INDIANAPOLIS, IN – The Butler Bulldogs, coming off a home win against Utah, continued right where they left off against the Youngstown State Penguins on Saturday, December 9. Sophomore G Kamar Baldwin scored a game high 19 points in the 95-67 win at Hinkle Fieldhouse. The Bulldogs improve to 8-2 while the Penguins fall to 2-8.
“We’ve been building and today was another good step for us,” said Butler Head Coach LaVall Jordan. “We’re becoming more connected on both ends of the court. There were stretches where we looked a lot like we want to look and some stretches that we’ll learn from in the film room. But, today we got really good energy and minutes from our bench, and that was important for us.”
The Bulldogs won the tip, but it was junior F Tyree Robinson who scored the first points of the game for Youngstown State as Butler senior F Kelan Martin missed on a reverse layup to start the game. On the next possession, sophomore G Kamar Baldwin hit a three to give Butler the early 3-2 lead at the 18:52 mark in the first half. The lead traded hands as the Penguins received a dunk from Robinson that was answered with a layup from junior F/C Nate Fowler. Five straight points from redshirt junior G Paul Jorgensen, including a corner three, gave Butler a 10-4 lead before Penguins sophomore G Braun Hartfield cut the lead to 10-7 with a three at the 15:58 first half mark. Four straight points from freshman G Aaron Thompson sparked a 27-7 run for Butler. During that run, the Bulldogs received six points from Kelan Martin, including a make from three. Baldwin, Fowler and redshirt freshman F/C Joey Brunk each scored four points while freshman F Christian David also scored a bucket from the low post. Jorgensen also hit his second three of the game during the run. A three from Hartfield ended the Butler run and cut the lead to 37-17 in favor of the Bulldogs with 4:52 remaining in the first half.
Kelan Martin would hit a second three at the 3:45 mark in the first half to extend the Butler lead to 40-19 and start a 9-1 Butler run. Youngstown State freshman G Garrett Covington hit a three to bring the lead to 46-23 in favor of the Bulldogs with 0:48 remaining in the first half. Kamar Baldwin grabbed an offensive rebound off a Kelan Martin missed three and was able to put the ball back up and in while still in the air during the rebound to give Butler a 48-23 lead at the halftime horn.
The Bulldogs shot 57.1% (20-35) from the field in the first half, including 50% (5-10) from three. The Penguins finished the first half at 33.3% (9-27) from the field, including 33.3% (4-12) from three. The Bulldogs held a rebound advantage, 22-13, and assist advantage, 8-5. Kelan Martin led all scorers with 11 points at the break.
Youngstown State freshman F Jacob Brown opened the second half scoring with a three to cut the lead to 48-22 with 19:35 remaining. Minutes later, with the Bulldogs in control, Kamar Baldwin came up with a steal and took it the length of the court for an And-1 layup. Baldwin hit the free throw to give Butler a 62-35 lead with 15:31 remaining. With 11:20 remaining in the game, freshman G/F Jerald Gillens-Butler found freshman F Christian David cutting to the basket for a two-hand slam to give Butler a 72-46 lead. A pair of free throws from Jorgensen extended the lead to 30 at 78-51 with 7:56 remaining. A three from Youngstown State senior G Cameron Morse cut the lead down to 27 before Jorgensen responded with his third three of the day for the 81-51 lead with 6:45 remaining. Gillens-Butler knocked down four straight free throws to give Butler a 35 point lead, its largest of the day, at 93-58 with 3:22 remaining. After the free throws, the Penguins went on a 9-2 run to bring the final score to 95-67.
The Bulldogs finished the game shooting 58.5% (38-65) from the field, including 37.5% (6-16) from three. Youngstown State finished at 39% (23-59) from the field, including 32% (8-25) from three. Butler’s 95 points and 58.5-percent shooting were both season-highs.
The Bulldogs won the rebound battle, 36-30, and assist battle, 18-11. Butler manage to score 25 points off of 20 Youngstown State turnovers while surrendering 11 points off of 14 Butler miscues.
Sophomore G Kamar Baldwin led the five Bulldogs in double figures with a season-best 19 points on an 8-12 performance from the field.
Senior F Kelan Martin and redshirt junior G Paul Jorgensen each had 15 points. Junior F/C Nate Fowler (season-high 12 points on 6-of-7 shooting) and freshman F Christian David (career-high 10 points on 5-of-5 shooting) came off the bench to register double figures. The Butler reserves scored 36 points Saturday after going scoreless in Tuesday’s win over Utah.
Freshman G Aaron Thompson matched his career-high with six assists Martin and Thompson each had a game-high three steals. Redshirt freshman F/C Joey Brunk led Butler with a team and career-high seven rebounds in 12 minutes of play. Freshman G/F Jerald Gillens-Butler posted career-high four points, career-high four rebounds and career-high two assists. Eleven of the 12 Bulldogs scored in the contest.
Braun Hartfield and Cameron Morse led the Penguins with 16 points apiece.
The Bulldogs take the week off for final exams before returning to action Saturday (Dec. 16) at the 2017Crossroads Classic. Butler faces off against Purdue at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. The Noon tip will air on FOX.
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 @CafultzISRand the @IndySportsRep on Twitter.
Chris Fultz is a Senior Writer and the Butler Athletics beat writer for the Indiana Sports Report. Chris Fultz is recognized as an accredited member of the media by Butler University Athletics and has full media access.
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