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Butler Bulldogs Defeat Saint Joseph’s (Ind.) In Final Exhibition Game

INDIANAPOLIS, IN – The Butler Bulldogs concluded their last of the two exhibition games leading into the 2015-2016 season with a 106-66 win over the Saint Joseph’s College Pumas on Saturday, Nov. 7 at Hinkle Fieldhouse. Redshirt senior G/F Roosevelt Jones led the way for Butler with a game high 19 points as six Bulldogs scored in double digits for the home crowd on Butler’s Family Weekend.

“I hoped that we would make some strides from last week to this week, and I thought we did that,” said Butler head coach Chris Holtmann about the week between exhibition contests. “Saint Joseph’s pushed the tempo and stepped up and made shots. We have a long way to go in a lot of areas, but we did some good things tonight.”

The Bulldogs took a 7-0 lead after a Tyler Wideman putback, a Kellen Dunham three and Kelan Martin jumper. Butler never looked back or trailed the rest of the game. It wasn’t until the 17:24 mark that the Pumas found the scoreboard for three points. The Bulldogs took a 54-36 lead into the half on a 19-37 (51.4%) shooting performance from the field and held the Pumas to a 10-25 (40%) effort. The Pumas were fueled by a red hot shooting performance from three after connecting on 8-13 (61.5%) from deep while the Bulldogs only connected on 2-9 (22.2%), both coming from Kellen Dunham.

With junior F Andrew Chrabascz out of the starting lineup for the Bulldogs due to a concussion in the previous game, sophomore F Tyler Wideman put it on himself to dominate the paint. Following the won tip-ball, Wideman grabbed the missed shot rebound by Roosevelt Jones in the first possession of the game and was fouled on the putback for an and-1 free throw attempt. Wideman continued his glass performance with another offensive board minutes later, which he converted into two points with a one-handed slam. Wideman later converted on a three-point play after he was fouled on a two-handed slam on an underneath inbounds play. After the hustle play, Wideman was rewarded by hitting the and-1 free throw. With 7:35 remaining in the first half, redshirt junior PG Tyler Lewis found a wide open Wideman heading towards the rim in the paint for an easy two-handed jam. But Wideman wasn’t finished after that. Two Butler points later, Wideman got the ball down low from Kelan Martin and converted on a one-handed jam from point blank range, his fourth dunk of the game. Wideman finished the first half with 11 points on 5-5 shooting a from the field, three rebounds (2 O, 1 D) and a block. Wideman came out of the second half to score Butler’s first points with another dunk, his fifth of the game. Wideman finished with 13 points on a perfect 6-6 from the field. Wideman also recorded four total rebounds, one block and one steal.

Filling in for Chrabascz’s four position on the court was sophomore G/F Kelan Martin, and he did not disappoint. Kelan Martin recorded six rebounds and six points on 3-6 shooting in the first half. One bucket came on a one-handed flush from a Kellen Dunham pass. Martin revved up his scoring in the second half with a few key plays including a fast break jam that led to a Pumas timeout and a converted 3-point play after being fouled on a jumper inside the three-point line. Martin finished with 13 points on 6-10 (60%) shooting, seven rebounds and two steals.

Photo: Butler Athletics/Roosevelt Jones (Zach Bolinger)
Photo: Butler Athletics/Roosevelt Jones (Zach Bolinger)

Senior G Kellen Dunham finished with 17 points on a 5-9 (55.5%) shooting performance, including 2-6 (33.3%) from three. Dunham also finished 5-6 (83.3%) from the free throw line and recorded three rebounds and one assist.

Redshirt senior G/F Roosevelt Jones finished with a game high 19 points on 4-6 (66.6%) shooting from the field. Most of his points came from the free throw line as he connected on 11-16 (68.75%) attempts. Jones also had four assists and three steals on the night.

After failing to find the scoring column last weekend against Taylor, freshman C Nate Fowler managed to score the first points of his young Butler career. Fowler scored all of his first half points from the charity strip (4-6) and eventually got his first field goal to drop with 9:33 left in the game. Fowler went on to finish with two And-1 opportunities, converting one into a three point play. In 20 minutes of action, Fowler finished with 14 points on 4-7 (57.1%) shooting from the field, 6-10 (60%) from the free throw line, three rebounds, two steals and one blocked shot.

Tyler Lewis recorded a game high eight assists while sophomore F Jackson Davis snatched a game high 11 rebounds along with his six points.

The Bulldogs finished the game with a 37-68 (54.4%) field goal percentage and a 5-21 (23.8%) performance from three. The Butler defense held the Pumas to 19-52 (36.5%) from the field, but gave up a 13-27 (48.1%) effort from deep. The three point defense will be a key area of improvement next week against a three point happy team in Citadel.

Butler tips the regular season Saturday, Nov. 14 with a 7:30 p.m. game against Citadel at Hinkle Fieldhouse. Tickets are still available to the contest, which can also be seen on FS2 and heard on 1070 The Fan and 93.5 FM.

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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