BUTLER (8-2) at EVANSVILLE (6-5)
Saturday, December 21, 3 p.m. (ET)
Ford Center - Evansville, Ind.
Radio: 1070 AM/107.5 FM
STATE FINAL: Butler will close out its pre-Christmas schedule and try to keep its record against Indiana opponents unblemished when it visits Evansville on Saturday, Dec. 21. The two Indiana foes will meet at the Ford Center at 2 p.m. (CT, 3 p.m. in Indianapolis) in a non-conference tilt. The Bulldogs (8-2) are coming off a 76-70 victory over Purdue at last weekend's Crossroads Classic in Indianapolis. The win was Butler's third this season over a team from Indiana and its fourth straight overall against Purdue. Earlier, the Bulldogs picked up a victory at central Indiana foe Ball State, before posting a home win over Manchester. Evansville is Butler's last 2013-14 opponent from the Hoosier State. The Aces (6-5) suffered their first loss in six games at the Ford Center this season, falling to Jackson State, 57-51, on Saturday (Dec. 14). All-time, the Aces are 31-11 in the Ford Center, including an 80-77 overtime victory against the Bulldogs in the opening game of the new building in 2011. Following the game at Evansville, the Bulldogs will take a brief holiday break before hosting NJIT on Saturday, Dec. 28.
Butler is 8-2 for the second consecutive year.
THREE STRAIGHT: Butler improved to 3-0 all-time in the Crossroads Classic with its victory over Purdue. The Bulldogs battled back from an early eight-point deficit and took a three-point, 36-33, lead to the locker room at halftime. The two teams then traded leads through the first eight minutes of the second half, before freshman Elijah Brown put the Bulldogs in front for good, 50-49, with a lay-up at 11:36 of the final period. The Bulldogs used a 14-1 run to stretch their lead to 71-55 with 1:31 remaining, before the Boilermakers staged a late rally to reduce the final margin. The 76-70 final tally was Butler's largest margin of victory in the three years of the one-day event.
CONFERENCE HONOR: Sophomore Kellen Dunham was named BIG EAST Player of the Week following Butler's victories over Manchester and Purdue. The 6-6 guard led all players with 15 points (in 19 minutes) against Manchester, and then he came back with a game-high 25 points in the win over Purdue. He had 16 points in the first half against the Boilermakers and then added nine more after intermission. Dunham shot 57.1% from the field and from beyond the three-point arc in the two Butler wins. He became the first Butler player to earn the BIG EAST honor.
Kellen Dunham has averaged 22.3 points over Butler's last four games.
POINTING UP: A year ago, Kellen Dunham didn't have a single 20-point scoring performance. He's already reached that scoring level in five of Butler's first ten games this season, including three of the past four contests. The former Indiana High School scoring leader topped the Bulldogs in points for the fourth straight game and for the fifth time in six games with his 25-point performance against Purdue. It was the fourth-highest single game output of his young career. The 6-6 guard from Pendleton, Ind., has posted three of his top four career scoring performances in Butler's last six outings - 32 vs. Washington State Nov. 28, 29 vs. North Dakota, Dec. 7, and 25 vs. Purdue. Dunham owns five of Butler's top eight single game scoring performances this season.
Kellen Dunham ranks second in the BIG EAST in scoring (19.3 ppg).
SCORING STREAK: Senior Khyle Marshall has strung together four consecutive double-figures scoring performances for the first time in his successful Butler career. The Bulldogs' second-leading scorer posted 18 points against Purdue, hitting eight of 14 (57.1%) shots from the floor and two of four from the three throw line. In his three previous games, Marshall scored 14 points against Manchester, 21 against North Dakota and 17 against LSU. The 6-6 forward had scored 10 or more points in three consecutive games three different times prior to this season.
Khyle Marshall has scored in double-figures in eight of 10 games this season.
CHART WATCH: Khyle Marshall, who became the 15th Butler player to reach both 1,000 career points and 500 career rebounds during the Bulldogs' trip to the Old Spice Classic in Florida, currently stands in 32nd place on Butler's all-time scoring list with 1,081 career points. He trails Avery Sheets, 2002-06, in the No. 31 position on the career scoring list by five points and Joel Cornette, 1999-2003, in the No. 30 spot by 19 points. Marshall also ranks 21st on Butler's all-time rebounding chart with 527 career rebounds. He's three rebounds behind John Taylor, 1990-94, in the No. 20 spot.
SENIOR MOMENT: Senior Erik Fromm turned in his top scoring performance in the past 70 games and the second-highest scoring effort of his career to help lift Butler past Purdue. The 6-8 center hit four of eight shots, including a team-best three of six from beyond the three-point arc, and three of six free throws to finish with 14 points. It was his highest output since Dec. 20, 2011, when he scored a team-best 16 points at Gonzaga.
