The Butler Bulldogs upset offensive powerhouse Indiana Hoosiers 83-78 last night in the second game of the Crossroads Classic. Butler is still undefeated against ranked opponents, and at neutral sites. The Dawgs’ record improves to 10-1 and Indiana suffered their second loss to an Indiana school.
Coming into the game, Butler knew that they would have to play well defensively. Coach Chris Holtmann made this adjustment by starting emerging freshman star Kamar Baldwin over the more experienced Avery Woodson. Baldwin ended up leading the team in rebounds for the second straight game and putting in 14 points.
Baldwin, the team leader in steals, was started in an attempt to slow down James Blackmon Jr., which did not work out ideally. Blackmon ended the game with 26 points. Young Kamar could not keep up with the junior on the perimeter, as he poured in 12 points from deep.
Luckily for the Bulldogs, Kelan Martin was on fire as well. The Junior went off, scoring 28 on 9-16 from the field. The Butler star had five turnovers as well, but they were mostly from trying to force possessions because he was so hot.
Aside from Martin’s five, Butler had only one turnover the entire game. Indiana’s squad had 13 turnovers. Taking care of the basketball will win games, and that’s exactly what the Bulldogs did.
Indiana had their star studded lineup alongside Blackmon completed with the dominant big man Thomas Bryant and the recently healthy OG Anunoby coming off of the bench for the Hoosiers. Those three combined for 48 of Indiana’s 78 total points. The bench for Indiana, not counting Anunoby who played 26 minutes, scored a combined 4 points against the Bulldogs. Butler’s bench, by comparison, scored 13. In a close game, every player counts.
Indiana also struggled from behind the arc in the matchup, making not a single attempt in the first half. Butler shot 47% from three in the contest.
Andrew Chrabascz continues to be a big time player for the Bulldogs. The senior forward had 14 points for the Bulldogs, as well as four assists. During Saturday’s game he scored his thousandth career point as a Bulldog.
In the end, Butler’s team defense, especially in the paint, as well as an offensive explosion from Kelan Martin propelled the Dawgs to the big time win. Slowly but surely Butler is approaching the top ten teams in College Basketball. And don’t you dare count them out.
Their next game is on the 21st of December at Hinkle Fieldhouse against the Vermont Catamounts. Look for the Dawgs to clean up in their last game before conference play begins.
Photo Credits: Jimmy Lafakis