very smart tonight."
Marcus Curry led the Bulldogs with 16 points, and Scott Edwards contributed 12 points.
Butler found themselves in foul trouble early as three starters collected two fouls a piece. However, that did not deter the Bulldogs from shutting down Laney's inside game. The defense denied Laney easy baskets, and made them shoot from the outside. Laney went 2-for-7 from the outside during the opening quarter.
"We have a young team this season, and it showed early," Laney coach Norman Bonner said. "Our team was able to match the size of Butler's inside guys."
The Bulldogs, who shot 3 of 13 in the first quarter, slowed the pace of the game down and controlled the clock in the second quarter. They took a 21-14 lead into the half.
Butler's defense shut down Laney and allowed the offense to jump out to an early 6-0 run to begin the second half. Laney trailed by as much as 13 points during the second half.
The Wildcats were led by LaDarrien Walker, who scored 10 points. Kennie Eberhart added nine points in the loss.