Butler Meets LSU In Old Spice Classic Consolation Game

Kellen Dunham (Photo by John Fetcho)

BUTLER (5-1) vs. LSU (4-2)
Old Spice Classic
Sunday, December 1, 2 p.m. (ET)
HP Field House - Orlando, Fla.
ESPNU/WIBC (93.1 FM)

Game Notes

TOURNAMENT WRAP:
  Butler will close out its week in Florida when it meets LSU in the third place game of the Old Spice Classic on Sunday (Dec. 1).  The consolation game in HP Field House at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex will start at 2 p.m. (ET) and will be televised on ESPNU.  The Bulldogs' bid to reach the championship game of the Old Spice Classic was ended with a hard-fought 69-67 loss to #5 Oklahoma State in the tournament semifinals.  It was Butler's first loss in six games this season, and the first career setback for new head coach Brandon Miller.  LSU fell in the second semifinals game to #21 Memphis, 76-69.  The 69 points were a season-low for LSU, which had tallied 80 or more points in each of its first five games this season.  Butler and LSU will be meeting in the regular season for the first time.  The only previous meeting between the two teams came in the first round of the 2009 NCAA Division I Championship, and the Tigers prevailed in that game, 75-71.  Following Sunday's third place game, Butler will return to Indianapolis to host back-to-back games against North Dakota (Dec. 7) and Manchester (Dec. 9).        

Butler's 5-1 record is the Bulldogs' best six-game start since 2008-09.          

UPSET BID:  Butler erased nearly all of 14-point halftime deficit against Oklahoma State, but the Bulldogs couldn't come up with the "go-ahead" points late in the game against the nationally-ranked foe.  After cutting the lead to a single point, 68-67, with just over two minutes remaining, the Bulldogs missed on a jump shot, a three-point field goal attempt, two lay-ups and two free throw attempts, before Oklahoma State tallied its final point.  Butler then had a final three-point field goal attempt by freshman Elijah Brown, but Oklahoma State's Michael Cobbins blocked the shot to end the game.  Butler out-scored the fifth-ranked Cowboys, 37-25, in the second half, limiting the high-scoring squad to just three points in the final seven minutes.

DEFENSIVE STAND:  The Bulldogs held Oklahoma State, the second-highest scoring team in the nation, to a season-low 69 points, more than 30 points below the Cowboys' season average.  OSU had already topped 100 points twice this season, and Butler was the first team to keep the Big 12 squad under 90 points!  Oklahoma State had beaten its first six opponents this season by an average of 33.2 points, including a pair of 50-point wins.
  
FRESH SPARK:  The final shot by Elijah Brown against Oklahoma State didn't find its mark, but a number of others by the Butler freshman did.  Brown came off the bench and ignited the Bulldogs' comeback against the nation's No. 5 team with a career-high 15 points.  He scored 10 points in the final 20 minutes to help Butler rally from a 14-point deficit.  He matched his career-best with five field goals in the game, including one from beyond the three-point arc, and he knocked down a career-best four free throws.  Brown also had three rebounds and one assist in 18 minutes of action.  It was the third double-figures scoring performance by Brown in the past five games.

PRIME TIME:  Junior Alex Barlow has shined in some big moments at Butler, so it wasn't surprising that he turned in a career-best effort against #5 Oklahoma State.  The 5-11 point-guard scored a career-high 12 points against the Cowboys, hitting four of five shots from the floor including a career-best two of three from three-point range.  Barlow also added four rebounds, a team-high three assists and a team-high three steals in the game.  Barlow had a career-high six assists in Butler's victory over No. 8 Gonzaga last January, and he hit a one-handed "floater" with 0:02 left to give Butler an 88-86 overtime victory over top-ranked Indiana last December.

BOARD WORK:  Junior Kameron Woods led the Bulldogs in rebounding for the fifth consecutive contest with a game-high nine rebounds against Oklahoma State.  He matched his season-high with four offensive rebounds in the game, and he added five defensive boards.  It was the fifth straight game and the 14th time in his career that he pulled down at least nine rebounds.

Kameron Woods leads the BIG EAST in rebounding (9.2).

SCORE CARD:  Oklahoma State limited Butler's scoring leaders, Kellen Dunham and Khyle Marshall, to 17 total points, one game after the two combined for 62 points in the Bulldogs' victory over Washington State.  Dunham, who set a tournament record with 32 points against Washington State, finished with nine points against Oklahoma State, while Marshall, coming off a career-high 30 point performance, wound up with eight points in the setback.  Dunham currently ranks sixth in the BIG EAST in scoring with a 17.3 average, while Marshall stands seventh in the conference with a 16.8 mark.

