ROSEMONT, Ill. --- Searching for their first conference win of the year, the Butler Bulldogs ventured up to the Northwest suburbs of Chicago. Rosemont, Illinois and the Allstate Arena, formerly known as the Rosemont Horizon, played host for the Bulldogs' quest to etch their first tally in the win column as well.
The DePaul Blue Demons fought hard to protect their home court in spite of many Butler fans in attendance. In the end, it was Butler who would prevail to finally get into the win column with a 77-72 victory.
The Bulldogs' win was spearheaded by the play of senior guard Kellen Dunham as well as the likes of junior forward Andrew Chrabascz and senior swingman Roosevelt Jones. Dunham led the trio in points with 24, while Chrabascz and Jones would combine to amass 31 points. 16 came for the Portsmouth, Rhode Island native in Chrabascz, while the O'Fallon, Illinois native Jones picked up 15.
The effort was nothing if not spirited from DePaul who got 22 points and 10 rebounds out of Windy City native and senior forward Myke Henry. Junior big man Tommy Hamilton was a problem all night for the opposition as the 6-foot-11 Chicago native scored 19 points, going 6-for-10 from the field, 7-for-7 from the free throw line and added nine boards as well.
Three things we learned from this matchup:
1. Kellen Dunham's back, y'all
24 points, three boards, and two assists in 37 minutes for the Pendleton, Indiana is exactly what the doctor ordered. The senior guard certainly got back on track Tuesday night against a DePaul team that frustrated the Bulldogs on nearly ever possession. Dunham was active on the offensive end: Attacking, shooting from three, and creating opportunities for his teammates. Dunham will again be tested in BU's next matchup against the vaunted Villanova Wildcats, and a big performance from him could put their opposition on skates.
2. DePaul won't be going down without a fight
It's hard to question DePaul's defensive efforts tonight. They hounded one of the best offensive teams in the nation almost each time they brought the ball up. Denying penetration was imperative for DePaul, though they would eventually break down to allow 52.9 percent of 2-point field goals to be converted. They were competitive, no less, getting three players into double figures with Myke Henry leading the charge as well as Tommy Hamilton and Darrick Wood. Maybe the result soured, but there is some reason for optimism here for the Blue Demons as they march forward.
3. Butler's perimeter defense is in need of repair, and fast
Butler head coach Chris Holtmann alluded to the 'Dawgs needing to get better in the postgame press conference. And one area that is in need of improvement is their perimeter defense. DePaul made a living from the 3-point line, going 3-for-7 from the 3-point line in the first half. The shots were not falling for the Blue Demons in the second half as Butler shored themselves up, but it has still been a major area of weakness for this Bulldogs team. They'll need to bring their A-game with them when they face off with Villanova on Sunday, a team that thrives on 3-point shooting to say the least. Only time will tell how this plays itself out, but the 'Dawgs must make improvement soon.