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No. 16/15 Butler Bulldogs Defeat No. 22/23 Cincinnati

INDIANAPOLIS, IN – The #16/15 Butler Bulldogs rebounded from a disappointing loss earlier in the week with a win over the #22/23 Cincinnati Bearcats at Hinkle Fieldhouse on Saturday, December 10. Junior F Kelan Martin had 20 points off the bench to lead the Bulldogs to the 75-65 victory. The Bulldogs are now 9-1 on the season and improves to 18-3 under Head Coach Chris Holtmann following a loss. Cincinnati is 7-2 on the season.

The Bulldogs started the game hot from behind the arc. The first Butler points came from redshirt freshman G/F Sean McDermott to give the Bulldogs a 3-2 lead. A three-pointer from freshman G Kamar Baldwin pushed Butler back in front at 8-7 and a three by senior F Andrew Chrabascz also pushed the Bulldogs back in front at 15-14 with 12:44 remaining in the first half. Shortly after a three by junior F Kelan Martin to give Butler a 22-18 lead, sophomore C Nate Fowler joined the long-range show to give Butler a 25-21 lead with 7:45 in the first half. After a second three by Kelan Martin, Martin hit a third to give Butler its largest lead of the first half at 33-27 with 4:17 remaining. But the Bearcats battled through the 7-of-12 (58.3%) Butler shooting performance from deep. With two seconds remaining in the first half, Cincinnati senior G Troy Caupain raised up over redshirt senior PG Tyler Lewis to hit a tough three to tie the game at 35-35.

Both teams traded blows as the score read 39-39 with 16:27 remaining. The Bulldogs managed to build a 51-47 with 9:43 to play before a 12-4 Butler run that included a technical foul on the Bearcats’ bench provided the Bulldogs with their largest lead of the game at 12 points, 63-51, with 5:02 remaining in the game. The Bulldogs hit free throws down the stretch to secure the win.

Photo: Butler Athletics/Butler Junior F Kelan Martin
Photo: Butler Athletics/Butler Junior F Kelan Martin

Martin came off the bench for the first time this season, guiding the Bulldogs to a 33-4 advantage in bench scoring. He was one of seven Bulldogs to register at least six points. Freshman G Kamar Baldwin (eight points, seven rebounds) started over graduate transfer G Avery Woodson and redshirt freshman G/F Sean McDermott (seven points, including 2-of-3 from three) replaced Martin. Sophomore C Nate Fowler, a Cincinnati native, provided the Bulldogs with a key spark, registering nine points and four rebounds in 13 minutes of play. Senior F Andrew Chrabascz had 12 points and five assists. Martin’s 20 came on 6-of-14 shooting from the field, including 3-of-7 from three. Martin had three of Butler’s eight three-pointers. Seven of those team makes from long range came in the first half.

Cincinnati senior G Troy Caupain had a game-high 22 points with 15 of those coming in the first half. His scoring in the first 20 minutes counterbalanced the Bulldogs’ high marks from three-point range. Gary Clark added 14 points and 12 rebounds for the visitors.

Butler had only one turnover in the second half and a season-low six for the game. That, coupled with 19-of-24 (79.2%) shooting from the free throw line after the break, proved to be the difference in the contest.

Butler shot 23-of-52 (42.6%) from the field, including 8-of-20 (40%) from three. The Bulldogs limited the Bearcats to a 26-of-65 (40%) performance from the field, including a 6-of-26 (23.1%) from three. Cincinnati held a slight 35-34 rebounding advantage, including a 14-7 edge in second-chance points.

Butler also defeated Cincinnati a season ago in the Queen City, taking both ends of the home-and-home series with the Bearcats. The Bulldogs have now defeated 34 consecutive non-conference opponents at Hinkle Fieldhouse.

The Bulldogs have the week off for final exams before matching up with Indiana next Saturday (Dec. 17) at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in the Crossroads Classic. The game with the Top 10 Hoosiers tips at 5 p.m. and will air on the Big Ten Network. Butler returns to Hinkle Fieldhouse Dec. 21, facing Vermont to close out the non-conference schedule.

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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