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Butler Bulldogs Defeat Saginaw Valley State in Final Exhibition Game

INDIANAPOLIS, IN – The Butler Bulldogs, supported by a sell-out crowd of 9,100 on Butler’s Family Weekend, put on a solid performance in the 77-50 win over the Saginaw Valley State Cardinals on Saturday, November 5. Five Bulldogs scored in double figures and Butler’s defensive effort limited visiting Saginaw Valley State to 32% shooting in the second and final exhibition game at Hinkle Fieldhouse.

Graduate transfer G Avery Woodson opened the scoring for the game on a layup. After coming off the bench, redshirt freshman G Sean McDermott scored on a tip-in and freshman G Kamar Baldwin followed that up with a layup to stretch the Butler lead to 20-12 with 11:50 remaining in the first half. The Cardinals trimmed the lead to 23-20 after a Butler turnover and jumper by G Richie Roberts. But seven points from Avery Woodson, including a make from three, a layup off a steal by Baldwin and an alley-oop layup by junior F Kelan Martin from Woodson extended the Butler lead to 11 at 34-23, the largest lead of the first half. The Bulldogs took a 34-27 lead into halftime.

Photo: Butler Athletics/Junior F Kelan Martin
Photo: Butler Athletics/Junior F Kelan Martin

Saginaw Valley State F C.J. Turnage scored the first basket of the second half to trim Butler’s advantage to five at 34-29. Kelan Martin responded with a two-handed slam on a drive to the rim on the next play. A few plays later, Baldwin came up with another steal and found a breaking Kelan Martin, who finished with an emphatic one-handed slam in transition. The first Martin dunk was the start of a 15-0 Butler run to put the game at 49-29 with 15:07 remaining in the game. Sean McDermott helped to seal the deal for the Bulldogs down the stretch with a three-point bucket at the 11:19 to keep the lead at 19. McDermott extended the Butler lead to 22 less than two minutes later with another make from deep. McDermott’s third make from deep extended the game to 25 with 5:57 remaining in the game. Freshman G Henry Baddley gave Butler its largest lead of the game at 29 with a layup and scored the last three Butler points of the game.

Kelan Martin finished with a game high 15 points on 7-of-12 shooting, including 1-of-4 from deep. Butler outscored the Cardinals, 43-23, in the second half.

“I said this last week (following the team’s first exhibition), but this team knows we have a long way to go in a lot of areas,” said Butler Head Coach Chris Holtmann. “We were more connected tonight. Guys did a better job of doing their job. I was really pleased with our approach defensively, and we all recognize that is an area where we need to be better this season.”

“I also can’t say enough about our fans supporting this team by selling out an exhibition. We’re going to try every game to make it a fun night for those 9,100.”

Martin was joined in double figures by Sean McDermott, Avery Woodson and redshirt senior PG Tyler Lewis, who each had 11, as well as 10 points from junior F Andrew Chrabascz. McDermott’s night including 3-of-4 shooting from behind the arc.

Junior F Tyler Wideman pulled down a game high 12 rebounds, leading Butler to a 40-25 rebounding edge. The Bulldogs shot 53% on the night, 40% (6-of-15) from three, with 42 points in the paint.

Butler’s defense limited Saginaw Valley State, a team ranked in the Top 10 of most Division II polls that also played No. 12 Michigan State within 10 points earlier this week, to 17-of-53 (32.1%) shooting, including only five field goals after the intermission.

Butler opens the regular season Saturday night (Nov. 12), hosting Northern Colorado at 7:30 p.m. The contest will also air on FS2. Tickets are still available.

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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