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Butler Bulldogs Take BIG EAST Conference Opener With 2OT Win at Georgetown

INDIANAPOLIS, IN – The Butler Bulldogs traveled to face the Georgetown Hoyas in the BIG EAST Conference season opener on Wednesday, December 13. Butler overcame a 20-point deficit to take a 91-89 double-overtime win. Sophomore G Kamar Baldwin scored a career-high 31 points and a runner off the glass by senior F Kelan Martin with less than 0:03 to play gave Butler the win. Butler improves to 11-3 (1-0 BIG EAST) while Georgetown falls to 10-2 (0-1 BIG EAST).

“We’ve been down like that before,” said Butler Head Coach LaVall Jordan. “So they had a reference point, and they had a poise about them just to move on to the next possession and move on to the next play.”

The Bulldogs received a jumper from senior F Kelan Martin to tie the game at 2-2 with 19:04 remaining in the first half. A three by Martin would cut the Georgetown lead to 11-7 with 14:53 remaining before the Hoyas began to pull away. A pair of free throws from freshman G Jahvon Blair pushed the lead to 21-11 at the 10:15 first half mark. The Bulldogs struggled to make shots and get stops as the lead grew to 20 at 42-22 with 2:03 remaining in the first half. A layup from Butler redshirt sophomore F Sean McDermott with 0:26 remaining in the first half brought the lead to 42-24 at the halftime break.

The Bulldogs finished the first half at 32.3% (10-31) from the field, including 9.1% ( 1-11) from three. Georgetown finished at 51.7% (15-29) shooting from the field in the first half, including 50% (3-6) from three.

Photo: Butler Athletics/Butler Redshirt Sophomore Forward Sean McDermott

Butler received seven points, including a make from three, from redshirt junior G Paul Jorgensen to start the second half, The Jorgensen three cut the lead to 44-33 with 17:54 remaining in the game. A pair of free throws from Kelan Martin cut the lead down to nine, but a foul by freshman G Aaron Thompson sent Jahvon Blair to the free throw line for three shots to extend the Georgetown lead back to 12 with 12:47 remaining. But the Bulldogs kept battling as a layup from senior F Tyler Wideman cut the lead to eight at 55-47 with 10:39 remaining and a jumper from Kamar Baldwin cut the lead to nine at 60-51 with 8:27 remaining. An And-1 layup and free throw by Baldwin cut the lead to nine again before Baldwin would score the next points of the game on a three to cut the lead to 64-58 with 6:37 remaining. A layup from Kelan Martin brought the Bulldogs even closer at 64-60 with 5:51 remaining. A jumper by Wideman cut the lead to 66-64 with 4:45 remaining before a layup and jumper from Kelan Martin gave Butler its first lead of the game at 71-70 with 1:31 remaining. After a Georgetown three, a pair of Kelan Martin free throws tied the game at 73-73 with 0:35 remaining.

The overtime sessions would not have been possible if not for a rebound tip-in at the end of regulation by Sean McDermott. Georgetown junior C Jessie Govan gave the Hoyas a 75-73 lead with 0:07 to play. Baldwin took the in-bounds pass, dribbled up court and let go of a three-point attempt that would have won the game. It caromed off, but McDermott was there to tip it in among traffic as the regulation horn sounded. It was the most important of his career-high 12 rebounds.

Butler never lead in the first overtime period. Georgetown built a four point lead at 81-77 with 1:57 left in OT, but Butler would tie the game at 81-81 with 1:07 remaining. It was McDermott once again who would tie the game at 83-83 for the Bulldogs with two free throws with 0:25 to play in the first overtime. Butler would force a turnover on the ensuing possession to send the game to double overtime.

Baldwin would give Butler the lead at 87-85 before Georgetown tied the game at 87-87 with 1:36 remaining in 2OT. Georgetown received two free throws from Jessie Govan to take the lead 89-87 with 1:04 left to play. With 0:51 to play, Martin scored in the paint to tie the game at 89-89. After a Georgetown turnover with 0:29 to play, Butler held the ball and let Martin take control in the closing seconds. He finished with a bank-shot runner in the lane with 0:03 to play to give the Bulldogs the win.

Butler finished the game shooting 47.9% (35-73) from the field, including 14.3% (3-21) from three. Georgetown finished the game at 41.5% (27-65) from the field, including 31.8% (7-22) from three. The Bulldogs scored 51 points in the second half.

Sophomore G Kamar Baldwin played 49 of the game’s 50 minutes. He went 12-of-21 (57.1%) and from the field for a new career-high and game-high 31 points. His previous career-best was 21 points.

Senior F Kelan Martin finished with 27 points. He moved into tenth place on the Butler All-Time Scoring List (1,564 points) after passing Darren Fowlkes (1,543).

Senior F Tyler Wideman added 15 points and eight rebounds for Butler. Most of his work came down low as Butler had a 50-34 advantage in points in the paint.

Redshirt sophomore F Sean McDermott pulled down a team-high and career-high 12 rebounds.

Junior C Jessie Govan (19 points and 13 rebounds) and junior F Marcus Derrickson (23 points, 11 rebounds), each had double-doubles for Georgetown.

This is the third consecutive game between the two schools played in Washington, D.C., to go to overtime. Butler has won all three. This marks the first time in Butler’s five seasons as a member of the BIG EAST that the Bulldogs have won their league opener.

The Bulldogs continue BIG EAST play Saturday, hosting #1/1 Villanova at Hinkle Fieldhouse. The 4 p.m. tip will air nationally on CBS.

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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