Bulldogs Face St. John's In New York
BUTLER (12-13, 2-11 BIG EAST) vs. ST. JOHN'S (17-9, 7-6 BIG EAST)
Tuesday, February 18, 9 p.m. (ET)
Madison Square Garden - New York, N.Y.
TV: Fox Sports 1 (Justin Kutcher, Tarik Turner)
Radio: 1070 AM (Mark Minner, Nick Gardner)
FAMED FLOOR: Butler will leave one historic basketball arena and head to another when it travels to New York to face St. John's on Tuesday, Feb. 18. The two BIG EAST foes will meet at renowned Madison Square Garden at 9 p.m. (ET), and the game will be televised on Fox Sports 1. Butler, which plays its home games in historic Hinkle Fieldhouse, will be returning to Madison Square Garden for the first time since 2009, when the Bulldogs played Georgetown in the Jimmy V. Classic. The 2009 game with Georgetown was Butler's ninth all-time appearance in Madison Square Garden and just the third in the previous half century. Butler and St. John's will be meeting for the second time this season. The Red Storm won the first meeting, 69-52, last month in front of a sold-out crowd at Hinkle Fieldhouse. The Bulldogs (12-13, 2-11 BIG EAST) have dropped four of five games since that meeting and currently are trying to snap a four-game losing skid. Butler's latest setback came at the hands of nationally-ranked Creighton, 68-63, last Thursday (Feb. 13). St. John's (17-9, 7-6 BIG EAST) enters this week boasting a five-game winning streak, including an 82-60 victory over Georgetown at the Garden on Sunday (Feb. 16).
Butler is 4-5 all-time in Madison Square Garden.
GARDEN SHOW: The Bulldogs haven't played often in Madison Square Garden, but the famed arena has been the site of some special moments in Butler basketball history. At the top of that list is the 2006 NIT Season Tip-Off. Butler defeated #22 Tennessee, 56-44, in the Garden in the semifinals of the season-opening tournament and then captured the championship two days later with a 79-71 victory over #18 Gonzaga. The Bulldogs also made their first-ever appearance in the National Invitation Tournament against St. John's at the Garden in 1958 and then picked up their first NIT win with a 94-80 decision over Fordham a year later. Butler's first win at Madison Square Garden came early in the 1948-49 season when the Bulldogs defeated Long Island, led by legendary coach Clair Bee, 63-54.
BIG APPLE: Butler played four games in New York a year ago. The Bulldogs defeated Fordham, 68-63, at Rose Hill Gym, before playing three games at the Barclays Center in the Atlantic 10 Conference Tournament. Butler defeated Dayton, 73-67, and La Salle, 69-58, before falling to Saint Louis, 67-56.
LATE DECISION: All-American forward Doug McDermott hit a three-point field goal with 0:49 remaining to give nationally-ranked Creighton a 64-63 lead and the visiting Blue Jays added four free throws in the final 18 seconds to defeat Butler, 68-63. The late run ended a blow-for-blow contest that was tied eight times and featured 12 lead changes. The Bulldogs took their final lead, 63-61, on a lay-up by Khyle Marshall with just over a minute remaining, before McDermott answered. Butler missed three field goal attempts in the final 32 seconds.
CLOSE ENCOUNTERS: The Creighton game was the tenth Butler contest decided by five points or less or in overtime this season. Butler is 4-6 in those ten games. In addition, the Bulldogs have dropped four other games where the margin was five points or less with under two minutes remaining. Butler trailed at Xavier by five points with 1:57 left, at Providence by five points with 1:25 remaining, at Georgetown by four points with 1:15 on the clock and at Marquette by four points at 0:19.
FAMILIAR LEADER: Sophomore Kellen Dunham, who was limited to just two points on one of ten shooting from the field against Xavier (Feb. 11), was back on top of the Bulldogs' scoring column against Creighton. The 6-6 guard nailed three three-point field goals in the game and finished with a team-high 16 points. It was the 14th time he's led Butler in scoring this season, including eight of the past 13 contests. Dunham has scored in double-figures in 11 of the past 13 games and in 20 total games this season.
Kellen Dunham ranks fifth in the BIG EAST in scoring (16.8 ppg).
FINE LINE: Junior Alex Barlow posted his highest scoring total in more than seven weeks with 13 points against Creighton. But it was his overall effort that caught the attention of those in attendance. The 5-11 guard finished with a team-high four assists, no turnovers, a game-high three steals and two rebounds in a game-high 38 minutes. He hit five of nine shots from the field, including three of six from beyond the three-point arc. The 13 points were the second-highest single game total of his career.
