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Butler Bulldogs Return Home to Face SIU-Edwardsville

INDIANAPOLIS, IN – The Butler Bulldogs return to Hinkle Fieldhouse to host the SIU-Edwardsville Cougars (1-3) in a Saturday non-conference match-up at 5:00 PM EST. The Bulldogs are 3-1 on the young season and are coming off a runner-up finish at the 2015 Puerto Rico Tip-Off. The game will be televised nationally on FS2, while Mark Minner and Nick Gardner can be heard on 107.5 FM. Vince Welch and Dickey Simpkins will have the FS2 call.

This is just the second meeting between Butler and SIUE. The team teams faced off Dec. 20, 1982 at Hinkle Fieldhouse with Butler winning that match-up, 49-40.

Butler lost to Miami in the championship game of the Puerto Rico Tip-Off after defeating Missouri State and Temple earlier in San Juan. Voters were impressed with Miami’s win over Butler as the Hurricanes went from unranked in both polls to the #15 and #19 spots, respectively, in Monday’s polls.

The Hurricanes shot 22-of-24 from the free throw line for a 91.7% clip. Ironically, Miami was the first Butler opponent to shot better than 90% from the line since Illinois on Nov. 21, 2012 in the championship game of the Maui Invitational. Illinois won that game, which was Butler’s most recent appearance in an in-season tournament championship game.

Last time out for Butler, Miami (Fla.) used a 19-point first-half advantage and strong free throw shooting in the second half (20-22) to win the Puerto Rico Tip-Off, 85-75, over a resilient Butler team in San Juan Sunday night. The Bulldogs fought back in the second half to trim the lead to four (76-72) with a three-pointer from senior G Kellen Dunham with 3:30 to play. That was the last field goal by either team as the Hurricanes hit nine of ten free throws in the closing minutes to seal the win.

Kellen Dunham had 20 of his game-high 23 points in the second half against Miami. He went 4-of-6 from three-point range after halftime as well. His five total three-pointers were the most in a game for Dunham since a 6-of-7 performance at St. John’s Jan. 3, 2015. Dunham has made a three-pointer in 21 consecutive games dating back to last season. His 11 treys this season are second in the BIG EAST.

Redshirt senior G/F Roosevelt Jones led the Butler effort against Miami with 19 points and five assists to earn All-Tournament Team honors. Jones also posted 12 points and 11 rebounds against Temple in the semifinals. Roosevelt Jones has posted 10+ rebounds in three of Butler’s four games this season. That includes his eighth and ninth double-doubles of his Butler career. For his career, he has 13 games with double-digit rebounds. Jones’ 9.3 rebounds per game are fifth in the BIG EAST. Roosevelt Jones has at least four assists in each of the team’s four games so far this season.

Kellen Dunham and Roosevelt Jones continue to climb several lists in Butler’s career rankings. Dunham is now tied for 12th in scoring (1,485 points) and third in three-pointers (223). Jones is 29th in scoring (1,132) and seventh in assists (327).

Photo: Butler Athletics/Kellen Dunham (Zach Bolinger)
Photo: Butler Athletics/Kellen Dunham (Zach Bolinger)

Kellen Dunham led the Bulldogs in scoring against Miami with 23 points. Dunham has at least shared the team lead in scoring in three of Butler’s four games. Either Dunham or Roosevelt Jones led the team in scoring in 25 of the 34 games during the 2014-15 season.

Sophomore G Kelan Martin and junior F Andrew Chrabascz have each posted the first double-double of their respective Butler careers so far in 2015-16. Martin had 13 points and 10 rebounds in the season-opener against The Citadel, while Chrabascz registered 13 points and 10 rebounds in the semifinal win over Temple in Puerto Rico. Andrew Chrabascz had a career-high eight assists in the season opener against The Citadel.

Sophomore F Tyler Wideman has stepped into the starting position in the post in a big way. He had a career-high 10 rebounds against Miami, one game after registering a career-high four blocks against Temple. His post defense helped to limit Temple to just 38% shooting. Wideman is 10-of-12 (83.3%) on free throws so far this season after shooting only 41.5% a season ago.

Redshirt junior PG Tyler Lewis, including a 10-assist performance against Missouri State in the Puerto Rico opener, has 14 assists on the season against only three turnovers. He is the first Butler player with 10 assists in a game since Ronald Nored against Indiana State on Feb. 18, 2012.

Offensively, Butler is among the national leaders in a variety of categories so far this season. (These statistics are through the games of Nov. 23). The Bulldogs are:

Fourth in Scoring Offense (96.5 points per game)
8th in Assist/Turnover Ratio (2.0)
14th in Field Goal Percentage (51.9%)
16th in Fewest Turnovers (9.3 per game)
18th in Scoring Margin (+25.5)

The Bulldogs will look to find the same offensive success they found in their first regular season home contest this season when they face the Cougars.

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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