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Butler Bulldogs Snap Three-Game Losing Streak with Win Against Marquette

INDIANAPOLIS, IN – The Butler Bulldogs, looking to snap a three-game losing streak, returned to Hinkle Fieldhouse to host the Marquette Golden Eagles in a BIG EAST Conference matchup on Friday, January 12. Senior F Kelan Martin scored a game-high and career-high 37 points as Butler picked up the 94-83 win. Butler improves to 13-6 (3-3 BIG EAST) as Marquette falls to 12-6 (3-3 BIG EAST).

The win marks the first Butler win of the 2018 calendar year.

“We had a good talk leading into this game about who we want to be and what we want our identity to be,” said Butler Head Coach LaVall Jordan. “We had guys step up and make big shots in big moments, and we got stops at the right times. We were really connected tonight, especially with 19 assists and only three turnovers.”

Senior F Tyler Wideman opened the scoring on with a pair of free throws for Butler before redshirt senior G Andrew Rowsey gave Marquette a 3-2 lead on a three with 19:13 remaining in the first half. Senior F Kelan Martin responded with a three from the wing to put Butler back in front at 5-3 with 18:57 remaining in the first half. Marquette sophomore G/F Sam Hauser trimmed the Butler lead to 7-6 with 17:03 remaining in the first half on a three before the Golden Eagles took a 12-11 lead with four straight points at the 14:39 first half mark. A spin in the post for a two-hand dunk by Wideman gave Butler a 15-14 lead at the 12:39 first half mark and started a 7-0 Butler run. The run gave Butler a 20-14 with 11:28 remaining, but Marquette scored eight straight points, including back-to-back three, to take a 22-20 lead. Thankfully for the Bulldogs, sophomore G Kamar Baldwin immediately answered the second Marquette three with a three of his own to retake the lead at 23-22 with 8:42 remaining in the first half. The Baldwin three sparked a 20-5 Butler run that ended with an And-1 three-point play by Kelan Martin after finishing a left-hand layup through heavy contact in the lane. The run gave Butler a 40-27 lead with 2:47 remaining before halftime. An offensive rebound and tip-in by Tyler Wideman gave Butler its largest lead at 42-28 with 1:54 remaining in the first half. Following a layup from redshirt junior G Paul Jorgensen at the 1:31 first half mark, the Golden Eagles closed the first half with the final seven points to bring the halftime score to 44-38 in favor of the Bulldogs.

The Bulldogs shot 63.3% (19-30) from the field in the first half, including 28.6% (2-7) from three. The Golden Eagles finished at 45.2% (14-31) from the field in the first half, including 54.5% (6-11) from three. Marquette held a slight rebound advantage at 15-13.

Photo: Butler Athletics/Butler Senior Forward Kelan Martin

Marquette opened the second half scoring on a layup by redshirt sophomore G/F Sacar Anim to cut the lead to 44-40 at the 19:20 second half mark. A jumper by Baldwin kept the Butler lead at eight before a Baldwin foul on three-point attempt by sophomore G Markus Howard sent Howard to the line to knock down three free throws. The Howard free throws were followed up with a three by Andrew Rowsey to cut the Butler lead to 52-50 with 15:23 remaining in the game. After zero points in the first half, Markus Howard started to heat up and scored four straight points to tie the game at 56-56 with 13:01 remaining. A Tyler Wideman layup broke a 58-58 tie at 60-58, but Marquette scored three straight makes from deep, including back-to-back three to start from Sam Hauser, to take a 67-60 lead with 10:06 remaining in the game. This time, it was Kelan Martin who had all the answers for the Bulldogs. Martin ended the three-point barrage with an And-1 three-point play to start a 13-0 run. Following a layup from redshirt sophomore F Sean McDermott, Martin scored the next five Butler points on a three and a fastbreak slam dunk off a Jorgensen steal. Paul Jorgensen was fouled on a make from three, but was unable to convert the four-point play at the free throw line to close the run. The Butler run gave the Bulldogs a 73-67 lead with 7:39 remaining. Butler managed to trade buckets and hold a six-point lead before Kelan Martin splashed home his third three to give the Bulldogs a 80-71 lead with 5:37 remaining. The combination of Martin and Baldwin continued to fuel the Bulldogs down the stretch as Baldwin drove the lane and finished with a one-hand dunk to extend the Butler lead to 86-74 with 3:21 remaining. Following a pair of Marquette free throws, Martin connected on his fourth three of the game to extend the lead to 89-76 with 2:42 remaining. Kelan Martin scored his new career-high in points on a two-hand dunk as Jorgensen found Martin running the court to break the full court press for a 91-80 lead with 1:47 remaining. Markus Howard would score on an And-1 layup to cut the lead to 91-83 with 0:28 remaining before Butler would score on a McDermott tip-in and Jorgensen free throw to bring the final score to 94-83.

The Bulldogs finished the game at 59.4% (38-64) shooting from the field, including 35.3% (6-17) from three. Marquette finished at 49.1% (28-57) from the field, including 45.5% (10-22) from three.

Marquette managed to win the rebounding battle, 30-27, but lost the assist battle, 19-14. Butler scored 11 points off of 10 Marquette turnovers while surrendering six points off of a season-low three turnovers. Butler managed to record six blocks and six steals compared to two blocks and zero steals for Marquette. Butler finished with a 60-28 points in the paint advantage.

Senior F Kelan Martin scored 24 of his game-high and career-high 37 points in the second half. His 37 points were the most by a Butler player since Matthew Graves scored 42 against Cleveland State on Jan. 15, 1998. Martin shot 70.6% (12-17) from the field, including 66.6% (4-6) from three and made all nine of his free throws. He also added a game-high seven rebounds.

For Martin, this was his seventh 20-point performance in the team’s last eight games. He has 12 20-point games on the season. His 37 points eclipse his previous mark of 35 against Georgetown on Feb. 2, 2016.

Senior F Tyler Wideman scored 16 points on a 7-10 performance and tied a game-high two blocks with sophomore G Henry Baddley. Sophomore G Kamar Baldwin finished with 19 points on a 64.3% (9-14) shooting day, including 1-1 from three.

Redshirt junior G Paul Jorgensen scored 10 points and a game-high six assists. The six assists were also a season-high and one off his career-high set during his two seasons at George Washington. Baldwin and Jorgensen tied with a game-high two steals.

Marquette’s backcourt duo of Markus Howard and Andrew Rowsey entered Friday’s game averaging a combined 49.2 points per game in BIG EAST play. Butler limited them to 31. Howard was scoreless in the first half and was 0-of-4 from behind the arc. Marquette’s production fell to Sam Hauser, who had 30 points, including six three-pointers on a 6-9 day from three.

The Bulldogs have a quick turnaround, heading to Providence for a MLK Day match-up on Monday. The teams play at 4:30 PM ET on FS1.

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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