Freshman Jayden Taylor scored a season-high 21 points as Butler clinched seventh place in the Maui Invitational with an 84-51 victory over Division II Chaminade on Wednesday night in Las Vegas.
Butler (4-3) salvaged a win in the event after falling 70-52 to Houston on Monday and 57-50 to Texas A&M on Tuesday.
Taylor shot 6 of 9 from the field and made eight of his nine free throws to eclipse his previous season high of 18, set against Central Arkansas. The guard was productive after shooting a combined 7 of 22 in the previous three games against Michigan State, the Cougars and the Aggies.
Ty Groce added a season-high 18 points for Butler, which shot 63 percent from the floor and made half of its 18 3-point tries. Bryce Golden added 16 and Jair Bolden added 12 points as the Bulldogs survived the absence of Chuck Harris due to a foot injury.
Kevin Kremer scored 12 points for Chaminade, which shot 30.3 percent from the field and missed 12 of 16 3-point attempts. Isaac Amaral-Artharee and Tredyn Christensen added 10 apiece for the Silverswords (2-3), who endured blowout losses against Oregon and Notre Dame the previous two days.
Butler scored the game’s first nine points and built an 18-2 lead on a layup by Golden with 14:14 remaining in the half. Chaminade cut the deficit to 24-16 on a dunk by Christensen with 7:51 left, but Butler ended the first half with a 45-29 edge when Groce hit a 3-pointer in the final seconds.
Butler held a 55-37 lead on a putback by DJ Hughes with 13:15 left. Chaminade made a small dent as Kremer scored six straight points to make it 55-43 less than a minute later. Butler then finished it off by ripping off an 18-6 run for a 73-49 lead on Taylor’s dunk with 5:27 left.