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Butler Bulldogs Return To Host Creighton

BUTLER (13-6, 3-3 BIG EAST) vs. CREIGHTON (9-10, 0-6 BIG EAST)
When: Wednesday, January 21, 9 p.m. (ET)
Where: Hinkle Fieldhouse – Indianapolis, Ind.
TV: FOX Sports 1 (Justin Kutcher, Bob Wenzel)
Radio: 1070 AM/107.5 FM (Mark Minner, Nick Gardner)

INDIANAPOLIS, IN – The Butler Bulldogs return to Hinkle Fieldhouse to host the Creighton Blue Jays in a BIG EAST Conference matchup on Wednesday (Jan. 21). The game against Creighton will start at 9 p.m. (ET) and will be televised on Fox Sports 1. Butler will play five of its next six games at home, beginning with a BIG EAST test against Creighton. Butler’s last win over Creighton came 81 years ago.

The Bulldogs (13-6, 3-3 BIG EAST) are coming off back-to-back trips to the East Coast. Butler opened the week with a 79-75 victory in overtime at #21 Seton Hall, before dropping a 61-59 decision in the closing seconds at Georgetown on Saturday (Jan. 17). The win over Seton Hall was Butler’s third this season against a team ranked in the “Top 25.” Creighton (9-10, 0-6 BIG EAST), boasting a five-game winning streak over the Bulldogs, is trying to snap a seven-game losing skid, including six straight BIG EAST setbacks. The Blue Jays fell at home to Providence, 74-65, on Saturday in their last outing. Butler will continue its homestand against #24 Seton Hall on Sunday (Jan. 25).

Freshman Isaac Copeland nailed a three-point field goal with 0:05.4 remaining and Georgetown blocked a final Butler field goal attempt to pull out a 61-59, come-from-behind victory over the Bulldogs last weekend. Butler had taken a 59-58 lead on a lay-up by junior guard Roosevelt Jones seconds before Copeland’s game-winning shot. The Bulldogs, looking for their third BIG EAST road win this season, led by as many as 12 points in the first half and held 31-27 advantage at halftime.

Junior guard Roosevelt Jones turned in the highest back-to-back scoring performances of his Butler career to pace the Bulldogs last week. Jones led Butler in the victory at Seton Hall with 23 points, including 17 in the second half and overtime period. It was the second-highest scoring total of his collegiate career. He then topped that effort with a career-high 28 points at Georgetown. The 6-4 guard hit 12-of-19 shots against the Hoyas and scored Butler’s final eight points in the contest. He connected on 21-of-34 (61.8%) shots in the two games and topped 20 points in back-to-back games for the first time in his college career.

Junior Roosevelt Jones, who averaged 25.5 points in Butler’s two road games last week, was named to the BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll on Monday. It was his second time on the league Honor Roll. Jones, who missed all of last season with a wrist injury, has lifted his scoring and rebounding averages since the start of BIG EAST play. He’s averaging 16.7 points and 5.8 rebounds in his first six conference games, and he’s scored in double-figures in five straight games. Jones was averaging 11.2 points prior to the start of league play. Roosevelt Jones leads the Bulldogs and ranks third in the BIG EAST in minutes played (34.6) and is tied for sixth in the BIG EAST in assists (3.7). 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.

Junior guard Kellen Dunham, who became the 36th Butler player to score 1,000 career points in December, is positioned to move into the “Top 25” on Butler’s all-time scoring list. The 6-6 junior, who boosted his career scoring total to 1,166 points at Georgetown, stands in the No. 26 spot on the all-time Butler list, just four points behind Chris Miskel (1992-96) in the No. 25 position. 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.

Photo: Butler Athletics/Kellen Dunham (John Fetcho)
Photo: Butler Athletics/Kellen Dunham (John Fetcho)

Junior guard Kellen Dunham enters the game against Creighton in ninth place on Butler’s all-time list for three-point field goals. The 6-6 guard has compiled 179 career three-pointers in his two-plus years at Butler and stands just two 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 shooting 55.3% (21-38) from three-point range in Hinkle Fieldhouse this season. Kellen Dunham stands second in the BIG EAST in three-point field goal shooting (45.8%), fourth in the BIG EAST in free throw shooting (85.7%), tied for third in the BIG EAST in three-point field goals (2.3) and is currently ranked fourth in the BIG EAST in scoring (16.6).

Senior forward Kameron Woods saw his streak of four consecutive game with ten or more rebounds come to an end at Georgetown, but the 6-9 forward still managed to share the team’s rebounding lead with six boards against the Hoyas. Woods, who led the BIG EAST in rebounding (9.0) a year ago, has been Butler’s top rebounder 14 times this year, including 11 of the past 14 games. He’s had at least ten rebounds in 29 different games during his Butler career.

Kameron Woods, one of just nine players in Butler basketball history to record 700 career rebounds, stands in fourth place on Butler’s all-time rebounding list with 795 career boards. Only three players in Butler history have reached 800 career rebounds. Former standout Matt Howard (2007-11) currently stands third on Butler’s all-time rebounding list with 884 career rebounds.

Kameron Woods leads the BIG EAST and ranks 16th in the NCAA Division I in total rebounds (176), first in the BIG EAST in defensive rebounds (6.2) and second in the league in offensive rebounds (3.1) and leads the BIG EAST in rebounding (9.3).

Senior guard Alex Barlow is ranked second in the BIG EAST and 17th in the NCAA Division I in steals per game (2.26). He’s had at least one steal in 16 of the Bulldogs’ 19 contests this season, and he enters the game against Creighton in a tie with Darrin Fitzgerald (1983-87) for fifth place on Butler’s all-time list with 156 career thefts. Barlow matched the highest single game total in the BIG EAST this season with a career-high seven steals against Providence on Jan. 6.

Butler is 17th in the NCAA Men’s Basketball RPI, as of Jan. 20. The BIG EAST has seven teams ranked in the “Top 40” – Villanova (5), Georgetown (16), Butler (17), Seton Hall (21), Providence (22), Xavier (34), and St. John’s (40).

Butler leads the BIG EAST in rebounding margin (+5.5). The Bulldogs have out-rebounded 14 of 19 opponents this season. Butler leads the BIG EAST in total offensive rebounds (241). 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 (28.9%). Butler is second in the BIG EAST in free throws attempted (440).

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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