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Butler Bulldogs Host No. 24/24 Seton Hall

BUTLER (14-6, 4-3 BIG EAST) vs. #24 SETON HALL (13-5, 3-3 BIG EAST)
When: Sunday, January 25, 3 p.m. (ET)
Where: Hinkle Fieldhouse – Indianapolis, Ind.
TV: FOX Sports Net (Kevin Kugler, Ron Thompson)
Radio: 1070 AM/107.5 FM (Mark Minner, Nick Gardner)

INDIANAPOLIS, IN – For the second time in 12 days, the Butler Bulldogs will square off against the #24 Seton Hall Pirates. The Pirates will visit Hinkle Fieldhouse on Sunday (Jan. 25) for a 3 p.m. (ET) Big East Conference contest that will be televised on FOX Sports Net. The two teams met less than two weeks ago on Jan. 13 at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., and Butler came away with a 79-75 victory in overtime. The Pirates were unbeaten at home and ranked #21 at the time.

The Bulldogs improved to 14-6 on the season and 4-3 in the BIG EAST with a 64-61 victory over Creighton at Hinkle Fieldhouse on Wednesday (Jan. 21). Butler led nearly the entire game, but had to come-from-behind in the final minute to secure the conference win. Seton Hall (13-5, 3-3 BIG EAST) dropped its last outing at home to DePaul, 64-60, on Thursday (Jan. 22). The Pirates were out-scored, 17-5, in the final six minutes, while losing for only the second time at home. Seton Hall is making just its second visit to Hinkle Fieldhouse. Butler is 3-2 against teams ranked in the “Top 25” this season.

Butler sits at 9-1 in Hinkle Fieldhouse this season, following Wednesday’s victory over Creighton. The Bulldogs have posted a winning record at home in each of the past 24 seasons and have at least ten wins at home in 18 of the past 19 campaigns. Butler’s current seniors are 44-16 at home.

#24/24 Seton Hall is the first nationally-ranked opponent to visit Hinkle Fieldhouse this season. Butler hosted a pair of “Top 25” foes a year ago, falling in overtime to #11 Villanova and losing by five points to #18 Creighton. The Bulldogs’ last victory over a “Top 25” opponent in Hinkle Fieldhouse came on Jan. 19, 2013, when Roosevelt Jones came up with a steal and hit a shot at the buzzer to lift Butler past #8 Gonzaga, 64-63, in front of a sold-out crowd and a national television audience.

Sophomore forward Andrew Chrabascz scored on a lay-up with 0:53 left to give Butler a 60-59 lead, and the Bulldogs held on with four clutch free throws in the closing seconds to post a 64-61 win over visiting Creighton. The Bulldogs led nearly the entire game, but Creighton rallied from a nine-point deficit in the final five minutes and eventually took a 59-57 lead on a pair of free throws by James Milliken. A free throw by Roosevelt Jones and the basket by Chrabascz put Butler back on top, and the Bulldogs held the lead thanks to a pair of free throws each from seniors Kameron Woods and Alex Barlow in the final 11 seconds. The win was Butler’s first over Creighton in 81 years, snapping the Blue Jays’ five-game winning streak in the series.

Junior guard Roosevelt Jones continued to sizzle in January with another impressive all-around performance in Butler’s victory over Creighton. The 6-4 guard posted his first double-double of the season (and the ninth of his Butler career) with a game-high 18 points and a team-high 10 rebounds. He also led the Bulldogs with six assists, while adding three blocked shots and a steal in 39 minutes. Since Jan. 1, Jones has scored in double-figures in six consecutive games, and he’s averaged 18.7 points, 6.0 rebounds and 3.2 assists. He’s led Butler in scoring in each of the past three games.

Roosevelt Jones, who averaged 25.5 points in Butler’s two conference road games a week ago, was named to the BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll on Monday. It was his second time on the league Honor Roll.

Roosevelt Jones leads the Bulldogs and ranks third in the BIG EAST in minutes played (34.8) and is fifth in the BIG EAST in assists (3.9). Roosevelt Jones and Kris Dunn of Providence are the only players who rank in the “Top 15” in the BIG EAST in scoring, rebounding and assists.

Photo: Butler Athletics/Kameron Woods (Brent Smith)
Photo: Butler Athletics/Kameron Woods (Brent Smith)

Senior forward Kameron Woods became the fourth player in Butler basketball history to grab 800 career rebounds during Butler’s win over Creighton, and he did it in memorable fashion. With Butler clinging to a 60-59 lead, the 6-9 forward, who led the BIG EAST in rebounding a year ago, pulled down an offensive rebound (the 800th rebound of his career) and was fouled with 11 seconds remaining. He calmly converted both free throws to give the Bulldogs a three-point lead. Woods finished the game with 12 points and five rebounds.

Kameron Woods ranks second in the BIG EAST in rebounding (9.1), leads the BIG EAST and ranks 20th in the NCAA Division I in total rebounds (176). He’s had nine or more rebounds in 11 games this season. Kameron Woods is first in the BIG EAST in defensive rebounds (6.0) and second in the league in offensive rebounds (3.1). Kameron Woods had 15 rebounds in Butler’s first meeting with Seton Hall two weeks ago. It was the third-highest single game rebounding total of his Butler career. Kameron Woods also stands fourth on Butler’s all-time list for blocked shots (116). Woods matched his career-high with four blocked shots against Creighton.

Junior guard Kellen Dunham, who became the 36th Butler player to score 1,000 career points in December, moved into the “Top 25” on Butler’s all-time scoring list, despite scoring a season-low seven points against Creighton. The 6-6 junior boosted his career scoring total to 1,173 points and climbed into the No. 25 spot on the all-time Butler list, just ahead of Chris Miskel (1992-96). Last year, Dunham ranked seventh in the BIG EAST in scoring (16.4), while becoming just the fifth sophomore in Butler history to score 500 points in a season.

Junior guard Kellen Dunham enters the game against Seton Hall in ninth place on Butler’s all-time list for three-point field goals. The 6-6 guard has compiled 180 career three-pointers in his two-plus years at Butler and stands just one shy of Jody Littrell (1986-90) in the No. 8 spot. Former sharp-shooter Pete Campbell (2006-08) is seventh all-time with 183 career three-point field goals, while Avery Sheets (2002-06) is sixth with 184.

Kellen Dunham is currently ranked fourth in the BIG EAST in scoring (16.2), third in the BIG EAST in three-point field goals (2.3), third in the BIG EAST in 3-point field goal shooting (43.3%), fourth in the BIG EAST in free throw shooting (86.0%).

Senior guard Alex Barlow recorded a game-high four steals against Creighton and moved into fifth place on Butler’s all-time list for steals. The 6-0 guard enters the game against Seton Hall with 160 career steals, 16 shy of Darren Fowlkes (1985-89) in the No. 4 spot. Barlow has had at least one steal in 17 of the Bulldogs’ 20 contests this season, and he’s currently ranked second in the BIG EAST and 13th in the NCAA Division I in steals per game (2.35). He had a career-high seven steals against Providence on Jan. 6.

Alex Barlow is ranked ninth in the NCAA Division I in total steals (47).

Butler has matched its season win total of a year ago. The Bulldogs didn’t get their 14th win last year until March 8. Butler leads the BIG EAST in rebounding margin (+5.4). The Bulldogs have out-rebounded 15 of 20 opponents this season. Butler leads the BIG EAST in total offensive rebounds (258). The Bulldogs are ranked first in the BIG EAST in team scoring defense (60.2) and second in the league in three-point field goal percentage defense (29.4%). Butler also leads the BIG EAST in free throws attempted (464).

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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