After Saturday evening’s battle between two Hoosier schools, Butler University added its third victory in the Crossroads Classic with a 76-70 win.
An atypical Butler Bulldogs basketball game would include an obvious and clear winner early on. Last year the Bulldogs walked into Banker’s Life Fieldhouse unranked facing No. 1 and heavy-favored Indiana University. Reclaiming the title of the underdog team, the Bulldogs upset Indiana 88-86 in overtime to shock the nation.
This year, although not exactly the same, exhibited another nail-biter against Purdue University.
I feel like I always elaborate on Kellen Dunham leading the Bulldogs to victory. Well, it is very true. The sophomore stud gathered 25 points while shooting 50-percent from the field and beyond the arc. Per usual, senior Khyle Marshall was right there was Dunham collecting 18 points to assist his team. Another senior, Erik Fromm had a strong performance that ultimately triggered a powerful response by the Bulldogs. Fromm blocked a total of four shots and added 14 points. Junior Kameron Woods also helped by scoring five points while having a game-high of 12 rebounds and four steals. The Bulldogs blocked a collective nine shots, making for a new season high. Woods and Fromm combined for all but one. Also the team, as a whole, had an impressive 11 steals on the night.
Both halves displayed a drive to win on both ends of the court.
Butler barely finished with a better field goal percentage (46.4 percent) over Purdue, who was right behind, hitting 28 shots from 63 attempts (44.4 percent).
Turnovers ultimately lead to the loss for the Boilermakers. With 18 turnovers, the Bulldogs capitalized, scoring 25 points. About 30-percent of the Bulldogs points came from turnovers and mistakes by the Boilermakers.
Up eight points early in the game, the Boilermakers did not capitalize on their lead. The Bulldogs did not let the miniscule lead affect them. Before the first half came to a close, the team had claimed the lead, 36-33.
Within a short frame of time, Purdue came back to tie and reclaim the lead. Both teams swapped the lead for a majority of the second half. Butler, though, took the lead all the way to the finish when freshman Elijah Brown scored to give them a 50-49 lead. From there, the Bulldogs held the lead until the final buzzer.
A team branded on creating student-athletes, the Bulldogs take a week off for the upcoming finals week. The team will head down to the University of Evansville on Saturday, Dec. 21 for a game at 3:05 p.m. EST.