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Butler Bulldogs Return Home to Host DePaul

INDIANAPOLIS, IN – The Butler Bulldogs host the DePaul Blue Demons on Wednesday night (Jan. 27) at Hinkle Fieldhouse. It is the second match-up of the season between the two teams as the Blue Demons are Butler’s second consecutive opponent that will enter the contest against the Bulldogs after a full week off. The Bulldogs enter the BIG EAST Conference matchup with a 13-6 overall record and are 2-5 in BIG EAST play. The Blue Demons are 7-12 (1-6). Tip is scheduled for 7 p.m. ET. Tom McCarthy, Alaa Abdelnaby and Allie LaForce will call the game on CBS Sports Network while Mark Minner and Nick Gardner can be heard on 1070 AM, 93.5 FM and the TuneIn Radio App.

Butler and DePaul meet for the 12th time in series history. The Bulldogs won the first match-up of the season, a 77-72 decision at the Allstate Arena on Jan. 5. It was Butler’s fourth straight win in the series and their first BIG EAST win of the season. DePaul holds a slight 6-5 advantage in the all-time series, which dates back to the 1938-39 season. Chris Holtmann also won his only match-up with DePaul as head coach at Gardner-Webb, giving him a 4-0 career mark against the Blue Demons. Senior G Kellen Dunham led the Bulldogs with 24 points on 8-of-14 (57.1%) shooting against DePaul on January 5. After DePaul took a 55-50 lead with 9:12 to play, Butler responded with a 12-2 run that gave the Bulldogs a 62-57 lead they would not relinquish. Butler shot 49% from the field and made 23-of-30 (76.7%) free throws. Junior F Andrew Chrabascz had 16 and redshirt senior G/F Roosevelt Jones added 15 points and five steals for the Bulldogs.

Last time out for the Bulldogs, Creighton went to the free throw line 29 times in the second half to outlast Butler, 72-64, Saturday night in Omaha. Sophomore G Kelan Martin led Butler with his third consecutive double-double with 22 points and 11 rebounds. Butler shot only 33% in the contest and made only one three-pointer after the intermission as Creighton rallied from a five-point halftime deficit to win. Butler committed a season-high 27 fouls in Saturday’s loss at Creighton, which resulted in 33 free throw attempts for the host Bluejays. That is the season-high for a Butler opponent. On the season, Butler owns a +4.8 free throws made advantage in the team’s 13 wins, while Butler’s opponents make 4.6 more free throws in the Bulldogs’ six losses this season.

Three Bulldogs pulled down at least 10 rebounds Saturday at Creighton (Kelan Martin, 11; Roosevelt Jones, 10; sophomore F Tyler Wideman, 10). The trio was the first for Butler to each pull down at least 10 rebounds in a single game dating back to at least the 2000-01 season. Butler out-rebounded the Bluejays, 44-39, the second time in the Bulldogs’ seven BIG EAST contests that they have pulled down more boards than their opponent.

Photo: Butler Athletics/Roosevelt Jones (John Fetcho)
Photo: Butler Athletics/Roosevelt Jones (John Fetcho)

Kelan Martin and Roosevelt Jones each posted a double-double Saturday at Creighton, the 12th and 13th double-doubles for Butler this season. Jones has seven on the season, while Martin has five (Andrew Chrabascz also has one). Saturday was the fourth game this season to feature two Bulldogs posting double-doubles in the same game (also against The Citadel, Temple and Tennessee). Jones has seven double-doubles on the season and 14 for his Butler career. Jones has posted six double-figure rebounding outputs and has twice had double-digit assists this season.

Including his 24-point performance Jan. 5 at DePaul, Kellen Dunham is averaging 21.6 points per game in five career games against the Blue Demons. That includes one 30-point performance and three games with 24. Butler has won four straight in the series and four of the five contests since joining the BIG EAST prior to the 2013-14 season.
Kellen Dunham is shooting 59.5% from behind the arc in the team’s last six games (22-37). He also averages 19.2 points per game over that stretch. Dunham has posted at least 20 points in three straight games and four of the last five contests. In BIG EAST games, Dunham’s 3.1 three-pointers per game and .524 three-point percentage both lead the BIG EAST.

Kellen Dunham entered the season ranked 14th on Butler’s all-time scoring list. After 18 games this season, Dunham now stands in eighth with 1,721 points. Next on the list are Darin Archbold (1,744) and Billy Shepherd (1,733) in sixth and seventh, respectively. Dunham’s 260 career three-pointers rank third in Butler history, while his 405 made free throws are currently tied with Shepherd for fifth.

Sophomore G Kelan Martin posted his third consecutive double-double with 22 points and 11 rebounds at Creighton Saturday night. He is the second Bulldog to post three straight double-doubles this season as Roosevelt Jones accomplished the feat in December. Prior to these two Bulldogs this season, the last Butler player to post three straight double-doubles was Matt Howard, who had two separate three-game stretches during the 2010-11 season. Saturday’s performance by Martin came in a career-high 35 minutes. It was the seventh time this season that he led the Bulldogs in scoring..

Redshirt senior G/F Roosevelt Jones is the only player in Butler history to rank in the Top 10 in both career rebounds and assists. Jones currently ranks sixth in career assists (397), seventh in career rebounds (730) and eighth in career steals (129). Jones is also 19th in career scoring with 1,343 career points. The versatility of Jones is evidenced by being in the Top 14 in six BIG EAST statistical categories: second in steals (1.7), fourth in assists (4.6), seventh in assist/turnover ratio (2.0), ninth in rebounding (7.1), 12th in scoring (14.0), and 14th in field goal percentage (.500).

Roosevelt Jones has improved from the free throw line in each season, and his gains for 2015-16 are the largest to date. In his first three seasons, Jones shot .500, .552, and .606. Currently, he’s shooting 69% for the season, including 80% in BIG EAST play.

Butler is 8-2 at Hinkle Fieldhouse this season. In those 10 games, the Bulldogs average 89.1 points per game and shoot 52% from the field. Kelan Martin particularly likes the homecourt advantage, as he is shooting 58% from the field and 52% from behind the arc at Hinkle.

The Coaches vs. Cancer program is a nationwide collaboration between the American Cancer Society and the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC). The program seeks to increase cancer awareness and promote healthy living among students, faculty and staff, fans and the community at large. Since its inception in 1993, the American Cancer Society Coaches vs. Cancer initiative has raised more than $93 million to support the Society’s mission. In both contests this week, Butler coaches will wear sneakers with their suits to raise awareness of the initiative. The coaches are also wearing special laces for eight-year old cancer patient Lacey Holsworth and her special relationship with Michigan State’s Adreian Payne that was chronicled during the 2013-2014 NCAA basketball season. Although she shortly thereafter passed away, she gives hope and inspiration to millions of others afflicted with cancer.

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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