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No. 9/10 Butler Bulldogs Defeat IUPUI in Final Non-Conference Contest

INDIANAPOLIS, IN – The #9/10 Butler Bulldogs picked up their seventh straight win and closes out their non-conference schedule with a 92-54 victory over the IUPUI Jaguars at Hinkle Fieldhouse on Monday night, December 28. Sophomore G Kelan Martin continued his hot shooting off the Butler bench as he led all scorers with 19 points in just 19 minutes of action. With the win, the Bulldogs advance to 11-1 on the season. IUPUI falls to 4-11.

The Jaguars won the tip to start the game but gave the ball up on a shot clock violation. Redshirt junior PG Tyler Lewis opened the scoring with a free throw line jumper after a pump fake on a three point look. Redshirt senior G/F Roosevelt Jones responded with two points of his own on a floater right before the Butler offense went on a 2:39 scoring drought. A five point run, including a three point play, from junior F Andrew Chrabascz and four points from Jones helped the Bulldogs open up a 15-10 lead on IUPUI. The Jaguars came as close as two points to Butler at 15-13 with 9:20 remaining in the first half before a 9-0 Butler run pushed the home team lead to 24-13 with 8:00 remaining before the half.

A clutch shooting display from the Butler bench powered the Bulldogs to another 9-0 run late in the first half. Graduate transfer G Jordan Gathers hit a pair of three-point shots, including a second one that came on a fadeaway. Sophomore guard Kelan Martin, who led all scorers through the first half with 10 points, responded with a three of his own following the last Gathers three. With 48 seconds remaining in the first half, Andrew Chrabascz hit a layup and the Butler defense forced another shot clock violation to close the half with a 43-24 lead.

Photo: Butler Athletics/Roosevelt Jones (Zach Bolinger)
Photo: Butler Athletics/Roosevelt Jones (Zach Bolinger)

The Bulldogs connected on 16-32 (50%) of their shots through the first half, including 3-7 (42.9%) from three. IUPUI was limited to a 10-28 (35.7%) performance from the field, including a 3-8 (37.5%) showing from deep. The 14 points off of 10 IUPUI turnovers was key to the 19 point halftime lead for Butler, 43-24. The Bulldogs only coughed up the rock twice and led in assists, 8-3, at the half.

The Bulldogs continued to coast against IUPUI in the second half. On the first possession, Jones found sophomore F Tyler Wideman for an easy ally-oop slam from point blank range. Two free throws from Jones, a jumper from senior G Kellen Dunham and two layups from Chrabascz put the Bulldogs up 53-26 with 15:46 remaining in the game. Roosevelt Jones scored three points on an And-1 play following a tough layup through contact which shortly led to back-to-back three point buckets from Gathers and Martin respectively. The next made Butler field goal came from graduate transfer F Austin Etherington from three point range to put the Bulldogs up, 69-42.

With the last of the Butler starters checking out at the 6:00 mark, the Bulldogs gave valuable minutes to the deep bench with the score at 79-50. Freshman C Nate Fowler recorded five rebounds and scored five points in eight minutes of actions, going 2-3 from the field, including 1-1 from three. Sophomore F Jackson Davis logged six points and five rebounds in seven minutes of play. The Butler bench outscored IUPUI’s, 44-24.

Senior G Kellen Dunham continued his recent struggles from the field, shooting 2-11 (18%) from the field and 0-5 from deep. Dunham finished with eight points and went 4-4 from the charity stripe.

Roosevelt Jones finished with 17 points on a 5-10 effort, five rebounds and matched his career-high with five steals, one that also came against IUPUI in the last meeting between the teams in December of 2012. Andrew Chrabascz had his way in the post, scoring 15 points on 7-10 shooting and six rebounds. Jordan Gathers had an impressive game off the bench for Butler as he finished with nine points on a 3-4 shooting performance from three. Tyler Lewis finished with four points and dished out a game high seven assists.

“Our older guys have shown great leadership throughout this non-conference portion of the schedule,” said Butler coach Chris Holtmann. “They’ve had the right approach and that has led to a terrific non-conference record. We’re proud of that. But we also know what’s coming. We have some of the best teams in the country in the next few weeks.”

The Bulldogs finished the game shooting 50% (34-68) from the field and 36.8% (7-19) from three while the Jaguars finished 35.1% (20-57) and 29.4% (5-17) from three. Butler forced 15 IUPUI turnovers and scored 20 points off of the turnovers while only committing eight turnovers for the game. The Bulldogs also out-rebounded the Jaguars, 43-34.

The final margin of 38 was the largest lead for Butler in the contest.

Darell Combs led IUPUI with 11 points.

The Bulldogs return to action Thursday as the #12/13 Providence Friars come to Hinkle Fieldhouse to begin the BIG EAST portion of the schedule. The game is sold out, but will be aired nationally on CBS Sports Network. It is only the second time in Hinkle history that both Butler and its opponent have been ranked in the Top 15 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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