BUTLER (15-6, 5-3 BIG EAST) at MARQUETTE (10-10, 2-6 BIG EAST) When: Saturday, January 31, 1 p.m. (CT) Where: BMO Harris Bradley Center – Milwaukee, Wis. TV: FOX Sports Net (Brian Anderson, Ron Thompson) Radio: 1070 AM/107.5 FM (Mark Minner, Nick Gardner)
INDIANAPOLIS, IN – The #25/31 Butler Bulldogs will try to wrap up the first month of 2015 the same way it started the new year, with a conference road victory. The Bulldogs, with five BIG EAST wins already in January, will visit the Marquette Golden Eagles for a Big East Conference test on Saturday (Jan. 31). The game is slated for 1 p.m. (CT, 2 p.m. in Indianapolis) at the BMO Harris Bradley Center in Milwaukee, Wis., and will be televised on FOX Sports Net.
Butler has already topped it’s BIG EAST and season win totals of a year ago and is looking to string together three straight conference wins for the first time in its brief BIG EAST tenure. The Bulldogs improved to 15-6 on the year and 5-3 in league play with wins at home over Creighton, 64-61, and #24 Seton Hall, 77-57, last week. The victory over Seton Hall was Butler’s fourth win in the past five games. Marquette (10-10, 2-6 BIG EAST) dropped it most recent outing at home on Wednesday to Seton Hall, 80-70. Saturday’s game will be the first of two meetings this season between Marquette and the Bulldogs. The two teams will meet again at Butler on Feb. 25. .
Butler moved into the Associated Press National Poll at No. 25 and moved up to No. 31 in the USA Today Coaches National Poll following last week’s sweep of Creighton and #24 Seton Hall. The Bulldogs have been ranked as high as #15 this season and have been in the “Top 40” in at least one of the polls in eight of the first 12 weeks. The BIG EAST has three teams in the “Top 25” and two more receiving votes in this week’s A.P. Poll. With the victory over #24 Seton Hall, Butler improved to 4-2 this season against nationally-ranked teams.
In a game that saw several big scoring runs, Butler saved its best for last and powered past #24 Seton Hall, 77-57. The Bulldogs went on a 27-3 scoring run in the second half to pull away and hand the visiting Pirates their biggest margin of defeat this season. Butler led by as many as 13 points in the first half, but trailed, 37-34, early in the final period, when senior forward Kameron Woods scored on a short jumper and was fouled. He completed the conventional three-point play to tie the game and ignite Butler’s decisive run. The Bulldogs scored 24 of the game’s next 27 points to grab a 21-point advantage and then stretched the margin to as many as 25 points in the closing minutes. Six different Butler players had a hand in the big second half scoring run, with freshman guard Kelan Martin leading the way with seven points. Butler swept its regular season series with Seton Hall for the second straight year.
Sophomore forward Andrew Chrabascz scored Butler’s first seven points against Seton Hall, helping the Bulldogs to an early lead in the game. He went on to top all scorers in the game with 16 points, hitting 6-of-9 field goals he attempted. It was the fourth time in the past five games that the 6-7 forward scored in double-figures, and it was the second time in the last five outings that he led the Bulldogs in scoring. Over that five-game stretch, Chrabascz has averaged 12.6 points.
Junior guard Roosevelt Jones celebrated his 22nd birthday with 12 points, seven rebounds, two assists and two blocked shots in 33 minutes against Seton Hall. That birthday performance came just four days after he posted his first double-double of the season with 18 points and 10 rebounds in the Bulldogs’ victory over Creighton. Jones has had an impressive start to 2015. Since Jan. 1, the 6-4 guard has scored in double-figures in seven consecutive games, and he’s averaged 17.7 points, 6.1 rebounds and 3.0 assists. He’s led Butler in scoring in three of the past four games. Roosevelt Jones leads the Bulldogs and ranks third in the BIG EAST in minutes played (34.8). Jones is also tied for seventh in the BIG EAST in assists (3.8). Roosevelt Jones and Kris Dunn of Providence are the only players who rank in the “Top 15” in the BIG EAST in scoring, rebounding and assists.
Roosevelt Jones, who helped Butler to back-to-back conference wins, was named to the BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll for the second consecutive week. Jones averaged 15.0 points, 8.5 rebounds and 4.0 assists in Butler’s victories over Creighton and #24 Seton Hall. It’s the third time he’s been named to the league Honor Roll this season.
Junior guard Kellen Dunham, who became the 36th Butler player to score 1,000 career points in December, enters this week’s action in 25th place on Butler’s all-time scoring list. The 6-6 junior scored 15 points against Seton Hall and boosted his career scoring total to 1,188 points. He trails Tim McRoberts (1980-84) in the No. 24 position on the all-time scoring list by 20 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.
Junior Kellen Dunham hit three three-pointers against Seton Hall and moved into a tie for seventh place on Butler’s all-time list for three-point field goals. The 6-6 guard has compiled 183 career three-pointers in his two-plus years at Butler, matching the total of former sharp-shooter Pete Campbell (2006-08). Avery Sheets (2002-06) is currently sixth on the all-time list with 184 three-point field goals, while Brandon Miller (2000-03) is fifth with 189.
Kellen Dunham stands third in the BIG EAST in 3-point field goal shooting (43.6%), fifth in the BIG EAST in free throw shooting (83.7%), third in the BIG EAST in three-point field goals (2.3) and fourth in the BIG EAST in scoring (16.1).
Senior guard Alex Barlow is one of 30 NCAA Division I men’s basketball players named as finalists for the 2014-15 Senior CLASS Award. An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School, the Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities. Barlow, a former walk-on who has started 54 consecutive games for the Bulldogs, is the reigning BIG EAST Scholar-Athlete of the Year.
Senior Alex Barlow moved into fifth place on Butler’s all-time list for steals last week, and the 6-0 guard enters the game at Marquette with 161 career thefts, 15 shy of Darren Fowlkes (1985-89) in the No. 4 spot. Barlow has had at least one steal in 18 of the Bulldogs’ 21 contests this season, and he’s currently ranked second in the BIG EAST and 13th in the NCAA Division I in steals per game (2.35). Alex Barlow is ranked 11th in the NCAA Division I in total steals (48).
Senior forward Kameron Woods became just the fourth player in Butler basketball history to grab 800 career rebounds during Butler’s win over Creighton last week. The 6-9 forward, who boasts 808 career rebounds, has led Butler in rebounding in six of the past seven games, including a game-high eight rebounds against Seton Hall. Kameron Woods ranks second in the BIG EAST in rebounding (9.0) and second in the BIG EAST and 26th in the NCAA Division I in total rebounds (189). He’s had nine or more rebounds in 11 games this season. Woods is first in the BIG EAST in defensive rebounds (6.0) and second in the league in offensive rebounds (3.0).
Butler leads the BIG EAST in rebounding margin (+5.1). The Bulldogs have out-rebounded 16 of 21 opponents this season. Butler also leads the BIG EAST in total offensive rebounds (267). The Bulldogs are ranked first in the BIG EAST in team scoring defense (60.1) and second in the league in three-point field goal percentage defense (28.6%).
Chris Fultz is a Senior Writer and the Butler Athletics beat writer for the Indiana Sports Report. Chris Fultz is recognized as an accredited member of the media by Butler University Athletics and has full media access.
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