Butler vs. Western Illinois: Bulldogs notch 107 points in final nonconference game

Kamar Baldwin brings the ball up for Butler. The guard scored nine points in the effort against Western Illinois on Dec. 21. Collegian file photo. 

DANA LEE | SPORTS EDITOR | delee1@butler.edu

After a succession of slow starts, Butler reversed the trend against Western Illinois on Dec. 21 by firing off a flurry of shots. The Bulldogs tore into the Leathernecks with a 14-2 scoring run in the first thee minutes on their way to a 107-46 win. Butler is now 10-3 this season.

The Western Illinois game concluded the end of nonconference play, as Butler travels to Georgetown two days after Christmas. With the win, the program’s nonconference home win streak extends to 43, third in the country behind Duke and Arizona.

Powered by a high volume of 3-pointers (9-for-16), Butler crafted a 49-22 lead and shot 52 percent from the field in the first half.

“We’ve been talking amongst each other that we haven’t put together a full 40 minutes just yet,” head coach LaVall Jordan said. “I thought we were the closest we have been to doing that.”

The shots continued to fall for the Bulldogs as they accumulated a season-high 18 3-pointers, enough points to beat Western Illinois on long range shots alone. The team also created a season-high 23 assists.

Several individual Butler players hit career or season-highs throughout the game.

Henry Baddley hit a career-high 20 points and was perfect from beyond the arc, clearing all four attempts.

“It was a good feeling,” Baddley said. “I was working a lot in practice on getting perimeter shots.”

Jordan was quick to add that the forward made over a dozen consecutive 3-pointers  during a recent practice drill.

Kelan Martin tallied 18 of his 20 points in the first half and recorded a career-high six assists as well. The senior guard started Thursday night 14th on Butler’s all-time scoring list. By the end of first half, Martin had jumped three spots to 11th all-time, passing former teammate Roosevelt Jones.

Nate Fowler got his third career start as Tyler Wideman was unable to play post-wisdom teeth extraction. Fowler responded by scoring his first career double-double off 11 points and 12 rebounds.

“I just came in and did my job as I would off the bench,” Fowler said. “I was just happy to get the start this time.”

Fowler split time with redshirt freshman Joey Brunk, who added eight rebounds to the team total of 41.

Paul Jorgensen and Jerald Gillens-Butler each tallied career-highs with 18 and six points respectively, while freshman walk-on Campbell Donovan scored his first points by converting two free throws.

Despite the high scoring game, Jordan continued to emphasize defense as a mainstay of the basketball program.

“That’s where our identity is,” Jordan said. “We get our energy from that side of the court.”

Butler opens Big East play at Georgetown on Dec. 27 at 6:30 p.m.


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