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Butler Bulldogs Dedicate Emotional Win to the Kampen Family

INDIANAPOLIS, IN – On an emotional night at Hinkle Fieldhouse, the Butler Bulldogs were able to pull out the win they wanted, dedicating it to staff member Emerson Kampen, who missed the game Tuesday night after his six-month-old passed away early Monday morning. Emerson Kampen IV, or “Little Em” as he was called, was diagnosed with Leigh’s Disease, a terminal, genetic disease several weeks ago. Sophomore G Kelan Martin registered a career high 35 points to lead Butler (15-7, 4-6 BIG EAST) to an 87-76 win over the Georgetown Hoyas, posting the largest scoring output in a BIG EAST Conference game so far this season.

Butler coach Chris Holtmann told media of Emerson Kampen IV’s passing in the postgame press conference. Little Em’s passing came less than three weeks after Andrew Smith lost his battle with cancer. Smith and Kampen were Butler teammates, both graduating in 2013.

Holtmann praised his team for a strong effort.

“These guys were locked in for the bulk of the game,” said Holtmann. “It’s a tremendous win. We’ll see if we can build on this in the coming days of practice.”

The Butler Bulldogs stepped on to the court firing early. After Georgetown won the opening tip and senior C Bradley Hayes scored the first two paints of the game on a hook in the paint, senior G Kellen Dunham responded with a deep ball. The Bulldogs scored next as sophomore G Kelan Martin soared high above the rim to slam home a Dunham missed three. The Hoyas scored seven straight points, including a three by freshman G/F Kaleb Johnson, to go up 9-5, but Kelan Martin was there again with an answer to the Georgetown run. Martin scored eight straight points for Butler as he drained his first from three, hit two free throws and then splashed again from behind the arc. A layup by Butler redshirt senior G/F Roosevelt Jones was capped off by another deep ball from Martin, his third of the first half. The 13-0 Butler run lasted 3:05 as the Bulldogs led 18-9.

The relentless attack from three continued as Dunham responded to a layup by freshman C Jessie Govan with another from downtown to bring the Butler lead to 10 at 21-11 with 12:12 remaining in the first half. The Butler lead grew to 13 with 8:54 remaining in the first half thanks to a 21-4 run that lasted 7:11. A tremendous 11-12 (91.7%) shooting performance from the free throw line, including an 8-8 effort from Martin, led the Bulldogs to hold Georgetown back by at least nine points through the rest of the first half. Georgetown put together a 6-0 run over the last 1:24 remaining in the first half, but it was Butler that took the lead into the half, 40-31.

Both teams finished the first half shooting 12-26 (46.2%) from the field, but the Bulldogs had the better three point shooting display, 5-11 (45.5%) compared to a Georgetown 2-7 (28.6%) performance from deep. Kelan Martin and Kellen Dunham combined for all five threes, finishing a combined (5-10). Kellen Dunham ended the first half with eight points on 2-7 shooting, including 2-5 from three, while Kelan Martin scored a game high 19 first half points on 4-8 shooting, including 3-5 from deep. Kampen was skyped into the halftime talk in the locker room.

Photo: Butler Athletics/Kelan Martin
Photo: Butler Athletics/Kelan Martin

Kelan Martin opened the second half scoring for both teams as he gathered his missed jumper for an easy putback in the paint. Georgetown senior G D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera nailed a three for the first Georgetown points in the second half, cutting the Butler lead to eight. But the Bulldogs once again responded with an offensive run, scoring eight straight, including four from Kelan Martin on two jumpers. Thanks to the 8-0 run, Butler had their largest lead of the game, 16 points, at 50-34 with 14:55 remaining in the game.

With a 12 point lead and 7:49 remaining in the game, Kellen Dunham found himself with the ball behind the three-point line with the shot clock expiring. With about two seconds remaining, Dunham dribbled to the top of the key and rose up over Smith-Rivera for a three point attempt. As the whistle blew, the shot splashed through for Dunham’s third make from three. Dunham hit the free throw to complete the four-point play and the lead increased back to 16 at 64-48.

A three-point barrage by the Hoyas mixed with a full court press threatened the once promising Butler lead. Three three-pointers and an And-1 three-point play in four straight Georgetown possessions brought the lead down to single digits, 80-74, with 1:11 remaining in the game. With 42 seconds remaining in the game and the score at 81-74, Smith-Rivera drove the ball down the left side of the lane and had his layup blocked by Roosevelt Jones. The Bulldogs were able to seal the game at the free throw line, hitting all of the final four free throw attempts. A Kellen Dunham two-handed putback dunk following a missed Roosevelt Jones layup in transition with 15 seconds remaining in the game put an exclamation mark on the emotional 87-76 victory

Butler sophomore G Kelan Martin finished with a career and game high 35 points. He went 10-of-18 (55.5%) from the field, including a 3-6 performance from three and made 12-of-13 (92.3%) of his free throw attempts. He added eight rebounds and a game high four blocks. It was his second consecutive career-high, following 27 points Saturday at Marquette.

Butler shot 25-48 (52.1%) from the field, including 6-14 (42.9%) from three. Georgetown finished the night 28-62 (45.2%) from the field and 9-22 (40.9%) from three. The Bulldogs made 20-26 free throws in the second half to seal the win and finished 31-38 (81.6%) for the game while holding Georgetown to 11-16 (68.8%) from the charity line.

Redshirt senior G/F Roosevelt Jones had 19 points to go along with six rebounds, five assists and two steals. When the Bulldogs needed a basket, Jones, Martin and senior G Kellen Dunham often responded Tuesday night. Dunham added 18 points on 6-11 (54.5%) shooting, including a 3-6 performance from three. Each of the three players registered 38 minutes as the trio combined for all but 15 of Butler’s 87 points. Junior F Andrew Chrabascz pulled down a game high nine rebounds to go along with eight points and two blocks as Butler out-rebounded Georgetown, 33-25. Both teams scored 11 points off of turnovers while Butler surrendered 11 and Georgetown nine. The Georgetown bench outscored the Butler bench, 27-1. Both teams scored two fast break points.

Georgetown sophomore G/F L.J. Peak scored 22 points to lead the Hoyas, one of two players with more than 20.

The Bulldogs travel to New York City on Saturday to face St. John’s in a 4:30 p.m. contest. Butler won the earlier match-up with the Red Storm at Hinkle Fieldhouse and will look for the season sweep. FOX Sports Network affiliates will air the contest.

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

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