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Butler Bulldogs Stay Home to Host Utah

INDIANAPOLIS, IN – The Butler Bulldogs, fresh off a dominating win against Saint Louis, will stay at Hinkle Fieldhouse to host the Utah Utes on Tuesday, December 5. Tip is scheduled for 9 PM ET and the game can be seen on FS1 with Aaron Goldsmith and Steve Lavin on the call. The Bulldogs sit at 6-2 on the season while Utah enters at 6-1.

Butler leads 2-1 in the all-time series. The Bulldogs won in the opening round of the 2010 Diamond Head Classic in Honolulu. Utah won in Salt Lake City in 1964.The contest is the back half of a home-and-home agreement between the two teams. Butler won at Utah a season ago (Nov. 28, 2016) by a score of 68-59 behind 18 points from Kelan Martin and 15 points (6-of-6 shooting) from Tyler Wideman. Butler shot 53 percent in the win. The Butler win at Utah last season ended a string of 32 consecutive wins by the Utes at the Huntsman Center over non-conference foes.

Photo: Butler Athletics/Butler Senior Forward Tyler Wideman

Last time on the court, Butler notched its third consecutive win with a 75-45 win over Saint Louis on Saturday afternoon at Hinkle Fieldhouse. It is the first three-game winning streak of the season for the 6-2 Bulldogs. The Bulldogs allowed Saint Louis to a 28.6% shooting performance, including a 21.1% shooting effort from three. Both season-lows for a Butler opponent. The last time the Butler defense held an opponent in the 40s was a 56-48 win over Texas in the first round of the 2015 NCAA Tournament. The 45 points allowed were the fewest by the Butler defense since a Dec. 9, 2013 win over Manchester (100-41).

Senior F Kelan Martin had 20 points and 12 rebounds in Saturday’s win over Saint Louis, his second double-double of the season and the 12th of his career. It was his second straight 20-point performance and fourth of the season.

For Martin, Saturday’s game was his 25th career 20-point outing and the 35th time in his Butler career that he has led the team in scoring. He leads the BIG EAST in minutes per game so far this season (35.5).

With 1,436 career points, Kelan Martin is already 16th on Butler’s all-time list. He is just three points behind Bobby Plump for the 15th spot. Plump played at Milan (Ind.) High School and hit the game-winning shot in the 1954 state final at Hinkle Fieldhouse. Plump and his Milan teammates were the inspiration for Jimmy Chitwood and Hickory High School in the movie Hoosiers. Plump would say that the only part of the movie based on fact was the last-second shot.

Sophomore G/F Henry Baddley posted career-highs of nine points and seven rebounds in the win over Saint Louis on Saturday. All nine of his points came in the first half. In only eight games this season, Baddley has already played more minutes (118-117) and scored more points (28-26) than he did in his entire freshman campaign.

Freshman G Aaron Thompson had a game-high five assists against Saint Louis Saturday, one off his career-high. Thompson has posted four or more assists in five of his first eight college games. His 3.9 assists per game average leads the team.

Redshirt junior G Paul Jorgensen is third on the team in assists (18), and has only committed four turnovers on the season.

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.

The Bulldogs are 4-0 at Hinkle this season. In those four 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.

Butler has won 39 consecutive home games against non-conference opponents. The streak dates
back to a loss to Pittsburgh in the 2012 College Basketball Invitational (CBI).

The field for the 2018 Battle 4 Atlantis was officially announced Nov. 24. Butler will join Wisconsin, Florida, Virginia, Oklahoma, Stanford, Dayton, and Middle Tennessee State in the field.

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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