INDIANAPOLIS, IN – The Butler Bulldogs continue on the road as the travel to face the Georgetown Hoyas on Saturday, Feb. 27, at the Verizon Center. Butler enters the BIG EAST Conference game having won four of its last six for an 18-9 overall mark, 7-8 in BIG EAST play. Georgetown is (14-14, 7-8 BIG EAST). This is the second meeting of the season between the two schools. The tip is scheduled for noon and can be seen on CBS with Andrew Catalon and Steve Lappas. The game can also be heard on 1070 AM, 93.5 FM and the TuneIn Radio App with Mark Minner and Nick Gardner.
Butler and Georgetown meet for the eighth time in series history. Butler won the earlier match-up between the teams this season at Hinkle Fieldhouse (87-76; Feb. 2, 2016). The Hoyas won the two BIG EAST contests during the 2014-15 campaign. The teams actually met a third time last season in a “non-conference” game at the Battle 4 Atlantis. Butler won that match-up 64-58. The teams had both agreed to be part of that event before Butler joined the BIG EAST. Georgetown leads the all-time series, 5-2. The teams first met in the 2009 Jimmy V Classic at Madison Square Garden. That is the only meeting prior to Butler joining the BIG EAST for the 2013-14 season.
Sophomore G Kelan Martin had 35 points to lead Butler to an 87-76 win over Georgetown on Feb. 2. He went 10-of-18 from the field and made 12-of-13 free throw attempts. It was his second consecutive career-high, following 27 points at Marquette. The Bulldogs made 20-of-26 free throws in the second half to seal the win. It was an emotional night for the Bulldogs as coach Chris Holtmann announced following the game that staff member Emerson Kampen’s infant son Emerson IV passed away the day before the game.
Four Bulldogs have put up at least 20 points in a single game against Georgetown, including Kelan Martin’s 35 on Feb. 2 as the most recent example. Redshirt senior G/F Roosevelt Jones posted a career-high 28 points at Georgetown Jan. 17, 2015. Junior F Andrew Chrabascz had 24 points on 9-of-13 shooting on Feb. 8, 2014. Senior G Kellen Dunham had 21 points in a game on Jan. 11, 2014.
Last time out for the Bulldogs, #1/1 Villanova capitalized on a hot shooting second half to fend off an upset bid from visiting Butler, 77-67, Saturday afternoon in Philadelphia. A basket from Andrew Chrabascz gave Butler a 45-43 lead with 11 minutes remaining. Villanova responded with a 16-6 run that gave the home team a 59-51 advantage four minutes later. At one point in the second half, Villanova made eight of 10 shots to take a double-digit lead. The free throw line played a large part in the outcome against the Wildcats. Villanova went 19-of-21 (.905) from the charity stripe, the third-best percentage for a Butler opponent this season. Butler went 13-of-22 (.591), which is the second-worst mark for the Bulldogs this season. The Bulldogs out-rebounded Villanova Saturday in Philadelphia. It was just the second time that Butler had lost when this happened. Butler is 15-2 this season and 35-7 under coach Chris Holtmann when out-rebounding its opponent. For the 14th time this season, Butler committed 10 or fewer turnovers with only seven miscues against Villanova Saturday. Butler leads the BIG EAST and ranks 13th nationally in turnovers per game (10.2).
When the Bulldogs needed a basket Feb. 2 against Georgetown, Kelan Martin, Roosevelt Jones and Kellen Dunham often responded. Martin had a career-high 35, while Jones had 19. Dunham added 18 points. Each of the three players registered 38 minutes as the trio combined for all but 15 of Butler’s 87 points. Jones tied a career-high nine free throws Feb. 2 against Georgetown as Butler went 31-of-38 from the charity stripe. The 31 makes and 38 attempts were both season-highs.
