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Butler Bulldogs Defeat Morehead State at Hinkle Fieldhouse

INDIANAPOLIS, IN – The Butler Bulldogs, coming off a loss to the #16/16 Purdue Boilermakers in the 2017 Crossroads Classic, returned to Hinkle Fieldhouse to host the Morehead State Eagles on Tuesday, December 19. Butler senior F Kelan Martin posted his sixth 20-point game and fourth double-double of the season with a team-high 20 points and 10 rebounds in the 85-69 win. Butler improves to 9-3 while Morehead State falls to 4-7.

“Our defense tonight is where we had segments where we were locked in and brought good energy,” said Butler Head Coach LaVall Jordan. “That’s where we need to hang our hat this season. We’re still looking for a full 40 minutes, but we did some good things tonight. I’m excited because we have a locker room that wants to improve.”

The Bulldogs opened the game with a three from sophomore G Kamar Baldwin at the 19:12 mark. A layup from senior F Tyler Wideman helped give Butler a 10-2 lead with 16:19 remaining before the half, but a 10-4 run by Morehead State brought the game to 14-12 with 10:17 before the break. The Bulldogs responded with a 13-3 run to bring the score to 27-15 with 5:42 remaining in the first half. During that run, Tyler Wideman scored four points at the free throw line and added a dunk while senior F Kelan Martin capped off the run with a steal that led to an And-1 fast break layup and free throw. The Eagles went on another run, this time a 13-2 spurt that brought the lead down to just one at 29-28 with 1:29 remaining before halftime. Kelan Martin responded with two free throws and a steal that led to a fast break dunk at the 1:09 first half mark. Following the four straight points from Martin, the Bulldogs took a 33-28 halftime lead

Butler finished the first half shooting 36.7% (11-20) form the field, including 10% (1-10) from three. Morehead State finished the first half shooting 35.5% (11-31) from the field, including 33.3% (5-15) from three. Tyler Wideman led all scorers with 11 points.

Photo: Butler Athletics/Butler Senior Forward Kelan Martin

Morehead State opened the second half scoring on a free throw, but Butler responded with a 14-2 run to push the lead to 47-31 with 14:20 remaining in the game. During that run, Kelan Martin scored seven straight points, including a make from three, while Kamar Baldwin followed that up with five straight points, including an And-1 jumper. Less than three minutes later, the lead grew to 20 as junior F/C Nate Fowler connected on a three for Butler at the 11:57 second half mark. Redshirt junior G Paul Jorgensen and redshirt sophomore G/F Sean McDermott connected on threes to help extend the lead to 21 at 62-41 with 10:32 remaining. Back-to-back three-point buckets from Paul Jorgensen helped spark a 13-2 Butler run. The run was capped off with a three from freshman F Christian David to give Butler a 26 point lead at 75-49 with 5:46 remaining. David added three more points by way of the free throw line and Jorgensen scored seven down the stretch, including the last five points of the game, to give Butler the 85-69 win. Butler’s 52 second-half points were a season-best.

The Bulldogs finished the game at 50% (31-62) from the field, including 34.8% (8-23) from three. Morehead State finished at 42.6% (26-61) from the field, including 33.3% (10-30) from three.

The Bulldogs won the rebound battle, 42-24, and the assist battle, 21-13. Butler scored 18 points off of 12 Morehead State turnovers while surrendering 10 points off of 14 turnovers.
Senior F Kelan Martin posted his sixth 20-point game and fourth double-double of the season with a team-high 20 points and team-high 10 rebounds. Martin eclipsed 1,500 career points.

Redshirt junior G Paul Jorgensen tied his career-high with 16 points, all of which came in the second half. Senior F Tyler Wideman made all five of his attempts from the field, posting 15 points and six rebounds. Sophomore G Kamar Baldwin had 12 points and eight rebounds. Junior F/C Nate Fowler added 11 points, including 1-1 from three.

Butler improves 7-0 at Hinkle Fieldhouse.

Djimon Henson led the Eagles with a game-high 22 points.

The Bulldogs wrap up the non-conference slate Thursday, hosting Western Illinois at 7 PM ET. Tickets are still available for the contest, which will air on FOX Sports Network affiliates including FOX Sports Indiana. Butler opens the BIG EAST Conference schedule on Dec. 27 at Georgetown.

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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