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Butler Bulldogs Set to Host Chattanooga

BUTLER (1-0) vs. CHATTANOOGA (1-1)
Tuesday, November 18, 9:15 p.m. (ET)
Hinkle Fieldhouse – Indianapolis, Ind.
TV: FOX Sports 2 (Cory Provus, Dickey Simpkins)
Radio: 1070 AM (Mark Minner, Nick Gardner)

INDIANAPOLIS, IN – Hot off a record-setting performance in their first win of the season on Saturday, the Butler Bulldogs will be back on the court for a non-conference game against the Chattanooga Mocs on Tuesday, Nov. 18. The second of three straight home games for the Bulldogs will start at 9 p.m. (ET) at Hinkle Fieldhouse and will be televised nationally on FOX Sports 2.

Butler tipped off the 2014-15 season with a 99-57 victory over Maine on Saturday (Nov. 15). The victory marked the 16th straight year that the Bulldogs captured their home-opener, and it was the first regular-season Butler win for interim head coach Chris Holtmann.The 99 points scored against Maine matched the Butler record for most points in a home-opener, set by the 1970 Bulldogs in a 99-97 victory over Virginia Commonwealth. Butler has 14 straight non-conference wins in Hinkle Fieldhouse.

Chattanooga (1-1) is facing its third game in six days. The Mocs opened the season at home on Friday (Nov. 14) with a 110-53 victory over Hiwassee before traveling to #3 Wisconsin, where they fell on Sunday, 89-45. Chattanooga is making its second visit to Hinkle Fieldhouse in four years. Butler captured the last meeting between the two teams, 57-46, in its 2011-12 home-opener.

Butler answered an opening basket by Maine with a 16-2 run to take control of its season-opener on Saturday and then cruised to a 42-point win. It was the same script that the Bulldogs used in posting exhibition wins over Chicago, 88-45, and Franklin, 98-43. The Bulldogs stretched the lead to 43-27 at halftime and then pulled away by adding 56 points in the second half. All 12 active Butler players saw action in the win, and ten different Bulldogs cracked the scoring column.

Butler used a record-setting shooting performance to record its victory over Maine. After shooting 68% (17-25) from the field in the first half, the Bulldogs turned it up a notch with 75% (24-32) performance in the final 20 minutes. The team’s final 71.9% figure for the game broke the previous Butler single game field goal percentage record of 69.7% (23-33), set against Illinois State on Dec. 9, 1993. Ten different Bulldogs had a field goal attempt against Maine, and nine of those players shot 50% or better. Butler’s five starters combined to shoot 73.5% in the win.

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

Butler coach Chris Holtmann was quick to point to the assist column after Butler’s victory over Maine. The Bulldogs recorded 29 assists on 41 field goals in the win, including 13 on 17 field goals in the first half. The final total was the most by a Butler team since Feb. 20, 1984, when the Bulldogs had a school-record 31 assists against Oral Roberts. Nine different Bulldogs contributed to the team total against Maine, led by junior Roosevelt Jones with a career-high nine assists.

Six different Butler players scored in double-figures against Maine, led by junior guard Kellen Dunham with 18 points, shooting 5-7 from three. Junior forward Roosevelt Jones, playing in his first regular season game in more than a year, chipped in with 14 points, while sophomore forward Andrew Chrabascz added 13 points. Freshman forward Kelan Martin came off the bench with 12 points, junior transfer forward Austin Etherington added 11 points in 13 minutes of reserve action, and senior forward Kameron Woods finished with ten points. It was a familiar scenario for the Bulldogs, who saw five players score in double-figures in each of their two exhibition games.

Junior Kellen Dunham picked up where he left off last year, when he led the Bulldogs and ranked seventh in the BIG EAST in scoring. Dunham paced the Bulldogs in scoring (16.0) in the team’s two exhibition games, and then he led Butler with 18 points in the season-opener against Maine. The 6-6 guard had at least a share of the team scoring lead in 17 different games a year ago, and he finished as Butler’s leading scorer on the season with a 16.4 average. He became just the fifth Butler sophomore to score 500 points in a season.

Senior guard Alex Barlow, who ranked ninth in the BIG EAST in assists (3.5) in 2013-14, started the 2014-15 campaign with six assists against Maine. Barlow finished with six points after hitting both of his three-point field goal attempts. Barlow also had six rebounds against Maine and shared the team lead with senior Kameron Woods. It was the fourth time in his career that he topped the team in rebounds.

After missing all of last season with a wrist injury, Roosevelt Jones wasted little time making his presence felt in Saturday’s game. He scored six of Butler’s first 11 points against the Black Bears, and he had assists on the other five points. Jones finished the first 20 minutes with ten points and six assists. He went on to post 14 points, four rebounds, nine assists, two steals and one blocked shot in 29 minutes of work. Jones hit seven of nine shots in Butler’s season-opener. Counting Butler’s two exhibition games, he’s shooting 68.4% since returning from his wrist injury.

Senior guard Jackson Aldridge left the game against Maine with an ankle injury. He’s being evaluated on a day-to-day basis to determine his availability.

Freshman forward Kelan Martin came off the bench with 12 points in 20 minutes in his first regular season game. The last Butler freshman to hit double-figures in his debut was Kellen Dunham, who had 18 against Elon. Freshman forward Tyler Wideman hit all four shots he attempted and finished with eight points in 14 minutes in his regular season debut with the Bulldogs. Wideman sat out Butler’s opening exhibition game with a concussion and then scored 17 points in the team’s second exhibition. Sophomore walk-on guard Trey Pettus hit both shots he attempted, including a three, scoring five points in four minutes against Maine.

The Bulldogs posted a winning record at home for the 24th consecutive season last year. Butler finished the 2013-14 campaign with an 8-7 mark in Hinkle Fieldhouse, ending a streak of 18 straight seasons with at least ten home wins. Butler will close their current homestand against Loyola, Md., on Saturday, Nov. 22.

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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