As I peered onto the court in the first five or so minutes of the game I was struck with a feeling of deja vu. Suddenly, I was overcome with visions of hoopball players in black jerseys clanging buckets off the rim while the opposing team in white pursued this same trend. The abyss was looking back into me; this was Providence v Creighton redux.
Both teams failed to gain any traction within the first few minutes of the game, seemingly unable to get the offenses cooking. Roosevelt Jones had issues with his typical drive-to-the-rim & take no prisoners approach, failing to cash in on his classic drives to the hoop. Meanwhile, Creighton's offense stalled as Geoffrey Groselle proceeded to get two early fouls and took a seat on the bench. Mo Watson was soon to follow, leaving the Bluejays bare with Tyler Clement and Zach Hanson to pick up some key minutes.
Kelan Martin was able to ignite the Butler offense, scoring his team's first six points of the game. From then on, it was a mix of sharpshooter Kellen Dunham, Tyler Wideman, and a little Roosevelt Jones. For the most part, however, it was the Kelan Martin Show as he finished the first half with 17 points and 3 rebounds.
Toby Hegner is leading the Jays with 7 points and is clearly turning in his best game of the season effort-wise. This is his second straight start this year over Cole Huff - who has struggled mightily on offense and defense as of late - and is showing why he deserves the nod. Meanwhile, Tyler Clement's performance off the bench for Watson was serviceable and Isaiah Zierden continues to be the Jays' most consistent defender on the court, holding Kellen Dunham to just 3-6 shooting.