INDIANAPOLIS, IN – After two games away from home, the Butler Bulldogs return to Hinkle Fieldhouse on Wednesday, March 2, for a BIG EAST Conference contest against the Seton Hall Pirates. Butler enters the game having won five of its last seven for a 19-9 overall mark. The Bulldogs are 8-8 in BIG EAST play. The Pirates are receiving votes in both national polls and are 21-7 (11-5 BIG EAST). Tip-off is scheduled for 8:30 p.m. ET and the game can be seen on FS1 with Joe Davis and Donny Marshall. It can also be heard on 107.5 FM and the TuneIn Radio App with Mark Minner and Nick Gardner.
Butler and Seton Hall meet for the seventh time in series history. All of the match-ups have come since Butler joined the BIG EAST prior for the 2013-14 season. Butler has won five of the six previous meetings, winning all five of the regular season contests, including an 81-75 decision Feb. 10 in Newark, N.J. Seton Hall’s win came in the 2014 BIG EAST Tournament.
Last time out for the Bulldogs, Butler withstood a frenetic comeback from host Georgetown and a tough performance at the free throw line to gut out a 90-87 overtime win Saturday afternoon at the Verizon Center. Senior G Kellen Dunham scored a game-high 29 points. He did it on 9-of-18 shooting from the field, including 4-of-8 from three-point range. It marked Dunham’s ninth time this season scoring 20 or more points. Butler shot a season-best 53% from behind the arc Saturday at Georgetown. The Bulldogs connected on eight of 15 three-point attempts. Kellen Dunham went 4-of-8 and junior F Andrew Chrabascz made both of his attempts.
Butler led 79-66 with 2:37 to play before a combination of Hoya baskets and missed opportunities at the foul line pushed the game to overtime at 80-80. Butler made eight of 12 free throw attempts in the extra period. Butler forced Georgetown into 23 turnovers Saturday in Washington, D.C. It was a season-high for a Butler opponent. The Bulldogs converted those turnovers into a season-high 34 points. Conversely, the Bulldogs committed only eight turnovers in the 45 minutes, which Georgetown turned into 10 points. For the 15th time this season, Butler committed 10 or fewer turnovers with only eight miscues in the overtime win over Georgetown Saturday. Butler leads the BIG EAST and ranks 11th nationally in turnovers per game (10.1).
Redshirt senior G/F Roosevelt Jones put up a contested driving runner with 20 seconds to play which gave Butler a four-point lead and iced an impressive road win over Seton Hall Feb. 10 in Newark. Sophomore G Kelan Martin added two free throws for his 23rd point of the night and an 81-75 victory. Martin added 10 rebounds for his sixth double-double of the season. The Bulldogs out-rebounded Seton Hall, 31-26.
Senior G Kellen Dunham averages 16 points per game in six career meetings against Seton Hall. That includes a 7-of-7 showing from behind the arc for a 29 point total in the game last year on March 8, 2014. Roosevelt Jones averages 14.3 points and 6.3 rebounds in three career games with the Pirates. Kelan Martin had a double-double in the game earlier this season, posting 23 points and 10 rebounds.
In BIG EAST games, Kellen Dunham leads the conference in both three-point percentage (.494, 44-89) and three-point field goals made (2.8 per game). Dunham has shot at least 50% from behind the arc in 12 of Butler’s 16 BIG EAST games.
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 fifth in both categories with 440 assists and 785 rebounds. He is also eighth in career steals (142) and 14th in career scoring with 1,471 career points.
The versatility of Jones is evidenced by being in the Top 15 in seven BIG EAST statistical categories: second in steals (1.6), fourth in assists (4.6), fourth in minutes (33.2), sixth in assist/turnover ratio (2.1), ninth in rebounding (6.8), 11th in scoring (14.1), and 14th in offensive rebounding (2.1). He ranks just outside the Top 15 in field goal percentage (.485).
Redshirt junior PG Tyler Lewis is sixth nationally in assist to turnover ratio. His 3.90 ratio is based on 78 assists against only 20 turnovers this season. Lewis came off the bench at Georgetown to score eight points, his highest mark since scoring 10 at Xavier Jan. 2 (he did miss four games in that stretch due to a concussion).
Junior F Andrew Chrabascz had four assists at Georgetown Saturday. He had six in the first meeting with Seton Hall, just off his career-high eight in the season-opening win against The Citadel. Butler is 13-2 in games when Chrabascz has two or more assists. Chrabascz is third on the team in assists.
Sophomore F Tyler Wideman had seven steals Saturday against Georgetown, a career-high for him and just one shy of the Butler single-game record (eight) set by Brett Etherington, father of teammate Austin Etherington, Dec. 15, 1990 against Wisconsin. Wideman was the first Bulldog with seven steals since Alex Barlow on Jan. 6, 2015 against Providence. Wideman’s 30 steals on the season trail only Roosevelt Jones (45).
Tyler Wideman is up to 43 blocks on the season. His 1.5 blocks per game rank seventh in the BIG EAST and the 43 swats already are sixth on Butler’s single-season list. Rolf van Rijn holds the single-season mark, blocking 64 shots in both the 1996-97 and 1997-98 seasons.
Kelan Martin had 18 points Saturday at Georgetown. Teammate Kellen Dunham scored 29. It was the first time since the Jan. 27 game against DePaul (a streak of seven straight games) that Martin had not led the team in scoring. The sophomore leads the team in scoring (16.4 points per game), a figure that jumps to 18.0 points per game in BIG EAST play.
Butler opened the BIG EAST season with a 2-5 record. During the 2-5 portion of the conference schedule, Kelan Martin’s scoring has risen from 14.9 points per game (2-5) to 20.4 points per game (6-3).
Martin scored his 700th career point Saturday at Georgetown. It took Martin 42 games to register his 350th career point. He has accumulated his next 350 in just 20 games. His scoring average has jumped from 7.1 points per game as a freshman. Martin also tied a career-high with four blocks on Saturday against Georgetown. It tied the four he had against Georgetown in the game Feb. 2
Kellen Dunham is averaging 6.0 rebounds per game over his last three games. On the season, he averages 2.7 boards per game. Both Kelan Martin and Tyler Wideman pulled down their respective 250th career rebound in the game at Georgetown Saturday.
The Bulldogs return to Hinkle where the Butler offense has thrived during the 2015-16 season. Butler’s 11-3 home record includes an average of 85 points per game and 49% shooting from the field. The Bulldogs are 5-5 in true road games this season, averaging 75.2 points per game.
The Bulldogs have won five of their last seven games. In each of those five wins, Butler has eclipsed the 80-point mark. The Bulldogs have also shot at least 43% from behind the arc in each of those contests.
Butler leads the BIG EAST in three-point percentage in both all games (.380) and BIG EAST games (.389). Butler’s scoring average of 80.6 points per game this season leads the BIG EAST and is 21st nationally.
Chris Fultzis asenior writerfor 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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