INDIANAPOLIS, IN – The Butler Bulldogs, coming off a dominating win on the road against Marquette, returned home to face the DePaul Blue Demons in a BIG EAST Conference matchup at Hinkle Fieldhouse on Saturday, February 3. Senior F Kelan Martin scored a game-high 26 points to lead the Bulldogs in an 80-57 win and fourth consecutive Butler victory. The Bulldogs improve to 17-7 (7-4 BIG EAST) while DePaul falls to 9-13 (2-8 BIG EAST).
“It was great to be back at Hinkle today. There’s nothing better than a noon tip on a Saturday in this building,” said Butler Head Coach LaVall Jordan. “It took both teams a little bit to wake up early, but we really picked it up defensively in the first half. Our attention span was longer and we were closer to a complete game today. Our bench really raised our level today, especially defensively.”
The Blue Demons opened the scoring with a low post jumper from graduate C Marin Maric. Senior F Tyler Wideman tied the game at 2-2 before redshirt junior G Paul Jorgensen gave Butler a 5-2 lead on a three with 17:58 remaining in the first half. A three in response by senior F Tre’Darius McCallum started a 9-0 run to give the Blue Demons an 11-5 lead with 14:24 remaining in the first half. But the Bulldogs, led by senior F Kelan Martin, rattled off a 20-1 run in response. Martin scored eight of the 20 Butler points, including a right-hand fastbreak slam off a steal. The run gave the Bulldogs a 25-12 lead with 7:45 remaining in the first half. The Blue Demons responded with a 10-4 run to cut the lead to 29-22 with 4:01 remaining in the first half. A layup from Tyler Wideman pushed the lead back to double-figures at 35-24 with 2:18 before the break. DePaul would score six points on three trips to the free throw line with Butler responding with a pair of free throws in the final minutes. The Bulldogs would wind down the clock and find Kelan Martin in the corner to knock down a corner three with time expiring to take a 40-30 halftime lead.
The Bulldogs shot 46.2% (12-26) from the field in the first half, including 25% (2-8) from three. DePaul finished the first half at 40.9% (9-22), including 42.9% (3-7) from three. Kelan Martin led all scorers with 19 points.
Butler opened the second half right where they left off as Kelan Martin connected on a three to give the Bulldogs a 43-30 lead with 19:23 remaining. Butler sophomore G Kamar Baldwin scored the next points on a steal and dunk. A Baldwin three later in the game extended the Butler lead at 50-33 with 16:00 remaining. DePaul scored four straight before Baldwin hit a second three to extend the lead to 53-37 with 13:56 remaining in the game. Minutes later, Paul Jorgensen hit his second three of the game to keep the 16 point lead at 58-42 with 10:33 remaining. Redshirt sophomore F Sean McDermott connected from deep right before Jorgensen scored on a third three of the game. The back-to-back threes gave Butler a 68-46 lead with 8:43 remaining. The lead continued to grow as McDermott hit a second three for a 71-48 lead with 7:27 remaining in the game. A pair of free throws from Kelan Martin extended the lead to 77-53 with 3:19 remaining before Butler emptied its bench. Walk-on freshman G Campbell Donovan hit a corner three to give Butler its final points at 80-55 with 1:43 remaining. DePaul would score on a layup with 0:28 remaining to bring us to the final score.
Butler finished the game shooting 43.5% (27-62) from the field, including 38.5% (10-26) from three. DePaul finished the game at 38.5% (20-52) from the field, including 25% (3-12) from three. The Blue Demons shot 77.8% (14-18) at the free throw line compared to 94.1% (16-17) for Butler.
The Bulldogs forced DePaul into 23 turnovers, converting those into 27 points. That included a season-high 14 steals. It was Butler’s fifth straight strong defensive performance, as all five opponents during that stretch have been held to no more than 72 points. Butler assisted on 19 of its 27 field goals against DePaul.
Senior F Kelan Martin led the Bulldogs with a game-high 26 points on a 7-13 (53.8%) shooring performance, including 2-6 (33.3%) from three. Martin went 10-11 at the free throw line. It was Martin’s 14th 20-point game of the season. Martin also recorded a game-high six assists and team-high six rebounds.
Redshirt junior G Paul Jorgensen (13), sophomore G Kamar Baldwin (10) and redshirt sophomore F Sean McDermott (10) joined Martin in double figures. Senior F Tyler Wideman scored eight points. Baldwin had a game-high four steals in 23 minutes as he battled foul trouble for much of the first half.
DePaul’s Eli Cain and Max Strus entered the game averaging a combined 29.6 points per game; the Bulldogs limited the duo to nine on 1-of-14 shooting.
Butler improved to 12-1 this season at Hinkle Fieldhouse and 12-1 when scoring 80 or more points.
Including today’s game, five of Butler’s next six games are at Hinkle Fieldhouse. That continues Tuesday when Xavier visits for a 6:30 p.m. tip. A limited number of tickets are available for the game that will also 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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