Sophomore G Kelan Martin is averaging 22.6 points per game over his last seven games. He has led the Bulldogs in scoring in each of those seven games. He started the stretch with a (then) career-high of 27 points at Marquette Jan. 30. Three nights later, he bettered that with 35 points against Georgetown.
Martin’s 35 points were the highest single-game scoring performance in a BIG EAST game this season until Providence’s Ben Bentil had 42 in a double-OT game Feb. 10. The 35 points are the most by a Butler player since Matthew Graves scored 42 points Jan. 15, 1998 against Cleveland State.
Kelan Martin leads the team with 441 points through 27 games this season. That puts him in a tie for tenth with A.J. Graves for points in a sophomore season. Billy Shepherd (1969-70) has the mark at 724 points. Kellen Dunham had 508 points as a sophomore to rank fifth in Butler history.
Senior G Kellen Dunham has pulled down six and eight rebounds, respectively, in his last two games. Those two marks are his best this season and just off his career-high of nine (at DePaul, Jan. 9, 2014).
With his 16 points Feb. 16 against Creighton, Kellen Dunham passed A.J. Graves and moved into fourth place on Butler’s career scoring list. He now has 1,835 points. The top three in Butler history are Chad Tucker (2,321 points; 1983-88), Darrin Fitzgerald (2,019 points; 1983-87), and Matt Howard (1,939 points; 2007-11).
In BIG EAST games, senior Kellen Dunham leads the conference in both three-point percentage (.494, 40-81) and three-point field goals made (2.7 per game).
Redshirt senior G/F Roosevelt Jones is the only player in Butler history to rank in the Top 10 in both career rebounds and assists. Jones currently ranks fifth in both categories with 438 assists and 781 rebounds. He is also eighth in career steals (141) and 14th in career scoring with 1,453 career points.
The versatility of Jones is evidenced by being in the Top 15 in eight BIG EAST statistical categories: second in steals (1.6), fourth in assists (4.7), fifth in minutes (33.1), seventh in assist/turnover ratio (2.0), ninth in rebounding (6.9), 12th in scoring (13.9), 15th in offensive rebounding (2.1), and 15th in field goal percentage (.484).
Roosevelt Jones has 128 career starts. Matt Howard has the Butler record with 133 career starts.
Roosevelt Jones has improved from the free throw line in each season, and his gains for 2015-16 are the largest to date. In his first three seasons, Jones shot .500, .552, and .606. Currently, he’s shooting 70% for the season, including 76% in BIG EAST play.
Sophomore F Tyler Wideman is up to 43 blocks on the season. His 1.6 blocks per game rank seventh in the BIG EAST and the 43 swats already are sixth on Butler’s single-season list. Rolf van Rijn holds the single-season mark, blocking 64 shots in both the 1996-97 and 1997-98 seasons.
The Bulldogs have won four of their six games. In each of those four wins, Butler has eclipsed the 80-point mark. The Bulldogs have also shot at least 43 percent from behind the arc and won the rebounding battle in those four games as well.
Butler opened the BIG EAST season with a 2-5 record. The Bulldogs responded to go 5-3 in their last eight games. During the 2-5 portion of the conference schedule, Butler averaged 69.1 points and shot 35% from three-point range. In the 5-3 portion of the schedule, the Bulldogs are averaging 75.6 points and shooting 41% from behind the arc. Kelan Martin’s scoring has risen from 14.9 points per game (2-5) to 20.8 points per game (5-3).
Butler leads the BIG EAST in three-point shooting at a 38% clip. On the season, Butler shoots .738, which is tied for third in the BIG EAST. In BIG EAST games only, that percentage rises to .752.
Chris Fultzis asenior writerfor the Indiana Sports Report and is recognized as an accredited member of the media by Butler Athletics and has full media access. Follow @CafultzISRand the @IndySportsRep on Twitter
Chris Fultz is a Senior Writer and the Butler Athletics beat writer for the Indiana Sports Report. Chris Fultz is recognized as an accredited member of the media by Butler University Athletics and has full media access.
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