STARTING BLOCK: Freshman Andrew Chrabascz continued his strong late season surge for the Bulldogs, finishing with 10 points, three rebounds and two assists in 24 minutes against Creighton. It was the fourth time since he joined Butler's starting lineup against Seton Hall five games ago that he scored in double-figures. Over the past five contests, Chrabascz has averaged a team-best 12.4 points and 3.0 rebounds. He's shooting .525 from the field and .739 from the free throw line in his five collegiate starts.
CAREER CLIMB: Senior Khyle Marshall, who had eight points and three rebounds against Creighton, enters this week's action ranked among the "Top 20" players all-time at Butler in both scoring and rebounding. The 6-6 forward ranks 20th in all-time scoring with 1,275 career points. He also stands 15th on Butler's all-time rebounding list with 580 career rebounds. Marshall is one of 15 players in Butler basketball history to record 1,000 career points and 500 career rebounds.
ON BOARD: Junior Kameron Woods, who became the 25th Butler player to grab 500 career rebounds earlier this season, has joined teammate Khyle Marshall in the "Top 20" on Butler's all-time rebounding list. Woods, who led the Bulldogs with 12 rebounds against Creighton, has moved into a tie for 16th place on Butler's all-time rebounding list with 576 career caroms. He trails Marshall in the No. 15 spot on the all-time list by just four rebounds.
•Khyle Marshall has started 66 of Butler's last 67 games. He did not start on Butler's "Senior Day" a year ago. Marshall has 83 career starts at Butler.
•Khyle Marshall stands eighth on Butler's all-time list for field goal shooting (.542).
•Kyle Marshall is third in the BIG EAST Conference in field goal shooting (.528).
•Khyle Marshall ranks fourth in the BIG EAST in offensive rebounds (2.5).
•Khyle Marshall is 13th in the BIG EAST in scoring (14.6).
•Khyle Marshall has scored in double-figures in 16 of the past 19 contests.
•Butler is 42-18 all-time when Khyle Marshall scores in double-figures.
•Kameron Woods continues to lead the BIG EAST in rebounding (9.1 rpg). He leads the conference in defensive rebounds (7.0), and he's tied for 13th in offensive rebounds (2.1).
•Kameron Woods has led Butler in rebounding in 20 of 25 games this season, including five of the past seven.
•The 12 rebounds Kameron Woods grabbed against Creighton matched the fourth-highest single game total of his career.
•Kameron Woods is tied for 11th in the BIG EAST in blocked shots (1.0).
•Alex Barlow has had at least one steal in 22 of Butler's 25 games. He ranks second in the BIG EAST in steals (1.8).
•Alex Barlow ranks fifth in the BIG EAST in assist/turnover ratio (2.7). He's 11th in the conference in assists (3.4).
•Alex Barlow has scored in double-figures in back-to-back games for the first time in his collegiate career. He had 11 points against Xavier and 13 against Creighton last week.
•Alex Barlow ranks 11th in the BIG EAST in three-point field goal shooting (.380).
•Kellen Dunham ranks fourth in the BIG EAST in three-point field goals (2.6).
•Kellen Dunham has hit at least one three-point field goal in 25 of his last 26 games and in 51 career games. He had a streak of 24 straight contests with a three-point field goal snapped in the game against Xavier.
•Kellen Dunham ranks 14th in the BIG EAST in three-point field goal shooting (.366).
•Kellen Dunham stands seventh in the BIG EAST in free throw shooting (.820). He's shooting .846 (44-52) from the line against BIG EAST opponents.
•Kellen Dunham is third in the BIG EAST in minutes played (36.4). He's played at least 40 minutes in seven contests this season.
•Kellen Dunham became the 13th Butler sophomore to score 400 points in a season in Butler's game at Georgetown (Feb. 8). He currently stands 12th on Butler's sophomore scoring list with 419 points this season, 11 points behind Gerry Williams, 1960-61, in the No. 11 position.
•Andrew Chrabascz came off the bench with eight points against St. John's last month.
•Andrew Chrabascz has shot .634 from the field and .846 from the free throw line in Butler's eight road games this season.
•Andrew Chrabascz is shooting .603 against BIG EAST foes.
•Freshman Rene Castro has left the Butler team and will transfer to another school. He had played in 12 games this season.
•Butler had season-lows for rebounds (21), field goal attempts (43), three-point field goals (1) and three-point field goal attempts (8) against St. John's last month.