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Butler Bulldogs Travel to Face No. 17/17 Cincinnati

INDIANAPOLIS, IN – The Butler Bulldogs travel to the Queen City for a Wednesday match-up with the #17/17 Cincinnati Bearcats at 7:00 PM EST.  The Bearcats are 7-0 on the season. This is the only true road game of the non-conference season for the Bulldogs, who now stand 4-1 on the young season. Butler is ranked #25 in the USA TODAY Coaches Poll this week and is receiving votes in the AP Poll. The game will be televised nationally on CBS Sports Network with Andrew Catalon and Steve Lappas on the call. Mark Minner and Nick Gardner can be heard on 1070 AM and 93.5 FM as well as the TuneIn Radio App.

This is the 17th meeting between the two teams, but the first since the 1997 NCAA Tournament when Cincinnati topped the Bulldogs, 86-69. That was Butler’s first NCAA Tournament team since the 1962 team. Coincidentally, Cincinnati won the 1962 national championship. The Bearcats have a 10-6 edge in the all-time series, which dates back to 1911. The Bearcats are 7-0 in games played in Cincinnati and have won three straight in the series. The two teams will meet in Indianapolis next season in the back end of the home-and-home agreement.

Last time out for Butler, the Bulldogs shot 57% for the game as five Bulldogs had double figures in an 89-73 win over SIU-Edwardsville Saturday afternoon at Hinkle Fieldhouse. After SIUE took a 41-40 lead less than two minutes into the second half, Butler uncoiled a decisive 22-6 run over the next seven minutes to take a 62-47 lead that the Bulldogs would not relinquish.

Senior G Kellen Dunham tied his career-high with a 32-point performance Saturday against SIUE. His previous 32-point game came two years to the day before in Orlando against Washington State. Dunham was efficient from the field, shooting 10-of-15 (66.6%). For the second consecutive game, he shot 5-of-8 (62.5%) from three-point range. Dunham also went 7-of-8 (87.5%) at the free throw line against SIUE. He is 22 of 23 on the season and that 95.7% is second in the BIG EAST. The lone miss broke a stretch of 24 consecutive made free throws dating back to last season. Dunham’s game-high 32 points against SIUE was the 44th time in his Butler career that he had led the Bulldogs in scoring.

Kellen Dunham has made a three-pointer in 22 consecutive games dating back to last season. He has also moved into third place on Butler’s career list with 228 trifectas. He trails only Bruce Horan (314) and A.J. Graves (303). Dunham leads the BIG EAST in both scoring (21.2 ppg) and three-point field goals (3.2 per game).

Redshirt senior G/F Roosevelt Jones handed out a career-high 11 assists in Saturday’s win over SIUE. It bettered his previous mark of nine against Maine in last season’s opener. Jones added 11 points for his tenth career double-double, but the first to include assists. Jones has at least four assists in each of Butler’s five games and is third in the BIG EAST at 5.6 assists per game.

Roosevelt Jones is fourth in the BIG EAST at 8.6 rebounds per game, showcasing arguably the conference’s most well-rounded game. (He is also 15th in scoring at 13.2 points per game). Jones has pulled down double-digit rebounds in three of the team’s five games to start the season. Roosevelt Jones is 28th on Butler’s career scoring list with 1,143 points. He is also seventh in career assists (338).

Roosevelt Jones (11 vs. SIUE) and redshirt junior PG Tyler Lewis (10 vs. Missouri State) have each handed out double-digit assists in the first five games of the season. Before Lewis had the feat in the Puerto Rico Tip-Off, the last Bulldog to dish out 10 assists was Ronald Nored on Feb. 18, 2012 against Indiana State.

Offensively, Butler is among the national leaders in a variety of categories so far this season. (These statistics are through the games of Sunday, Nov. 29). The Bulldogs are:

-Fourth in Scoring Offense (95.0 points per game)
-Eighth in Field Goal Percentage (.526)
-Eighth in Assist/Turnover Ratio (1.86)
-11th in Scoring Margin (+23.6)
-T-17th in Fewest Turnovers (9.8 per game)

Butler returned to the USA TODAY Coaches Poll this week and now stands at #25. The Bulldogs are receiving votes in the AP Poll, placed essentially in the 28th spot. The Bulldogs have been as high as #20 in the USA TODAY Sports coaches poll and #22 in the AP poll this season. During the 2014-15 season, Butler was among teams receiving votes or ranked in the “Top 25” in 16 of the final 17 weeks of the season. The Bulldogs climbed to as high as #15 in the AP national poll and #18 in the USA Today national poll. Butler finished the campaign ranked #23 in the final coaches poll and #24 in the final AP poll.

Photo: Butler Athletics/Tyler Wideman (John Fetcho)
Photo: Butler Athletics/Tyler Wideman (John Fetcho)

Sophomore F Tyler Wideman is 15-of-18 (83.3%) on free throws so far this season after shooting only 41.5% a season ago. That is tied for tenth in the BIG EAST and third on the team behind Dunham (95.7%) and Lewis (90.9%). Wideman has stepped into the starting position in the post in a big way. He had a career-high 10 rebounds against Miami, one game after registering a career-high four blocks against Temple.

Sophomore F Jackson Davis leads the BIG EAST in field goal percentage at 70.6% (12-of-17). Jackson Davis eclipsed his entire point total from the 2014-15 season with his 19 points against The Citadel.

Junior F Andrew Chrabascz had a career-high eight assists in the season opener against The Citadel. Exactly half of Andrew Chrabascz’s career rebounds are from the offensive glass (228 career rebounds with 114 on the offensive end).

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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