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Butler Bulldogs Defeat Princeton At Hinkle Fieldhouse

INDIANAPOLIS, IN – The Butler Bulldogs, fresh off a home opener win of Friday, hosted the Princeton Tigers at Hinkle Fieldhouse on Sunday, November 12. Butler senior F Kelan Martin led the Bulldogs with 20 points and a career-high 14 rebounds in the 85-75 win over Princeton. Butler moves to 2-0 while Princeton falls to 0-1.

Butler now owns a 4-0 all-time series lead against the Princeton Tigers.

“That was a really fun college basketball game and an awesome environment here at Hinkle,” said Butler Head Coach LaVall Jordan. “Princeton is going to be near the top of their league again like they always are, and they have a really good team. It’s tough to prepare for how they play on a one-day prep, but our assistant coaches and scout team got us ready. This is a really good win.”

The Bulldogs won the tip, but were unable to convert on their first two field goal attempts, including a shot attempt on an offensive rebound. Princeton found the scoreboard first on a three-pointer by senior G Amir Bell. Butler sophomore G Kamar Baldwin found the scoreboard on a jumper, but the Tigers immediately responded with another three, this time from junior G Devin Cannady. The Bulldogs took the lead with the help of five straight points from senior F Tyler Wideman, including an And-1 three-point play. The And-1 free throw gave Butler a 7-6 lead with 17:05 remaining in the first half. A three from Princeton senior F Alec Brennan was immediately answered with a three by Butler redshirt junior G Paul Jorgensen to bring the lead to 14-10 at the 14:13 mark in the first half. Five straight Princeton points, including another Brennan three, cut the Butler lead down to 18-17 with 11:33 remaining in the first half.

Photo: Butler Athletics/Butler Freshman Guard Aaron Thompson

A pair of Princeton free throws kept things close at 20-19 with 10:06 remaining before a 17-6 Butler run would increase the lead to double-digits. During that run, Butler received five points from sophomore G/F Henry Baddley, who connected on two free throws and a three-pointer, and four points from redshirt sophomore G/F Sean McDermott. The run was capped off by a layup from freshman G Aaron Thompson that extended the lead to 35-23 with 5:09 remaining before halftime. The Tigers would trim the lead to eight points a few times before the end of the first half, but the Bulldogs were there to respond and keep the lead at double-digits. A jumper from Aaron Thompson with 1:08 remaining sent the Bulldogs into halftime with a 41-31 lead.

The Bulldogs shot 53.3% (16-30) from the field, including 25% (2-8) from three. Princeton finished the first half shooting 61.1% (11-18) from the field, including 66.7% (4-6) from three. Aaron Thompson led all scorers with 10 points on a 4-4 shooting performance off the Butler bench.

A second three from Devin Cannady opened the second half scoring and cut the Butler lead to 41-34 with 19:01 remaining in the game. But the Bulldogs responded with seven straight points, including a Tyler Wideman steal that led to an And-1 layup from Wideman. The And-1 free throw extended the lead to 48-34 with 17:53 remaining in the game. Six straight points, including four from junior G Myles Stephens, cut the lead down to eight points at 50-42 with 14:08 remaining. Following a layup from senior F Kelan Martin, Stephens connected on a Princeton three to cut the lead to 54-49 with 12:33 remaining in the game. A three by Kelan Martin extended the lead to double-digits, but was immediately answered by another Tigers three by Bell. Bell would cut the lead down to five at 59-54 on a jumper following his three with 9:17 remaining.

The Tigers continued to chip away at the lead as Cannady hit another three to cut the lead to 61-57, but Kelan Martin had the immediate answer as he connected on his second three of the second half to bring the lead to 64-57 at the 7:43 mark. Seconds later, a fourth three for Cannady cut the lead to 66-62 and a Stephens layup following a layup from Butler junior C Nate Fowler closed the gap the 68-66 with 5:59 remaining. A steal and a fastbreak one-hand dunk from Kamar Baldwin helped Butler gain a 72-64 lead with 5:24 remaining in the game. The Tigers yet again cut the lead down to four after a four-point run following the Baldwin dunk to bring the score to 72-68 with 3:39 remaining. But the Bulldogs again responded with seven straight points, including a corner three from Baldwin, to extend the lead to 79-68 with 1:45 remaining. A Princeton steal led to an And-1 layup for sophomore G Jose Morales cut the lead to 81-73 with 0:42 remaining, but it turned out to be too little and too late for the Tigers. Kamar Baldwin and Paul Jorgensen would knock down a pair of free throws in the final minutes to help keep the lead at double-digits and secure an 85-75 win.

The Bulldogs finished the game shooting 54.4% (31-57), including 31.3% (5-16) from three. Princeton finished at 55.6% (25-45) from the field, including 60% (9-15) from three.

Butler scored 15 points off of 11 Princeton turnovers while surrendering five points off of seven miscues. Butler won the rebounding battle, 31-18, and scored 50 points in the paint compared to 26 by the Tigers. The Butler bench outscored the Tigers bench, 26-20.

Sophomore G Kamar Baldwin and freshman G Aaron Thompson each had 15 points for Butler. 16 of Martin’s points and 13 of Baldwin’s came in the second half.

For Martin, it was his second consecutive 20-point output to open the season and the 23rd of his career. It was his 33rd time leading the Bulldogs in scoring as well as his 33rd time leading the team in rebounding.

With 20 points, Martin (1,344) passed Thomas Jackson (1,334) & Tom Bowman (1,334) to sit at No. 20 on the Butler All-Time Scoring List.

Bell led Princeton with a game-high 22 points, one more than his teammate Stephens.

The Bulldogs embark on their first road trip of the season, traveling to Maryland for a Wednesday night Gavitt Tipoff Games contest with the Terrapins. The tip is scheduled for 8:30 p.m. 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 @CafultzISR and the @IndySportsRep on Twitter.

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