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Butler Bulldogs Defeat Ohio State for Fifth in PK80 Phil Knight Invitational

INDIANAPOLIS, IN – The Butler Bulldogs, looking to secure a fifth place finish in the PK80 Phil Knight Invitational, faced the Ohio State Buckeyes, led by former Butler coach Chris Holtmann, on Sunday, November 26th in Portland, Ore. Down 15 points with 3:46 to play, Butler fought back to post a 67-66 overtime win at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Senior F Kelan Martin scored a game-high 24 points including, the game-winning layup with four seconds remaining in OT. Both teams now sit at 5-2.

“We continued to fight; we believed in each other. That’s a great win for us,” said Butler Head Coach LaVall Jordan. “Leaving here with two wins under your belt, especially having to fight for one like that, you have to be proud of that.”

The Bulldogs struggled early to make shots and fell behind 11-3 with 13:19 remaining in the first half. But five straight points from redshirt junior G Paul Jorgensen, including a make from three, cut the lead down to 11-8 with 12:14 remaining before the break. The Bulldogs fell behind again with the score at 20-12, but went on an 8-0 run and tied the game on a one-hand baseline slam from senior F Kelan Martin at 20-20 with 2:24 remaining in the first half. A free throw from freshman F Christian David gave Butler a 21-20 lead with 1:17 remaining in the first half, but Ohio State would take a 24-21 lead into halftime.

Butler shot 30% (9-30) from the field in the first half, including 7.7% (1-13) from three. Ohio State finished at 42.3% (11-26) including 25% (2-8) from three. Kelan Martin led all scorers with eight points at the break.

Photo: Butler Athletics/Butler Sophomore Guard Henry Baddley

Both teams traded buckets to start the second half before Ohio State built a nine point lead at 34-25 with 15:58 remaining. But Kelan Martin was there to respond immediately with a three to cut the lead back down to 34-28. A put-back dunk from sophomore G Henry Baddley and a layup from Kelan Martin cut the lead to 36-32 with 13:59 remaining, but the Buckeyes would go on to build a 14-point lead at 48-34 with 10:38 remaining on a three from Ohio State redshirt senior G Kam Williams. The lead grew to 15 points at 54-39 with 5:31 to play and again at 56-41 with 3:46 to play. With the help of three-point buckets from Jorgensen and Martin, and two from sophomore G Kamar Baldwin, Butler scored 20 points in the final 3:51 of regulation after scoring only 39 points over the first 36 minutes. The Bulldogs capped regulation with an 18-3 run, highlighted by a second Kamar Baldwin three-pointer of the game with 0:16 to play to tie the game. Ohio State committed a turnover and Butler’s three-pointer by Baldwin at the buzzer was no good to send the game into overtime.

Butler had a three-point lead midway through overtime before Ohio State took a 66-65 lead on two free throws from junior G CJ Jackson with 0:59 to play. After trading empty possessions, Martin started from the left elbow and got to the rim for the game-winner.

Butler overcame an off-shooting night and the loss of redshirt sophomore G/F Sean McDermott, who missed the game with a sprained ankle after starting the first six games of the season.

Butler shot only 36.2 (25-69) from the field for the game, including 19.4% (6-31) from behind the arc. Ohio State finished at 46.2% (24-52) from the field, including 33.3% (5-15) from three.

Four of those Butler three-pointers came in the final 3:39 of regulation as Butler made the comeback.

Senior F Kelan Martin finished with a game-high 24 points that came in a career-high 43 minutes. He shot 40.9% (9-22) from the field, adding six rebounds and a career-high four steals.

Sophomore G Kamar Baldwin had 14 points and four assists. Redshirt junior G Paul Jorgensen added 10 points.

Jackson led the Buckeyes with 19 points. Keita Bates-Diop had 16 points and 11 rebounds for OSU, which committed 24 turnovers.

Butler flies back to Indianapolis and has most of a week off before hosting St. Louis on Saturday at 2 PM ET.

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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