Following a shocking loss to St. John’s, Butler returned both to Hinkle Fieldhouse and their winning ways on Sunday as the Bulldogs defeated the Providence Friars 78-61.
Providence held a lead for merely 24 seconds in the game and only once was the game tied. The Bulldogs trounced the Friars in their home dwelling, leading for 38 minutes and 29 seconds of the 40 minute contest. The lead for BU rose to as big as 22 points in the latter stages of the first half, as the ‘Dawgs felt little test from the Friars on Sunday afternoon.
Four BU hoopers were able to get into double figures in the game. Junior forward Kelan Martin led the way with 15 points but was inefficient, getting to 15 on 13 shots from the field. He made the most of his opportunities at the free throw line, converting on five of his six attempts. Elsewhere, Andrew Chrabascz and Avery Woodson both scored 11 and Kethan Savage dropped 10 of his own. Tyler Wideman and Tyler Lewis came away with nine and eight points respectively.
Friars guard Kyron Cartwright led both teams with 26 points of his own. However, Cartwright too was inefficient as he got to 26 on 22 attempts. He excelled from the 3-point line and free throw line though, shooting 60 and 75 percent respectively. Rodney Bullock put up 17 points of his own, but no Friar got more than six points in the contest.
What we learned
Providence has road woes to solve
The Friars have played six games away from the Dunkin Donuts Center and have lost all but one of them. This includes the four true road games they’ve played against the Bulldogs, Xavier, Boston College and Ohio State as well as a neutral floor loss to Virginia. Road tests for the Friars are only going to get tougher from here so Ed Cooley and Co. are going to have to find a way to figure it out.
Kelan Martin has to figure it out
The Bulldogs forward has been getting it done enough to find himself in the race for KenPom’s Player of the Year award, but from an efficiency standpoint he has been struggling a bit lately. With his 4-for-13 performance included, Martin has shot 35 for his last 85, good for a mark of just 41.1. percent. His eFG% in this last stretch, which dates back to the loss against Indiana State, is just 50.6 percent. The Bulldogs have been able to win a bulk of their games, but needless to say, Kelan has to find his shot again.
Butler is ready for ‘Nova
The kind of performance that the Bulldogs had on Sunday is what they’ll need on Wednesday when the Wildcats come to town. As of now they’re projected to lose on KenPom, but the margin is as thin as they come as the projection is a 70-69 loss for Butler. They certainly have the firepower to keep up with the high-powered offense that Villanova has, so the intrigue level will be quite high on Wednesday night in Nap Town.