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Butler Bulldogs Stay Home to Host Youngstown State

INDIANAPOLIS, IN – The Butler Bulldogs, coming off of home wins against Utah and Saint Louis, will stay at Hinkle Fieldhouse to host the Youngstown State Penguins on Saturday, December 9. The game is set for a 12 PM ET tip and can be seen on FSN affiliates including FOX Sports Indiana. Vince Welch and Jordan Cornette will be on the call. The Bulldogs enter with a 7-2 record while the Penguins sit at 2-7.

Butler and Youngstown State will meet for the 25th time on Saturday. The Bulldogs own a 21-3 advantage with all but one of those match-ups coming as Horizon League opponents. Butler is 12-0 against the Penguins in Indianapolis. The most recent win for the Penguins in the series came on Feb. 3, 2011 in Ohio. The Bulldogs then won their next 14 games to win the Horizon League title and advance to the 2011 National Championship Game.

As a head coach, LaVall Jordan is 1-1 against the Penguins. His Milwaukee team played Youngstown State twice last season in Horizon League play – a 2OT Youngstown State win and an OT win for Milwaukee. Both teams won at home.

Photo: Butler Athletics/Butler Senior Forward Tyler Wideman

Last time on the court, senior F Kelan Matin posted his second consecutive double-double with 29 points and 11 rebounds against Utah last Tuesday night in the 81-69 win. After Utah tied the game at 39-39 less than three minutes into the second half, Butler answered with 14 consecutive points with all five starters contributing points in the run. A three by redshirt junior G Paul Jorgensen capped the run and gave Butler a 53-39 lead with 14:13 to play. All 81 points against Utah came from Butler’s starting five. That is uncharacteristic for the Bulldogs this season as the Butler bench had outscored the opponent’s in five of the team’s first eight games this season. Senior F Tyler Wideman had 18 points on 6-of-7 shooting Tuesday night against Utah. He had 15 points at Utah a season ago on 6-of-6 shooting. Defensively, Butler’s frontcourt limited the Utah duo of David Collette and Tyler Rawson to a combined nine points on 2-of-9 shooting. The pair entered the game averaging a combined 24.8 points. Utah also entered its game with Butler with a +6.3 rebounding margin on the season before the Bulldogs out-rebounded the Utes, 31-26.

The 29 points Tuesday were a season-high for senior F Kelan Martin, and the third-best scoring output of his Butler career. He made a career-best 12 field goals in the game against the Utes, and in doing so, passed Bobby Plump for 15th on Butler’s career scoring list. He now has 1,465 career points.

For Martin, the win over Utah was his 26th career 20-point outing and the 36th time in his Butler career that he has led the team in scoring. Martin now has three double-doubles on the season and 13 in his career. He leads the BIG EAST in minutes per game so far this season (35.8).

Sophomore G Kamar Baldwin set a new career-high with five assists Tuesday against Utah. Seeing minutes at point guard this season, Baldwin has 25 assists through nine games after handing out only 50 assists in 34 games last season.

Redshirt junior G Paul Jorgensen is 13-of-26 (50 percent) from behind the arc over the last four games. That stretch coincides with a 4-0 record for Butler and Jorgensen landing in double figures in each contest. It is the first four-game stretch of his career that includes double figures in each contest. Jorgensen’s 16 points against Utah matched his career-high, as did his four three-pointers.

Jorgensen is third on the team in assists (22), and has only committed six turnovers on the season.

Freshman G Aaron Thompson had a game-high five assists against Saint Louis on Dec. 2, one off his career-high. Thompson has posted four or more assists in five games. His 3.6 assists per game average leads the team.

The NCAA has granted Butler University‘s waiver application on behalf of sophomore F/C Joey Brunk to have the 2016-17 season count as a redshirt season for the 6-11 forward/center. Brunk appeared in only seven games during the 2016-17 season, and did not play in a game after Dec. 10, 2016 as he spent time with his ailing father and his family. Joe Brunk passed away in April, 2017 after battling brain cancer that was first diagnosed in late October, 2016.

Redshirt sophomore G/F Sean McDermott will miss 4-6 weeks with an ankle sprain suffered in the Nov. 24 game against Portland State as part of the PK80 Invitational.

Butler has won 40 consecutive home games against non-conference opponents. The streak dates back to a loss to Pittsburgh in the 2012 College Basketball Invitational (CBI). That current streak trails only Duke (138) and Arizona (44) nationally.

The Bulldogs are 5-0 at Hinkle this season. In those five games, the Bulldogs are averaging 81 points per game while shooting 53 percent from the field. Butler is 2-2 away from its home court, averaging 62.8 ppg on 38-percent shooting.

The win against Utah highlighted some of Butler’s keys to victory so far this season. The Bulldogs are undefeated when any of the following occur: leading at halftime (6-0), shooting a better percentage from the field than their opponent (5-0), out-rebounding their opponent (5-0), and attempting more free throws than their opponent (4-0).

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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