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No. 18/18 Butler Bulldogs Meet No. 9/9 Indiana in 2016 Crossroads Classic

INDIANAPOLIS, IN – The #18/18 Butler Bulldogs and #9/9 Indiana Hoosiers will meet this Saturday at Bankers Life Fieldhouse as part of the 2016 Crossroads Classic. Butler is 9-1 on the season and IU sits at 8-1. Both teams enter the game with a week of rest due to final exams. The 5 p.m. tip will air on the Big Ten Network with Brian Anderson & Shon Morris on the call.

Indiana and Butler will meet for the 53rd time with the Hoosiers owning a 38-14 advantage in the series. The teams have split the last four meetings, including two match-ups as part of the Crossroads Classic (2012, 2014). The series dates back to the 1900-01 season when Butler won a 22-17 decision in Bloomington. That game was the first official men’s college basketball game for the Hoosiers.

The Bulldogs have an impressive 4-1 mark in the Crossroads Classic. The event began in 2011 and Butler’s record includes beating Purdue on three occasions and splitting two match-ups against Indiana. The Bulldogs defeated the No. 1-ranked Hoosiers, 88-86 in overtime, as part of the 2012 event. Alex Barlow‘s floater at the buzzer proved to be the game-winner.

The Bulldogs also enjoy playing at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Butler boasts a 10-3 mark in 13 games in the current home of the Indiana Pacers. That includes a 3-2 advantage over Indiana, capturing the 2001 Hoosier Classic on the late Joel Cornette’s tip dunk to win 66-64. Butler also won two early-round contests at Bankers Life Fieldhouse en route to the 2006 NIT Season Tip-Off title. One of those wins came over Indiana (60-55).

Photo: Butler Athletics/Butler Redshirt Senior G Kethan Savage
Photo: Butler Athletics/Butler Redshirt Senior G Kethan Savage

Last time out for Butler, the Bulldogs rebounded from their first loss of the season by knocking off #22 Cincinnati, 75-65, Saturday afternoon in front of a sell-out crowd at Hinkle Fieldhouse. Butler went 19-of-24 from the free throw line in the second half and limited the Bearcats to 40-percent shooting for the game. Junior F Kelan Martin came off the bench for the first time this season, but led Butler with 20 points. Butler had a season-low six turnovers in the win.

With Saturday’s win over Cincinnati, Butler has now won 34 consecutive home games against non-conference opponents. The streak dates back to a loss to Pittsburgh in the 2012 College Basketball Invitational (CBI).

Butler Head Coach Chris Holtmann is 32-6 at Hinkle Fieldhouse as head coach of the Bulldogs. Butler is now 18-3 following a loss under head coach Chris Holtmann.

Senior F Andrew Chrabascz had 12 points against Cincinnati after posting a team-best 18 at Indiana State in the previous game. Chrabascz currently stands at 993 career points. Chrabascz needs just seven points to become the 38th member of Butler’s 1,000-point club. Two of last season’s seniors, Kellen Dunham and Roosevelt Jones achieved the feat as well. Kelan Martin is knocking on the door with his 937 career points.

Andrew Chrabascz has 27 assists on the season, which trails only redshirt senior PG Tyler Lewis (52) for the team-lead. Chrabascz had five assists (against no turnovers) versus Cincinnati, his first game leading the team in helpers. Chrabascz has a 3:1 assist/turnover radio this season and has posted multiple assists from his power forward position in eight of the team’s 10 games.

Redshirt senior PG Tyler Lewis has led the team in assists in seven of Butler’s 10 games this season. He has registered at least four assists in all but two contests. Lewis’s 5.2 assists per game rank third in the BIG EAST and 59th nationally. His 3.71 assist/turnover ratio leads the BIG EAST and is 18th in the country.

Entering this season, Lewis had never shot better than 39 percent from the field or 29 percent from three-point range in a season. In 2016-17, he is shooting 63 percent and 47 percent, respectively, in those two statistics.

Freshman G Kamar Baldwin had a career-high five steals Dec. 7 at Indiana State. Baldwin’s average of 2.20 steals per game is tied for second in the BIG EAST lead and is 42nd nationally.

Junior F Kelan Martin is averaging 17.7 points per game. That mark currently ranks him eighth in the BIG EAST.

On the season, the Bulldogs are averaging only 10.3 turnovers per game. That mark is second in the BIG EAST and eighth nationally.

Butler’s turnover margin of +5.4 leads the BIG EAST and is 13th nationally. On the season, Butler holds a 199-102 advantage in points off turnovers, almost doubling up its opponents.

The Bulldogs are shooting 49.0 percent on the season and have eclipsed 50-percent shooting in four of the team’s 10 games. Under Chris Holtmann, Butler is 22-0 when shooting 50 percent or better from the field.

Butler ranks 32nd nationally in field goal shooting.

Butler is only allowing opponents 62.0 points per game this season, ranking 26th in the NCAA to go along with second in the BIG EAST. Butler’s defensive effort combined with scoring 77.7 points per game gives the Bulldogs a scoring margin of +15.7. That is third in the BIG EAST and 32nd nationally.

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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