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Butler Bulldogs Host Bucknell to Begin Continental Tires Las Vegas Invitational

INDIANAPOLIS, IN – The Butler Bulldogs, fresh off an exciting win in a Gavitt Tipoff Games matchup, host the Bucknell Bison on Saturday, November 19. The 1:00 PM ET tip will mark the beginning of the Continental Tire Las Vegas Invitational with the first of two match-ups at Hinkle Fieldhouse as part of the event. The game will air on FOX Sports Network affiliates, including FOX Sports Midwest/Indiana with Jeff Levering and Jordan Cornette on the call. Butler is 2-0 on season.

Bucknell brings its 2-1 record out on a four-game, three-city road trip, with all of the games part of the Continental Tire Las Vegas Invitational. Bucknell made it a 2-0 start at home with a 75-62 victory over Robert Morris on Wednesday at Sojka Pavilion. Bucknell dropped its first road game of the season to Wake Forest in a 94-74 defeat on November 11th at LJVM Coliseum.

Butler and Bucknell have met only once, with that contest coming in the 2013 NCAA Tournament. The Bulldogs won that second round (the opening games for most teams were called second round games that year) tournament game, 68-56, in Lexington, Ky. Rotnei Clarke led four Bulldogs in double figures with 17 points. Andrew Smith had 14 points and 16 rebounds. Two days later, Butler would lose to Marquette in what was Brad Stevens‘ final game as head coach at Butler.

Last game out for the Bulldogs, Butler defeated Northwestern, 70-68, Wednesday night at Hinkle Fieldhouse as freshman G Kamar Baldwin hit a 17-foot jumper with 0.4 seconds remaining on the clock. Baldwin set up the final possession with a steal with 30 seconds remaining in the game. The match-up was part of the Gavitt Tipoff Games, an annual series between the BIG EAST and Big Ten. The Northwestern game featured 17 ties and 16 lead changes. Butler’s largest lead was five midway through the second half. Northwestern’s largest lead was six with approximately six minutes to play, following a 10-0 run. The teams were tied for more than 25 percent of the game (10:15 of game action).

Junior F Kelan Martin has led Butler in scoring in both contests this season. Wednesday’s 22 points featured 15 second-half points, including eight in the first 2:45 of the half. His 21 points in the season-opening win over Northern Colorado included 17 first-half points.

Photo: Butler Athletics/Butler Senior F Andrew Chrabascz
Photo: Butler Athletics/Butler Senior F Andrew Chrabascz

The Bulldogs are hitting 77 percent of their free throw attempts through two games (33-43). Kelan Martin leads the team, having made all 14 of his attempts from the line.

Freshman G Kamar Baldwin has been impressive in his early Butler career, scoring 11 points in each contest, including Wednesday’s game-winner. He has made 10 of his 17 attempts from the field (59 percent) and has committed only one turnover. On the defensive end, he has five steals.

Senior F Andrew Chrabascz played a game-high 38 minutes Wednesday against Northwestern. His seven rebounds were also a game-high.

Butler has committed only 20 turnovers through its two games, while forcing opponents into 35 miscues. The Bulldogs caused the lead guard (Jordan Davis from Northern Colorado and Bryant McIntosh from Northwestern) into a combined 13 turnovers. The Bulldogs have a 44-18 in points off turnovers so far this season.

A season ago, Butler committed 10 or fewer turnovers in 17 games. Butler led the BIG EAST and ranked 12th nationally in turnovers per game (10.2) in 2015-16.

Butler has now won 30 consecutive home games against non-conference opponents. The streak dates back to a loss to Pittsburgh in the 2012 College Basketball Invitational (CBI).

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