A career-high 24 point explosion from hot-shooting sophomore Kelan Martin lifted the Butler Bulldogs over the Indiana State Sycamores 85-71 in a high-scoring affair at Hinkle Fieldhouse. Martin, who has scored in double digits for two games in a row, finished 10-of-14 from the field with five rebounds and four steals, slowly advancing from promising youngster to key contributor over the course of the last few weeks.
"I'm proud of Kelan," Butler head coach Chris Holtmann, who praised Martin's growth after the game, said. "I think he's had some really important moments this year. He's really important for us in a lot of ways."
Alongside Martin, the Bulldogs also received huge contributions from senior guard Kellen Dunham and Andrew Chrabascz, who each had 19 points. Dunham, who connected on six of his seven attempts including one three-pointer, was averaging 22 points per game going into today's game after dropping 24 against No. 17 Cincinnati on Wednesday. It was a rare game for Chrabascz, who impressed offensively with his wide arsenal of moves inside and in the mid-range, scoring in double-digits while finishing with no rebounds.
Roosevelt Jones, who had the memorable game-winner against Cincinnati earlier this week, displayed his usual Swiss Army knife effectiveness, dropping seven points, eight rebounds and seven assists. Deferring more to his teammates, Jones served as the team's primary facilitator for most of the game as point guard Tyler Lewis played just 18 minutes.
Holtmann has gone with his larger lineup, swapping Martin for Lewis to give his team more length in close games. It's a good problem to have for the Bulldogs, who can interchange varied lineups based on different matchups, but the team is going to have to figure out how to keep Lewis involved while some of the bench guys continue to grow. Transfer guard Jordan Gathers has also started to push his way to more minutes, making up for the size issue presented when teams throw longer guards at Lewis defensively.
The 6-1 Bulldogs will have a quick turnaround this weekend, taking on VMI at home on Monday, Dec. 7.