INDIANAPOLIS, IN – The Butler Bulldogs finished their final non-conference matchup of the season as they played host to the Western Illinois Leathernecks at Hinkle Fieldhouse on Thursday, December 21. Senior F Kelan Martin and sophomore F/G Henry Baddley tied for a game-high 20 points in the overpowering 107-46 Butler win. The Bulldogs improve to 10-3 while the Leathernecks fall to 7-4.
“We prepared well and we got the byproduct of execution tonight,” said Butler Head Coach LaVall Jordan. “Tonight was all about our defense. Our guys were locked in, our ball-screen coverages were good, and we contested every shot. It was a great effort; now let’s see how consistent we can be.”
The Leathernecks won the opening tip, but the Bulldogs hit the scoreboard first as sophomore G Kamar Baldwin pushed a defensive rebound down the floor and found a cutting redshirt junior G Paul Jorgensen from the wing for an easy layup. A three from the top of the key by senior F Kelan Martin after an offensive rebound from junior F/C Nate Fowler was the start of what would be a very hot shooting game from three for Butler. Jorgensen splashed home a three immediately after Martin to give Butler an 8-2 lead at the 18:06 mark. Following a layup from Fowler, Martin connected on a second three to give Butler a 13-2 lead at the 17:06 first half mark. A three from Baldwin was the next score and capped a 16-2 Butler run to open the game. Redshirt sophomore F Sean McDermott joined the downtown action and connected from deep before a third three from Martin gave Butler a 24-8 lead with 11:18 remaining in the first half. Minutes later, Jorgensen hit a second three at the 7:03 mark to give Butler a 33-14 lead. The next score came way of Martin on an And-1 layup through heavy contact. The three-point play pushed the lead to 36-14 with 5:59 remaining in the first half. A second McDermott three led to a second Kelan Martin And-1 layup and free throw to give Butler a 28-point lead at 46-18 with 2:24 remaining before halftime. Martin scored on a fourth three for the next points of the game to give Butler a 31-point lead at 49-18 with 1:21 remaining in the first half. The Leathernecks scored the final four first half points to bring the halftime score to 49-22.
The Bulldogs finished the first half shooting 51.5% (17-33) from the field, including 56.3% (9-16) from three. Western Illinois finished the first half shooting 35.5% (11-31) from the field, including 0% (0-7) from three. Butler senior F Kelan Martin led all scorers with 18 points at the break.
The Bulldogs picked up right where they left off to start the second half. Butler rattled off a 14-2 run right out of the break. During the run, Nate Fowler scored seven points, including a make from three, and Paul Jorgensen scored five points, including an And-1 three-point play after being fouled on a layup and he recorded a steal that led to a fast-break dunk. Kelan Martin capped the run off with a thunderous two-hand dunk after a Fowler steal. The run set Butler up with a 63-24 lead with 14:12 remaining in the game. Minutes later, freshman F/G Jerald Gillens-Butler hit a three, which was immediately followed up by a third Jorgensen three with 8:17 remaining in the game after a steal by freshman G Aaron Thompson. Gillens-Butler splashed home a second three at the 7:05 mark to give Butler an 80-37 lead. Sophomore G/F Henry Baddley decided to join the Butler three-point party as he knocked down back-to-back threes to give Butler a 90-41 lead with 5:04 remaining. The party continued in the final minutes as McDermott knocked down a third three for a 95-43 Butler lead with 3:28 remaining and Baddley found home on a third three-ball at the 1:59 mark to break the 100-point barrier and give Butler a 102-43 lead. Baddley sunk a fourth three at the 0:34 mark and Western Illinois hit a free throw to end the game at 107-46.
The Bulldogs shot 56.1% (37-66) from the field, including 58.1 (18-31) from three. Western Illinois finished the game at 32.8% (20-61) from the field, including 6.7% (1-15) from three.
The Bulldogs won the rebounding battle, 41-28, and the assist battle, 23-5. Butler scored 31 points off of 19 Western Illinois turnovers while surrendering five points off of eight of their own miscues. The Butler bench outscored Western Illinois, 46-23.
Butler senior F Kelan Martin tied for a game-high 20 points on a 7-17 (41.2%) performance, including 4-9 (44%) from three. Martin also added a game-high and career-high seven assists.
During the game, Martin passed Shelvin Mack (14), Wayne Burris (13) and Roosevelt Jones (12) to take 11th place on the Butler All-Time Scoring List with 1,537 career points. Martin is now chasing Darren Fowlkes (1,543) for 10th on the list.
Butler sophomore F/G Henry Baddley was on the tying end of a game-high in points with a new career-high 20 in 15 minutes of action off the bench. Baddley finished the game with a 7-8 (87.5%) performance from the field, including a 4-4 shooting display from three. His previous career-high was nine points.
Junior F/C Nate Fowler got the start in place of senior F Tyler Wideman, who missed the first game of his career after having surgery to remove his wisdom teeth on Wednesday. Fowler responded with his first career double-double, featuring 11 points and a game-high and career-high 12 rebounds. He added a game-high and career-best four blocks.
Redshirt junior G Paul Jorgensen set a new career-high with 18 points on a 7-9 (77.7%) performance from the field, including 3-5 (60%) from three. His previous was 16 points.
Redshirt sophomore F Sean McDermott added 12 points with the help of a 3-4 (75%) performance from three.
Freshman G/F Jerald Gillens-Butler scored a career high eight points, including a 2-2 performance from three. Freshman walk-on G Campbell Donovan scored his first two career-points with two free throws. .
Western Illinois entered the game shooting 52% from the field and 41% from three-point range. Its top three scorers averaged a combined 45.9 points entering Thursday’s game; junior C Brandon Gilbeck, freshman G Kobe Webster and senior G/F Dalan Ancrum scored 14 points total.
Butler’s 18 three-pointers tied the second-best mark in program history (at Detroit, Feb. 25, 2006), just shy of the 20 hit at Cleveland State, Feb. 8, 2007.
The Bulldogs take a few days off for the holidays before opening BIG EAST Conference play on Wednesday, Dec. 27, when the team travels to the nation’s capital to face Georgetown. The 6:30 p.m. tip will air nationally on FS1.
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 @CafultzISRand 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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