CHARITABLE WORK:  Butler entered the Old Spice Classic as the worst free throw shooting team in the BIG EAST, but the Bulldogs have climbed out of the cellar with a pair of solid performances in the Florida tournament.  The Bulldogs hit 16 of 21 (.762) free throws against Washington State in the opening round of the eight-team meet.  It was Butler's best free throw shooting performance this season, until the second round of the tournament when the Bulldogs connected on 15 of 19 (.789) charity tosses against Oklahoma State.

BALL CONTROL:  Butler had fewer than ten turnovers for the third straight game and for the fourth time in six game's this season with seven miscues against Oklahoma State.  The Bulldogs have averaged 7.3 turnovers over the past three outings and 7.8 turnovers on the season.  Butler continues to lead the BIG EAST in turnover margin (+5.8), and the Bulldogs have committed a conference-low 47 turnovers through six games.

Butler has out-scored its first six opponents, 106-52, in points off turnovers.  
   
STARTING BLOCKS:  Brandon Miller has matched legendary coaches Paul D. "Tony" Hinkle and Harlan O. "Pat" Page for the third-best, six-game coaching start in Butler history.  He trails only his predecessors, Todd Lickliter and Brad Stevens, both of whom started with 6-0 records.  Lickliter was the head coach and Stevens an assistant coach for Miller's final two seasons as a player.

BULLDOG BITS:

•Khyle Marshall pulled down his 500th career rebound in Butler's game with Oklahoma State.

•Khyle Marshall has started 47 of Butler's last 48 games.  He did not start on Butler's "Senior Day" a year ago.

•Khyle Marshall stands sixth on Butler's all-time list for field goal shooting (.554).

•Kyle Marshall ranks fourth in the BIG EAST Conference in field goal shooting (.616).  He's 11th in the league in rebounding (6.8).

•Khyle Marshall is tied for fourth in the BIG EAST in offensive rebounds (3.0/game).  Marshall has five offensive rebounds in two games at the Old Spice Classic.

•Khyle Marshall became the 35th Butler player to score 1,000 career points in Butler's win over Washington State.  Marshall enters the LSU game with 1,011 career points, seven points shy of Bruce Horan (2002-06) in 34th place on Butler's all-time scoring list.

•Butler is 35-9 all-time when Khyle Marshall scores in double-figures.  The Bulldogs are 19-1 in Marshall's last 20 games in twin-digits.

•Khyle Marshall and Erik Fromm are the last remaining players from Butler's Final Four team of 2011.  Marshall played in both Butler games at the 2011 Final Four in Houston, Texas.

•Erik Fromm played in his 100th collegiate game against Vanderbilt earlier this year.

•Erik Fromm is second on the team in career three-point field goals (41).

•Kameron Woods leads the BIG EAST in defensive rebounds (6.3/game).  Woods is tied for seventh in the conference in offensive rebounds (2.8/game).  

•Kameron Woods has scored in double-figures in seven of his 11 career starts, including five of six this season.

•Kameron Woods has already surpassed his season total of a year ago in double-figures scoring performances.

•Kameron Woods, who had two blocked shots against Oklahoma State, ranks sixth in the BIG EAST in blocked shots (1.7).

•Alex Barlow has taken over the BIG EAST lead in assist/turnover ratio (6.3).  Barlow has 19 assists and just three turnovers in six games.

•Alex Barlow is second in the BIG EAST in steals (2.2).  Barlow has five steals in two games at the Old Spice Classic.

•The 32 points by Kellen Dunham against Washington State were the most by a Butler player since Feb. 12, 2011, when Shelvin Mack scored 32 points against Detroit.

•Kellen Dunham matched his career-high with eight free throws against Washington State.

•Kellen Dunham leads the BIG EAST in minutes played (36.8).

•Kellen Dunham ranks second in the BIG EAST in three-point field goals (2.8/game).

•Butler is 26-7 all-time in games in which Kellen Dunham has hit a three-point field goal.

•Freshman Elijah Brown has averaged 9.0 points in a reserve role in Butler's last five games.

•Freshman Andrew Chrabascz hit a career-best four of four free throws against Oklahoma State.  The 6-7 forward had four points and four rebounds in 10 minutes in the game.

•Over 14 seasons at five different universities as a player, staff member or coach, Brandon Miller has been with 12 teams that reached the NCAA Tournament.  All 14 of his teams won at least 20 games for a combined career record of 344-103.

•Butler future took on a brighter glow with the landing a pair of prized prospects on the first day of the NCAA fall signing period.  Head coach Brandon Miller received signed commitments from 6-6 Kelan Martin of Louisville (Ky.) Ballard High School and 6-7 Tyler Wideman of Lake Central (Ind.) High School.  Martin averaged 19.1 points and 10.2 rebounds as a junior at Ballard, while helping his team to a state runner-up finish.  Wideman averaged 15.1 points, 8.5 rebounds and 2.1 blocked shots, while shooting 64% from the field.