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Butler Bulldogs Visit No. 21/21 Seton Hall

BUTLER (12-5, 2-2 BIG EAST) at SETON HALL (13-3, 3-1 BIG EAST)
When: Tuesday, January 13, 7 p.m. (ET)
Where: Prudential Center – Newark, N.J.
TV: FOX Sports 1 (Tim Brando, Jim Spanarkel)
Radio: 1070 AM (Mark Minner, Nick Gardner)

INDIANAPOLIS, IN – The Butler Bulldogs will make the first of back-to-back trips to the east coast when they visit the #21 Seton Hall Pirates for a BIG EAST Conference contest on Tuesday, Jan. 13. The game at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., is scheduled for 7 p.m. (ET) and will be televised on FOX Sports 1. Both teams split a pair of conference games last week.

Seton Hall, ranked in the “Top 25” for the second straight week, lost its first BIG EAST game at Xavier, 69-58, on Wednesday (Jan. 7), before rebounding with a 68-67 victory at Creighton on Saturday (Jan. 10). Guard Sterling Gibbs nailed a three-point field goal with 2.1 seconds left to secure the road win and lift the Pirates to 13-3 on the season and 3-1 in the BIG EAST. Butler began its week with a narrow, 66-62, loss at home to Providence on Tuesday (Jan. 6), and then bounced back with an 88-76 win over visiting Xavier on Saturday. The win over Xavier boosted the Bulldogs to 12-5 on the season and 2-2 in conference play.

Butler and Seton Hall will be meeting for just the fourth time, with the three previous meetings coming in the past 12 months. The Bulldogs won two regular season meetings against Seton Hall a year ago, but dropped a 51-50 decision to the Pirates in the BIG EAST Tournament. Butler will close the week with a visit to Georgetown on Saturday (Jan. 17). Butler has two “Top 25” wins this season.

Butler used a hot second-half shooting performance to pull away from visiting Xavier and record its second BIG EAST victory with an 88-76 decision on Saturday (Jan. 10). The Bulldogs, who had a 34-31 advantage at halftime, took the lead for good on a dunk by senior forward Kameron Woods with 12:29 remaining in the game and then stretched that margin to double-figures by hitting 11-of-16 shots in the final 12 minutes. Butler wound up shooting 64% (16-25) in the final period, and the Bulldogs held their lead by knocking down eight of their final nine free throw attempts. The 88 points were the most scored by a Butler team in a regulation BIG EAST game.

Sophomore forward Andrew Chrabascz, who scored just two points in Butler’s loss to Providence, came through with his best game of the season to lead the Bulldogs past Xavier. The 6-7 forward scored a season-high 19 points in 24 minutes on the floor to pace a balanced Butler attack. He hit five of the nine shots he attempted, including a pair from beyond the three-point arc, and seven of his nine attempts from the free throw line. The 19 points were the second-most of his young Butler career.

All five Butler starters scored in double-figures against Xavier, led by forward Andrew Chrabascz with a season-high 19 points. Junior guard Roosevelt Jones finished with 16 points, senior guard Alex Barlow notched 15, senior Kameron Woods had 13 and season scoring leader Kellen Dunham added 10. It was the first time this season that all five Butler starters notched double-figures in the same game. Earlier in the week, four of Butler’s five starters scored in double-figures in a loss to Providence.

Photo: Butler Athletics/Starters Huddle
Photo: Butler Athletics/Starters Huddle

Junior guard Kellen Dunham became the 36th Butler player to score 1,000 career points in December, and he’s continued his climb on Butler’s all-time scoring list since. Dunham boosted his career scoring total to 1,132 points last week, and he moved into the No. 28 spot on the all-time list, ahead of former head coach Brandon Miller (2000-03). He trails Tom Orner (1975-79) in the No. 27 position by two points and former teammate Andrew Smith (2009-13) in the No. 26 spot by 15 points. Last year, Dunham ranked seventh in the BIG EAST in scoring (16.4), while becoming just the fifth sophomore in Butler history to score 500 points in a season.

Kellen Dunham also moved into ninth place on Butler’s all-time list for three-point field goals with a trio of three-pointers against Providence. He enters Butler’s game at Seton Hall with 176 career three-pointers, five shy of Jody Littrell (1986-90) in the No. 8 spot. Former sharp-shooter Pete Campbell (2006-08) stands seventh all-time with 183 career three-point field goals, while Avery Sheets (2002-06) is sixth with 184.

Kellen Dunham is tied for second in the BIG EAST in three-point field goals (2.4), second in the BIG EAST in three-point field goal shooting (46.6%) and third in the BIG EAST in free throw shooting (87.7%). Kellen Dunham is currently ranked third in the BIG EAST in scoring (16.6).

Kameron Woods, one of just nine players in Butler basketball history to record 700 career rebounds, moved into fourth place on Butler’s all-time rebounding list in the Bulldogs’ BIG EAST win at St. John’s on Jan. 3. He’s had at least 10 rebounds in each of Butler’s last three contests, and he enters the game at Seton Hall with 774 career boards. Only three players in Butler history have reached 800 career rebounds. Woods, who led the BIG EAST in rebounding (9.0) a year ago, has been Butler’s top rebounder 12 times this year, including nine of the past 12 games.

Kameron Woods recorded his second consecutive double-double with 13 points and 11 rebounds against Xavier. It was his sixth double-double of the season and the 14th of his Butler career. Earlier in the week, the 6-9 forward posted 11 points and 11 rebounds against Providence. Kameron Woods leads the BIG EAST in rebounding (9.1). Kameron Woods is also first in the BIG EAST in defensive rebounds (6.0) and second in the league in offensive rebounds (3.1). Kameron Woods leads the BIG EAST and ranks 19th in the NCAA Division I in total rebounds (155).

Senior guard Alex Barlow is ranked second in the BIG EAST and 13th in the NCAA Division I in steals per game (2.41). He’s had at least one steal in 14 of the Bulldogs’ 17 games this season, and he enters this week in sixth place on Butler’s all-time list with 154 career thefts, two behind Hall of Fame guard Darrin Fitzgerald (1983-87) in the No. 5 position. Barlow matched the highest single game total in the BIG EAST this season with a career-high seven steals against Providence last week. The seven steals were the most by a Butler player since Feb. 1, 2001, when Hall of Fame point-guard Thomas Jackson came up with seven thefts against Green Bay. Earlier this season, Sir’Dominic Pointer of St. John’s had seven steals against Tulane.

Alex Barlow, who averaged 14.0 points and shot 55.6% from three-point range in Butler’s two games last week, was named to the BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll. It was his first time on the Honor Roll this season and the third time he’s earned the honor during his Butler career. Alex Barlow is ranked ninth in the NCAA Division I in total steals (41).

Junior guard Roosevelt Jones finished with 16 points, three rebounds and seven assists against Xavier. In the last seven games, he’s scored in double-figures five times, had at least seven rebounds five times and had two or more assists six times. He’s one of just three players in the BIG EAST (Kris Dunn of Providence and Juan Anderson of Marquette are the other two) who rank in the “Top 20” in the conference in scoring, rebounding and assists. Roosevelt Jones leads the Bulldogs and ranks third in the BIG EAST in minutes played (34.1) and is fifth in the BIG EAST in assists (4.1).

Butler leads the BIG EAST in rebounding margin (+5.8). The Bulldogs have out-rebounded 13 of 17 opponents this season. Butler leads the BIG EAST in total offensive rebounds (217). The Bulldogs are ranked first in the BIG EAST in team scoring defense (59.3) and second in the league in three-point field goal percentage defense (.280).

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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