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No. 22/22 Butler Bulldogs Continue Homestand against DePaul

#22 BUTLER (17-6, 7-3 BIG EAST) vs. DePAUL (12-12, 6-5 BIG EAST)
When:  Saturday, February 7, 3:30 p.m. (ET)
Where:  Hinkle Fieldhouse – Indianapolis, Ind.
TV:  FOX Sports 1 (Dick Stockton, Ron Thompson)
Radio:  1070 AM/107.5 FM (Mark Minner, Nick Gardner)

INDIANAPOLIS, IN – The #22/22 Butler Bulldogs will continue their stretch of three consecutive home games when they meet the DePaul Blue Demons for the first time this season on Saturday, Feb. 7. The Big East Conference game at Hinkle Fieldhouse is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. (ET) and will be televised on FOX Sports 1.

Butler and DePaul have been the two biggest surprises in the BIG EAST this season. The Bulldogs were picked to finish in a tie for seventh in the BIG EAST Coaches Preseason Poll, while DePaul was tabbed tenth.  Heading into Saturday’s game, the Bulldogs (17-6, 7-3 BIG EAST) are tied for second in the league standings, while DePaul (12-12, 6-5 BIG EAST) sits in fifth place. Butler has clinched a winning record for the ninth time in the past ten years

Butler began its current home stand with a victory over St. John’s, 85-62, on Tuesday (Feb. 3).  It was the fourth consecutive win for the Bulldogs, the longest current winning streak in the BIG EAST.  DePaul is coming off a 75-62 victory over Seton Hall on Tuesday.  Butler and DePaul will meet again in Chicago, Ill., on Feb. 28.  Butler has never beaten DePaul in Hinkle Fieldhouse

Photo: Butler Athletics/Butler Bulldogs
Photo: Butler Athletics/Butler Bulldogs

Butler jumped out to an early lead, held off a run by St. John’s and finished with a flurry to hand the Red Storm a 23-point setback, 85-62. It was Butler’s biggest margin of victory in a BIG EAST game this season. The Bulldogs scored the first eight points of the game and never trailed the rest of the way. The eight-point halftime lead, 36-28, grew to 20 points when Butler opened the second half with a 14-2 run, and the margin remained in double-digits until a late charge by the Red Storm. St. John’s trimmed the lead to 70-62 with five-and-a-half minutes remaining, but the Bulldogs responded with 15 unanswered points to close the game. Junior guard Kellen Dunham led four Butler players in double-figures with a game-high 21 points. The victory gave Butler its first-ever, four-game BIG EAST winning streak.

Butler had four players score in double-figures and two more close behind in the victory over St. John’s.  Junior Kellen Dunham led the way with 21 points, while senior guard Alex Barlow added 15. Sophomore forward Andrew Chrabascz chipped in with 14 points and junior guard Roosevelt Jones finished with 13. Senior forward Kameron Woods just missed double-figures, finishing with nine points, and freshman guard Kelan Martin came off the bench with seven. It was the ninth time this season that the Bulldogs had at least four players score in double-figures in the same game. Four players, Chrabascz (17.3), Dunham (15.2), Jones (14.0) and Barlow (11.5), are averaging in double-figures over Butler’s last six wins.

Senior forward Kameron Woods led all players with a dozen rebounds in Butler’s win against St. John’s. That effort helped Butler to a sizeable, 40-28, rebounding advantage in the game. It was the sixth time in the last nine games that Woods grabbed at least 10 rebounds, and it came one game after the 6-9 forward pulled down a career-high 18 rebounds in an overtime win at Marquette. Woods, who boasts 838 career rebounds and ranks fourth all-time at Butler, has led the Bulldogs in rebounding in eight of the past nine games and in 17 total games this season. His 18-rebound performance against Marquette was the most by a Butler player in 25 years. Kameron Woods ranks first in the BIG EAST and 16th in the NCAA Division I in total rebounds (219). He’s had nine or more rebounds in 13 games this season. Woods is also first in the BIG EAST in defensive rebounds (6.4) and second in the league in offensive rebounds (3.1) and leads the BIG EAST in rebounding (9.5).

Junior guard Kellen Dunham enters this weekend’s game in 23rd place on Butler’s all-time scoring list. The 6-6 junior, who became the 36th Butler player to score 1,000 career points in December, scored a game-high 21 points against St. John’s and boosted his career scoring total to 1,226 points. He trails Gerry Williams (1960-84) in the No. 22 position on the all-time scoring list by 17 points, and he’s 22 points shy of Ralph “Buckshot” O’Brien (1946-50) in the No. 21 spot. 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 moved into sole possession of sixth place on Butler’s all-time list for three-point field goals during Butler’s win over St. John’s. The 6-6 guard has recorded 186 career three-pointers in his two-plus years at Butler, three shy of former Butler coach Brandon Miller (2000-03) in the No. 5 spot. Dunham has hit at least one three-point field goal in 51 of Butler’s last 55 games and in 77 total games during his career.

Kellen Dunham is currently ranked fourth in the BIG EAST in scoring (16.3), third in the BIG EAST in three-point field goals (2.2), fourth in the BIG EAST in 3-point field goal shooting (41.8%) and fourth in the BIG EAST in free throw shooting (84.8%).

Sophomore forward Andrew Chrabascz, who turned in a career-best performance against Marquette last weekend, was named to the BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll this week. Chrabascz became the first Butler player to score 30 points this season, while helping the Bulldogs to the overtime win. He’s the fourth Butler player to be named to the league Honor Roll this season. Chrabascz has averaged 15.3 points in his last seven games.

Butler leads the BIG EAST in rebounding margin (+5.8). The Bulldogs have out-rebounded 18 of 23 opponents this season. Butler also leads the BIG EAST in total offensive rebounds (295) and is ranked eighth in Division I in 3-point field goal percentage defense (28.1%).

The Bulldogs will close their current home stretch against Villanova on Valentine’s Day.

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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