CLEAN-UP DUTY: Junior Kameron Woods, continued his rebounding dominance for the Bulldogs, leading all players with 12 rebounds in the win over Purdue. He shared the team lead with four offensive rebounds, and he pulled down a game-high eight defensive boards. It was the fifth time he's reached double-figures in rebounds this season, and his total matched his career-high set against Evansville last year. Woods has grabbed at least nine rebounds in eight of Butler's last nine games.
Kameron Woods ranks second in the BIG EAST in rebounding (9.2 ppg).
HOT FINISHES: Butler has shot better than 50% from the field in the second half in each of its last three games. The Bulldogs connected on 12 of 23 (52.2%) field goal attempts in the final 20 minutes against Purdue, while building as much as a 16-point lead late in the game. Butler hit five of nine (55.6%) shots from three-point range in the final period against the Boilermakers. The Bulldogs posted their best second-half shooting performance by hitting 18 of 28 (64.3%) shots against Manchester, one game after knocking down 16 of 26 (61.5%) second half shots against North Dakota.
The Bulldogs have shot better than 50% in the second half in five of ten games.
FAMILIAR FOE: Brandon Miller is facing Evansville for the first time as a head coach, but he's certainly no stranger to the Aces. As a player for the Bulldogs (2000-03), Miller led Butler to a 2-1 record against Evansville. He scored 14 points in Butler's 101-65 victory over the Aces at Hinkle Fieldhouse in 2001 and 14 more in a 77-64 win at Evansville in 2002. The lone setback came at Roberts Stadium, 74-73, in his fourth game at Butler.
•Khyle Marshall scored his 1,000th career point against Washington State and pulled down his 500th career rebound against Oklahoma State at the Old Spice Classic.
•Khyle Marshall has started 51 of Butler's last 52 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 (.550).
•Kyle Marshall ranks fifth in the BIG EAST Conference in field goal shooting (.562).
•Khyle Marshall stands ninth in the BIG EAST in rebounding (6.8). He's second in the conference in offensive rebounds (3.5).
•Butler is 38-10 all-time when Khyle Marshall scores in double-figures. The Bulldogs are 22-2 in Marshall's last 24 games in twin-digits.
•Khyle Marshall didn't score a point in 17 minutes against Evansville last year. It was his only scoreless game of 2012-13.
•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 had a career-high four blocked shots against Purdue. Fromm blocked seven shots in Butler's two games last week.
•Erik Fromm played a career-high 36 minutes in Butler's victory over Purdue.
•Kameron Woods leads the BIG EAST in defensive rebounds (6.7). He ranks seventh in offensive rebounds (2.5).
•Kameron Woods stands sixth in the BIG EAST in field goal percentage (.552).
•Kameron Woods ranks sixth in the BIG EAST in blocked shots (1.2).
•Kameron Woods had a career-high four steals against Purdue at the Crossroads Classic. Woods stands 11th in the BIG EAST in steals (1.4).
•Kameron Woods posted his lone double-double of 2012-13 with 10 points and 12 rebounds in Butler's win over Evansville.
•Alex Barlow is leading the BIG EAST in steals (2.2). Barlow had a career-high five steals in Butler's win over Purdue.
•Alex Barlow ranks second in the BIG EAST and 24th in the NCAA Division I in assist/turnover ratio (3.4). Barlow has 34 assists and just ten turnovers in ten games.
•Alex Barlow stands 11th in the BIG EAST in assists (3.4). He led the Bulldogs with four assists against Purdue.
•Kellen Dunham ranks third in the BIG EAST in three-point field goals (3.0).
•Kellen Dunham, who hit two of four long-range shots against Purdue, stands third in the BIG EAST in three-point field goal shooting (.476).
•Butler is 29-8 all-time in games in which Kellen Dunham has hit a three-point field goal.
•Kellen Dunham stands second in the BIG EAST in minutes played (35.2).
•Kellen Dunham came off the bench with 13 points in Butler's victory over Evansville last year.
•Jackson Aldridge played his first collegiate game against Evansville in the Ford Center two years ago. He came off the bench with seven points, three rebounds and three assists in 27 minutes of action.
•Freshman Elijah Brown scored all nine of Butler's bench points against Purdue.
•Butler had a season-high 11 steals in the Crossroads Classic victory over Purdue. The Bulldogs currently rank second in the BIG EAST in steals (7.4).
•Only five Butler players scored in last year's win over Evansville, and three of those players are not with the team this season. Kellen Dunham and Kameron Woods are the only returning Butler players who scored against the Aces last year.