INDIANAPOLIS, IN – The Butler Bulldogs opened exhibition play with a 79 -44 win on Saturday, October 31st against the Taylor Trojans at Hinkle Fieldhouse. Redshirt senior G Roosevelt Jones and senior G Kellen Dunham led the spooktacular Butler charge against Taylor on Halloween as both players tied with a game high 14 point each. Butler scored the first 14 points of the game and never looked back.
Redshirt junior PG Tyler Lewis wasted no time showing Butler fans just what he has to offer on the court. Following the won tip by sophomore F Tyler Wideman, Lewis was found open from the top of the key and knocked down his first shot attempt from three for the games first points. On the defensive side of the ball, Lewis hauled in Taylor’s first miss and eventually found Kellen Dunham open in the corner for another Butler three. Lewis finished the game with 11 points and five rebounds on a 4-10 shooting performance (40%) including 1-2 from deep (50%) in 24 minutes.
Butler played an outstanding first half defensively. It wasn’t until the 14:28 mark in the first half until the Trojans managed to find the scoreboard with a pair of free throws. The Bulldogs forced five total steals with a pair for Jackson Davis and Roosevelt Jones. One of the Jackson Davis steals led to a break away and an And-1 opportunity following his one-handed dunk. Davis finished with six points and five rebounds in nine minutes. The Bulldogs also recorded five blocks in the first half, with two from Tyler Wideman, one from junior F Andrew Chrabascz and Davis. Freshman center Nate Fowler managed to find the shot block column as well in the first half. The Trojans managed a woeful 5-33 (15.2%) first half shooting from the field thanks to a stingy Butler defense. Butler forced six more steals for a total of 11 as graduate transfer F Austin Etherington led Butler with three. Butler also finished with six total blocked shots, one more coming from Wideman. Butler took a 45-14 advantage into the half and grew the lead to as many as 41 late in the second half.
Senior G Kellen Dunham finished with 14 points, 4 rebounds and a steal on Saturday. Dunham went 3-9 (33.3%) from the field including a 2-3 (66.6%) performance from three and 6-6 from the charity stripe. After hitting a three in the open minutes, Dunham later found himself converting on a three-point play after an impressive and-1 slam dunk. Dunham received the ball on the baseline, drove and went up for a two handed slam around 6-11 sophomore C Vivian Aiken for Taylor. Aiken, the tallest player on the court, was unsuccessful in meeting Dunham at the rim for the block and was called for the foul. Dunham led the Bulldogs right out of the gate and hit a three for Butler’s first points of the second half.
Sophomore G Kelan Martin provided the spark for the Bulldogs off the bench. As the first player off the Butler bench, Kelan Martin had a perfect game, finishing 4-4 from the field, 1-1 from three and 2-2 from the free throw line. Martin was the fourth Butler player to finish in double digits as he led the bench with 11 points and six rebounds in 12 minutes.
A pair of Butler newcomers managed to find their way onto the scoring column. Freshman G Sean McDermott connected on a pull up jumper, all thanks to a friendly bounce off the rim, late in the first half. Graduate transfer G Jordan Gathers found nothing but net on an elbow three on the next Butler possession. McDermott recorded two more points in the game on a two-handed fast break slam dunk. The next six Butler points came on four free throws and a fast break layup by Jordan Gather. McDermott finished with two steals and six points on a 3-6 (50%) shooting performance in 17 minutes while Gathers finished with one steal and nine points on 2-6 (33.3%) shooting and 4-4 from the line in 16 minutes.
Sophomore F Tyler Wideman pulled down 11 rebounds and had three blocks to lead Butler in both categories. Roosevelt Jones had a team-high three assists as nine Bulldogs scored in the contest.
Butler went an impressive 20-23 (87%) from the free throw and forced the Trojans into 18 turnovers. Taylor finished the game with a 14-56 (25%) shooting performance from the field while Butler shot 27-60 (45%) for the game. Taylor managed to hit 7-21 (33.3%) from three as opposed to 5-19 (26.3%) for Butler.
Butler plays its second and final exhibition game Saturday, Nov. 7 at Hinkle Fieldhouse. Tickets are available through Ticketmaster and the Butler Athletics Ticket Office. The game will air on WISH-TV as well as 1070 The Fan AM and 93.5 FM.
Chris Fultz is a senior writer for the Indiana Sports Report and is recognized as an accredited member of the media by Butler Athletics and has full media access. Follow @CafultzISR and the @IndySportsRep on Twitter.
Chris Fultz is a Senior Writer and the Butler Athletics beat writer for the Indiana Sports Report. Chris Fultz is recognized as an accredited member of the media by Butler University Athletics and has full media access.
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