Led by a career-high 23 points from freshman guard Kelan Martin, the Butler Bulldogs handily defeated visiting Loyola (MD) 80-39 at Hinkle Fieldhouse on Saturday evening. The win brings the Bulldogs to 3-0 on the year heading into next week's Battle 4 Atlantis tournament in the Bahamas.
The Greyhounds jumped out to an early lead in the first half, but Butler responded with an offensive run that got as big as 20-1 to take a comfortable 42-18 lead into halftime. Martin scored 13 of his points during that run, officially exploding onto the scene as Butler's key scoring option off of the bench. Martin ended up shooting 9-13 on the night, including 3-5 from three-point range, and would also finish with a career high seven rebounds.
The Bulldogs also received a scoring boost from junior guard Kellen Dunham, who added 13 points on 3-3 shooting from deep. Junior forward Roosevelt Jones also reached double-digit scoring for Butler, finishing with ten points, six assists and four steals.
As a team, Butler shot over 53 percent from the field during the game, connecting on 30 of 56 attempts. The Bulldogs shot an impressive 9-16 (56.2 percent) from behind the arc, but continued to struggle from the free throw line as they hit only 11 of their 17 attempts on the night.
The Greyhounds were led by guard Eric Laster, who posted a game-high 24 points and hit four of his six attempts from three. While ten Loyola (MD) players registered nine minutes or more, only Laster, forward Franz Rassman (ten points) and forward Cam Gregory (five points) scored during the game.
Looking ahead, the Bulldogs will take on No. 6 North Carolina on Wednesday to kick off the first round of the Battle 4 Atlantis Tournament in The Bahamas. The tournament will take place from Nov. 26-28. The Bulldogs will be joined in the field by the Tar Heels, No. 3 Wisconsin, No. 8 Florida, No. 18 Oklahoma, UCLA, UAB and fellow Big East member Georgetown.
The game with North Carolina will tip off at noon on ESPN2.