INDIANAPOLIS, IN – The #10 seed Butler Bulldogs, looking to advance to the Sweet 16 for a second straight year, faced the #2 seed Purdue Boilermakers at Little Caesars Arena in the 2018 NCAA Tournament Round of 32 on Sunday, March 18. Butler’s season ended with a 76-73 loss as a halfcourt desperation heave to force overtime from Butler sophomore G Kamar Baldwin bounced off the rim as time expired.
The Bulldogs, under the direction of first-year head coach LaVall Jordan, finished the 2017-18 season with a record of 21-14, Butler’s 12th 20-win season in the last 13 seasons.
“As you get into this, what we’re in this for, as mentors and teachers, the relationships, you love being around these guys,” said Butler Head Coach LaVall Jordan, a 2001 Butler alum who took over the program in June. “Every day at practice, this group, they came and they embraced and they were willing to learn. So, I just wish we could have done better so we could still coach them for a few more practices and at least one more game.”
The Bulldogs opened the game with a layup from senior F Tyler Widman and a three from sophomore G Kamar Baldwin to take a 5-0 lead with 18:41 remaining in the first half. A three from senior F Kelan Martin pushed the lead to 8-2 before Purdue scored on back-to-back threes from sophomore G Carsen Edwards and senior G P.J. Thompson to tie the game at 8-8 at the 16:53 first half mark. A three from redshirt sophomore F Sean McDermott started an 8-3 Butler run that ended with a Kelan Martin three and pushed the lead to 16-11 with 12:28 remaining in the first half. Purdue scored the next four points before the Bulldogs went on an 8-0 run with the help of a three from redshirt junior G Paul Jorgensen and an And-1 three-point play on a layup from Kamar Baldwin to take a 24-15 lead with 7:42 remaining in the first half. The Boilermakers responded with a 13-4 run to tie the game at 28-28 with 3:48 remaining in the first half. The Bulldogs received a jumper from sophomore G Henry Baddley to take a 30-28 lead, but Purdue would take its first lead with the help of a free throw from freshman F Matt Haarms and a pair of free throws from Carsen Edwards. A jumper from Kamar Baldwin in response gave Butler a 32-31 lead with 2:40 remaining in the first half, but Purdue scored the next four points to take a 35-32 lead at the 1:40 first half mark. Both teams traded free throws down the stretch before senior F Vincent Edwards drilled a three to extend the Purdue lead to 40-34 with 0:29 remaining in the first half, A pair of free throws from Kelan Martin after a third foul by Vincent Edwards with 0:03 remaining in the first half led to a 40-36 halftime score.
The Bulldogs finished the first half shooting 46.2% (12-26) from the field, including 50% (5-10) from three. The Boilermakers finished the first half shooting 42.9% (12-29) from the field, including 41.7% (5-12) from three. Kelan Martin led all scorers with 14 first half points.
Butler opened the second half scoring with a tip-in from McDermott and third three of the game from Kelan Martin to take a 41-40 lead with 19:03 remaining. Both teams traded buckets and the lead before a jumper from Butler freshman G Aaron Thompson tied the game at 45-45 with 16:20 remaining. A three from senior G Dakota Mathias sparked a 7-0 Purdue run as the Boilermakers took a 52-45 lead with 14:24 remaining. The Bulldogs responded with a 6-2 run to trim the lead to 54-51, but a three from Vincent Edwards extended the Purdue lead to 57-51 with 12:43 remaining. The Edwards three started a 7-0 Purdue run that gave the Boilermakers a 61-51 lead with 10:19 remaining. Jumpers from Martin and Baldwin helped Butler cut the lead to six points, but Vincent Edwards again responded with a three for 64-55 lead with 8:42 remaining. Butler continued to fight and trimmed the lead to six again, but Purdue had another answer and built a 70-60 lead with 6:22 remaining. The Bulldogs responded with an 11-3 run and cut the lead to 73-71 on a Sean McDermott layup with 1:56 to play. Kamar Baldwin forced a steal on the ensuing possession, but Vince Edwards was able to recover and block the Baldwin layup attempt from behind to preserve the Purdue lead. After a Purdue shotclock violation, a Kelan Martin three-point attempt to take the lead was no good at with 0:39 remaining. Following the missed Martin attempt, Dakota Mathias hit a three-pointer with 0:13 seconds to play to take a 76-71 lead. Martin scored on a putback to trim the lead to three and Purdue missed the front end of a 1-and-1 after Butler fouled to extend the game with 0:02 remaining. With 1.6 seconds to play, Butler called a timeout and drew up a fullcourt play, but Baldwin’s halfcourt attempt hit off the rim at the buzzer.
The Bulldogs finished the game shooting 49.1% (27-55) from the field, including 30% (6-20) from three. Purdue finished the game shooting 50% (26-52) from the field, including 45.8% (11-24) from three. Butler finished nearly perfect from the free throw line at 92.9% (13-14) compared to Purdue at 72.2% (13-18).
After hitting five of 10 three-point attempts in the first half, the Bulldogs went only 1-of-10 from behind the arc after the intermission.
Senior F Kelan Martin had 29 points to lead the Bulldogs, just one off the Butler NCAA Tournament record. He climbed into second on Butler’s career scoring list in the game, finishing his career with 2,047 points. He went 9-of-18 (50%) from the field, including 3-10 (30%) from three, and connected on all eight of his free throw attempts.
Sophomore G Kamar Baldwin added 14 points for the Bulldogs.
Vincent Edwards led Purdue (30-6) with 20 points. He was one of four Boilermakers in double figures.
Baldwin, who is expected to receive preseason All-BIG EAST consideration, leads a talented group of returners for the Bulldogs. Butler is one of only eight programs to win an NCAA Tournament game in each of the last four years.
Butler’s graduating class of Kelan Martin and Tyler Wideman leave Butler as the first class in program history to win at least one NCAA Tournament game in each of their four seasons.
Christopher 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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