Butler vs. Seton Hall: Pirates sabotage Bulldogs’ lead

Kelan Martin fights for ball possession against No. 21 Seton Hall on Jan. 6. The home loss was Butler’s first of the season. Photo by Jimmy Lafakis. 

DANA LEE | SPORTS EDITOR | delee1@butler.edu

Another Big East game, another ranked opponent in No. 21 Seton Hall, and another nail-biter for Butler. Seton Hall, who trailed the Bulldogs by 11 points in the second half, crafted a comeback in the final seven minutes of the game, ultimately topping Butler 90-87.

Kamar Baldwin would hit a 3-pointer with .4 seconds left to make it a one-point game, but the home team was unable to push for the lead.

“In this league, every night it’s going to be one or two possessions,” head coach LaVall Jordan said. “It’s a battle.”

Seton Hall tied the game at 82 with a layup in the final minute, then made three appearances at the line to hold the lead down the stretch. Free throw shooting was key for both teams, as Butler and Seton Hall each collected 25 points from the charity line.

Ángel Delgado scored 28 points to power the Pirates in their comeback win, but ultimately, it was Khadeen Carrington who heated up and scored 22 of his 29 points in the second half. Carrington had seven 3-pointers in the last half.

“There’s a lot of talent in this league,” Jordan said. “If you’ve got a plan to stop [Ángel] Delgado, [Khadeen] Carrington and [Desi] Rodriguez, let me know.”

Seton Hall outscored Butler 54-47 in the second half, but the Bulldogs shot more efficiently at 57 percent from the field compared to the Pirates’ 46 percent. The opposite was true of the first 20 minutes. Butler held the 40-36 lead, but shot just 36 percent against Seton Hall’s 51 percent from the field.

The Butler offense was fairly well-balanced in the first half, as no player had numbers in the double-digits. Kelan Martin and Baldwin challenged the trend by exploding for 20 and 10 points respectively as the game moved forward. Martin ended the afternoon with 27 total points while Baldwin had 14 of his own.

Henry Baddley contributed as well, recording 14 points and missing on just one free throw attempt. The sophomore was perfect from the field and the 3-point arc.

With the comeback win, Seton Hall takes sole possession of first place in the Big East and are 3-0 in league play for the first time since the 1988-89 season. Butler’s record drops to 12-5 overall and 2-2 against Big East opponents.

Martin said he wasn’t worried about the team slipping in Big East standings. The team faces a tough road game at Creighton in three days.

“Stick to the game plan, scouting reports and everything will take care of itself,” the senior said.


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