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Butler Bulldogs Fall to No. 21/21 Seton Hall at Hinkle Fieldhouse

INDIANAPOLIS, IN – The Butler Bulldogs, coming off a road loss to #5/4 Xavier, returned home to host the #21/21 Seton Hall Pirates during the second annual Basketball Day Indiana on Saturday, January 6. The Pirates erased an 11-point second-half deficit and came away with a 90-87 win. The Pirates move to 14-2 overall and are alone atop the BIG EAST Conference standings at 3-0. The Bulldogs are now 12-5 (2-2 BIG EAST).

“Seton Hall is a really good team; they are well-coached and they have seniors who made big plays down the stretch,” said Butler Head Coach LaVall Jordan. “In this league, every night is going to come down to one or two possessions. We didn’t finish plays like we needed to tonight and we probably should have made some adjustments earlier. But I love our fight and we can’t dwell on this one. No one is going to feel sorry for us and we can’t feel sorry for ourselves.”

Both teams struggled to score in the opening minutes. The Pirates missed their first three shot attempts before senior G Khadeen Carrington connected on two free throws after being fouled on a three-point shot attempt by senior F Kelan Martin. Senior C Angel Delgado hit the first field goal of the game on a layup from the deep post to give Seton Hall an early 4-0 lead at the 17:28 first half mark. The Bulldogs went 0-4 from the field before redshirt junior G Paul Jorgensen hit a three for Butler. A second foul on Kelan Martin sent him to the bench before the Bulldogs tied the game at 8-8 with 15:32 on a three from sophomore G Henry Baddley. The Baddley three sparked a 10-2 Butler run. During that run, a second Baddley three gave Butler its first lead of the game at 13-10 with 13:28 remaining in the first half. The run ended on a layup from redshirt sophomore F Sean McDermott to give Butler a 15-10 lead with 12:52 remaining before the break. Delgado scored four straight points to cut the lead to 19-18, but Kelan Martin answered with an And-1 layup. The three-point play gave Butler a 22-18 lead. Seconds later, Jorgensen hit a second three to extend the Butler lead to 25-18 with 8:01 remaining in the first half. Once again, the Bulldogs watched Delgado score six straight points to bring the score to 27-26 with 5:25 remaining in the first half. Three free throws from Baddley following a foul on his three-point shot attempt were immediately answered with a three from Seton Hall freshman G/F Myles Cale to cut the Butler lead to 36-34. A foul by Butler senior F Tyler Wideman sent Khadeen Carrington to the line as his two free throws tied the game again at 36-36 with 1:32 remaining in the first half. The Bulldogs were able to score the last four points of the first half to take a 40-36 halftime lead.

Butler finished the first half shooting 36.4% (12-33), including 33.3% (4-12) from three. Seton Hall finished at 51.9% (14-27), including 25% (2-8) from three. The Butler bench outscored Seton Hall, 19-3. The Bulldogs held a 21-13 rebound advantage.

Photo: Butler Athletics/Butler Senior Forward Kelan Martin

Sophomore G Kamar Baldwin opened the second half scoring on a jumper to give Butler a 42-36 lead with 19:48 remaining in the game. A three by Carrington and an And-1 three-point play by senior G/F Desi Rodriguez helped the Pirates tie the game at 46-46 with 17:07 remaining. Five straight points from Martin, including his first make from three, gave the Bulldogs a 57-48 lead with 14:25 remaining. A three from Sean McDermott pushed the lead to double-digits at 61-51 at the 13:07 mark, but Desi Rodriguez responded with a three to trim the lead back to 61-54. The Bulldogs built an 11 point lead with 9:57 remaining at 65-54, but the Pirates continued their fight. Four straight free throws from Delgado sparked 10-1 Pirates run that was capped off by back-to back threes from Khadeen Carrington. The run brought the Butler lead to 66-64 with 8:09 remaining in the game. A little over a minute later, a sixth three from Carrington tied the game at 68-68 with 7:05 remaining. A Martin layup gave Butler a 75-73 lead with 4:13 before Carrington hit his seventh three of the game for a 76-75 Seton Hall lead with 3:53 remaining. Martin countered with a three at top of the key, but the Pirates were there again with an answer as Rodriguez responded with a make from deep for a 79-78 lead with 3:12 remaining. A pair of free throws gave Butler an 80-79 lead before sophomore G Myles Powell connected on a three for an 82-80 Seton Hall lead with 2:15 remaining in the game. Martin would once again tie the game on a pair of free throws, but Seton Hall would build an 88-84 lead as the Bulldogs missed shots and sent the Pirates to the line. Kamar Baldwin would score on a three with 0.3 seconds remaining to bring the score to 88-87, but Delgado would close the game on a pair of free throws for the final 90-87 score.

The Bulldogs finished the game shooting 45.8% (27-59) from the field, including 44.4% (8-18) from three. The Pirates finished at 49.1% (27-55), including 50% (11-22) from three.

The Bulldogs won the rebound battle, 32-30. The Butler bench outscored the Seton Hall bench, 32-14. Both teams committed 11 turnovers as Seton Hall scored 16 points off turnovers while Butler scored 15.

Senior F Kelan Martin scored a team-high 27 points on a 9-18 (50%) performace from the field, including 2-6 (33.3%) from three. Martin reached 20 points for the sixth consecutive game and was one of four Bulldogs in double figures, joining sophomore G Kamar Baldwin (14), sophomore G Henry Baddley (14), and junior C Nate Fowler (11).

Sophomore G Kamar Baldwin added a team-high six rebounds and team-high five assists

Sophomore G Henry Baddley came off the bench and finished with 14 points on a 3-3 shooting performance, including 2-2 from three. Baddley also recorded a game-high three blocks in his 22 minutes.

Seton Hall’s three-headed monster of Carrington, Angel Delgado and Desi Rodriguez combined for 76 of the team’s 90 points. Delgado had 28 points and 15 rebounds, hitting 10 of 12 free throws. Rodriguez had 19. Carrington’s 29 points included a 7-of-11 performance from three-point range.

Butler returns to action Tuesday night, traveling to Omaha, Neb., for a match-up with Creighton. The 8:30 p.m. (Eastern, 7:30 p.m. Omaha) tip will air nationally 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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