The Butler Bulldogs squeak past another Big East opponent on solid shooting and all around defense despite a weak bench performance.
Butler started the game with an unlikely cast of characters starting. Veteran scoring guard Kethan Savage got his first start of the season, along with shooter Avery Woodson, Kamar Baldwin, and big men Wideman and Chrabascz.
Junior star and season scoring leader Kelan Martin did not play at all the first half and barely played the second half based on Coach Chris Holtmann’s decision. Martin finished with one point, compared to his 16.3 per game average.
Chrabascz picked up the scoring slack, leading all scorers with 21 points on 73% shooting. The senior forward also had five rebounds, four assists, five steals and a block. A masterful performance on both ends.
Avery Woodson also played a big role for Butler’s offense, scoring 17 points and grabbing 6 boards.
Freshman guard Kamar Baldwin had a decent night offensively, scoring eight points, but was a star on the defensive end, recording four blocks and a steal.
Marquette had a couple of hot players in this game as well. Freshman guard Markus Howard tore up Butler’s defense yet again, scoring 19 points on five made three pointers and had two steals.
Marquette big man Luke Fischer also scored 19 and raked in 13 rebounds for his third double double of the season. While his stat line seems impressive, Fischer’s inability to guard Andrew Chrabascz off the dribble was a big reason for Marquette’s loss.
Marquette’s high powered offense was held to less than 70 points for the first time since New Year’s Day against Seton Hall. Butler guards held a hot Andrew Rowsey to ZERO points off the bench.
Butler’s offense had a great shooting night, at 49% from the field and 43% from behind the arc. Unfortunately, the Dawgs also recorded 13 turnovers, three more than their season average.
Despite this, Butler came away with a solid conference road win for their 19th victory of the season. The W also came off of two home losses, and was an important victory for the Dawgs to get back on track.
Player of the game:
Andrew Chrabascz’s lockdown defense and offensive exposure of Luke Fischer was key for Butler to come away with this big win. Without his leadership, the Bulldogs may be stuck with another unfortunate road loss.
Photo Credit: SI.com