Before the huge showdown against Xavier, Butler had to take care of business today at Hinkle against DePaul. Butler coming into this game with a three-game winning streak and a 16-7 overall record. Meanwhile, the Blue Demons having a rather disappointing Big East season, with only two wins in conference play thus far were overpowered today by the resurging Dawgs’, 80-57.
Not great but good enough
Butler has had a great stretch recently especially on the offensive court scoring 70 points or more in each of the last three games. That trend would continue against the struggling Blue Demons as they put up 80 points in the winning effort today. However, it wasn’t the most exciting day for offense today. The Dawgs’ played a solid offensive game shooting 43 percent from the field, but three-point shooting was once again no highlight. Butler shot 38 percent from behind the arc which isn’t anything special but it was good enough.
With that being said, the Bulldogs shot a phenomenal 94 from the charity stripe nailing 16 of 17 attempts. Overall it was a solid performance from the winners but nothing compared to Wednesday nights show in Milwaukee where they shot 60 percent from the field and 57 percent from behind the arc. The Dawgs’ won that game 92-72. It seems as though Butler’s offense is on and off every game and you never know what you’ll get. The next two games will have to show that the offense can be recurrently good as they face the sixth-ranked Musketeers followed by the number one Villanova Wildcats.
Kelan Martin’s Top Dawg Performance
Kelan Martin once again put in an incredible performance. He finished with 26 points, shooting 54 percent from the field. In addition to the points, the senior chipped in with six boards and 6 assists and if that wasn’t enough he also had two steals and blocks as well. This was on the best performances of the season for him chipping in on both sides of the court and leading the Dawgs’ to their 17th overall win and 7th Big East win.
Other notable performances
Paul Jorgensen finished with 13 points, four rebounds, and four assists. Kamar Baldwin was quiet on the offensive side today only getting 10 points but he grabbed four rebounds, dished two assists and had four steals. Baldwin has been a great defensive force lately getting involved in more than just scoring. Sean McDermott had a very efficient day off the bench making three of his four attempted shots, two of them for three, in addition to a board, two assists and a block.
McDermott as well has been a very valuable asset off the bench this season for the Bulldogs, often coming up with huge performances. One of the highlights of the afternoon was Freshman walk-on Campbell Donovan who recorded his first points as a Dawg. He nailed a three after a kick out from Henry Baddley and the crowd went nuts. He has made some appearances for Butler this year but hadn’t scored until today. Surely this will be a game he will never forget.
DePaul’s struggles continue
The Blue Demons have had a disappointing Big East campaign with only two wins thus far. Their struggles continued today at Hinkle. The team only shot 38 percent from the field and a measly 25 percent from three-point range. Only one DePaul player, Marin Maric, reached double figures in points as the Blue Demons’ star Max Strus was held to just seven points and one made field goal.
Maric had 15 points and six rebounds for the game. Even though they out-rebounded Butler they had no answer for Butler’s offense and couldn’t respond on their own. DePaul will have another season without an NCAA tournament appearance but rumors have been floating around that they could land four-star guard recruit, Tyger Campbell.
The Dawgs’ will get right back to action on Tuesday when they take on their biggest rivals, the number six ranked Xavier Musketeers. Butler was outplayed in the away game in early January and look to seek revenge to solidify their current record. It will be a tough game but it is said that the game is already sold out and the atmosphere should be rocking. The game will be played on Tuesday (February 6th) at Hinkle with the first tip set for 6:30 pm.