Butler Bulldogs

ST. LOUIS, MO - MARCH 5: Brenton Scott #4 of the Indiana State Sycamores shoots the ball against the Evansville Aces during MVC Basketball Tournament  Semifinals at the Scottrade center on March 5, 2016 in St. Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
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No. 16 Butler suffers first loss at the hands of Indiana State

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There are now just 10 undefeated teams left in college basketball after No. 16 Butler fell to Indiana State on Wednesday night, 72-71.

It was the second time this season that a top 25 team from the state of Indiana lost a road game to an in-state foe, and it was the second this season that in-state foe had a Scott twin on the roster.

Brenton Scott plays for the Syramores. The senior guard had 24 points, nine boards, three assists and a pair of steals to lead the way for Indiana State on Wednesday night. His twin brother, Bryson, had 18 points, 12 boards three assists and three steals for Fort Wayne when they picked up a win over then-No. 3 Indiana earlier this season.

Brenton wasn’t the star on Wednesday. That title belongs to Matt Van Scyoc. He had 23 points and hit six threes on the night, with three of them being daggers that came in the final three minutes of the game.

This loss is going to hurt for the Bulldogs come March. Where Fort Wayne has a chance to be the Summit League champions this season, Indiana State is a team that already has a loss to a bad Quinnipiac team and looks destined to finish in the bottom half of the Missouri Valley.

If you needed another example for why high-major head coaches don’t schedule road games against mid-major competition, this is it. Chris Holtmann’s Bulldogs were on the wrong side of a court-storming with more than three months left until the start of Big East play and in the process took a loss that could end up having a significant impact on their NCAA tournament seeding.

That’s not exactly ideal for the Bulldogs.

Andrew Chrabascz led the way with 18 points for Butler. Their leading scorer on the season, Kelan Martin, had just 12 points on 4-for-15 shooting.

Chris Holtman not pleased with No. 18 Butler after easy win

LAS VEGAS, NV - NOVEMBER 25:  Kelan Martin #30 of the Butler Bulldogs drives against Kadeem Allen #5 and Chance Comanche #21 of the Arizona Wildcats during the championship game of the 2016 Continental Tire Las Vegas Invitational basketball tournament at the Orleans Arena on November 25, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Butler won 69-65.  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
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INDIANAPOLIS (AP) Butler coach Chris Holtman looked troubled as he addressed the media on Saturday.

Kelan Martin finished with 30 points and six rebounds, and Tyler Wideman added 10 points and 10 rebounds, and the 18th-ranked Bulldogs defeated Central Arkansas 82-58.

Still, despite the 24-point blowout win, Holtman’s disappointment in himself and his players was written all over his face, clearly weighing heavily on his mind.

Holtman, who is in his third season as Butler’s coach, noted that Central Arkansas bothered the Bulldogs (8-0) in a lot of ways. Holtman did not bring any Butler players with him to the podium after the game.

“Give Central Arkansas credit. I think they did a lot of things that bothered us. I don’t think we played very well in stretches, I don’t think we prepared very well. That concerned me the last couple of days. I don’t think we practiced well. Ultimately that’s on me. That’s my fault. You can come up with a couple of different explanations for (our performance), I just don’t ever want to see it again,” Holtman said.

The Bulldogs looked impressive in the box score on Saturday. Butler scored 24 points off 16 Central Arkansas turnovers. The Bulldogs scored nearly half their points down low, finishing with 32 in the paint. Butler capitalized on 10 offensive rebounds by finishing the game with 16 second-chance points. One of the few compliments Holtman did give to his team was its ability to share the basketball and create opportunities. Butler’s offense relied on good ball movement as 22 of its 31 field goals came by way of an assist.

Butler played a good first half and went into halftime up by 12 points. The Bulldogs had their fair share of hiccups in the first half, turning the ball over a couple times and missing a few free throws. But the source of Holtman’s frustration with his squad’s performance came in the second half, when it looked as if the Bears were going to give the Bulldogs a fight halfway through the final 20 minutes. Butler was forced to call a timeout with about 12 minutes remaining in the game due to Central Arkansas (1-7) cutting the deficit to just eight points.

Following the timeout, Butler willed a 17-2 run to stretch the lead to 74-51. Butler opened up its run in the midst of a scoring drought for Central Arkansas. The Bears didn’t make a field goal for nearly 7 minutes, shooting 1 of 9. Central Arkansas’ only two points during that time came by way of free throws.

The Bulldogs’ largest lead of the game was a product of their second-half-scoring run, pulling ahead by 25 points.

“We are at our best when we understand our margin for error is very, very small and we have an understanding there’s an expectation and a standard of how we want to play. I think we did that at times today, but not nearly as much as we need to. We’re going to have to play better – much better – than what we did,” Holtman said.

Jordan Howard led Central Arkansas with 20 points and Derreck Brooks finished with 15.

The road game was a measuring stick for Central Arkansas. The Bears used Saturday’s game against a quality opponent as a foundation to work from for the rest of the season.

“We’re trying to measure ourselves against really good teams and get better,” Central Arkansas coach Russ Pennell said. “When we play teams like Butler, and we’re going to be playing Michigan soon, it’s a chance to measure ourselves and our (players).”


With a big win over No. 8 Arizona, the undefeated Bulldogs are generating a buzz. Butler will face five more opponents, including Cincinnati and No. 13 Indiana, before it opens conference play at St. John’s on Dec. 29.

POLL IMPLICATIONS: The Bulldogs’ next big test against a ranked opponent will come on Dec. 17 when they face No. 13 Indiana in the Crossroads Classic at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis


Central Arkansas visits Arkansas-Little Rock on Saturday

Butler visits Indiana State on Wednesday

More AP college basketball: http://www.collegebasketball.ap.org and https://twitter.com/AP-Top25.

Butler upsets No. 8 Arizona

LAS VEGAS, NV - NOVEMBER 25:  Rawle Alkins #1 of the Arizona Wildcats drives against Sean McDermott #22 of the Butler Bulldogs during the championship game of the 2016 Continental Tire Las Vegas Invitational basketball tournament at the Orleans Arena on November 25, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
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Kelan Martin led four players in double-figures with 16 points as Butler knocked off No. 8 Arizona, 69-65, in the finals of the Las Vegas Invitational.

The Bulldogs improved to 6-0 on the season with the win.

Butler’s win is yet another boon for the Big East Conference, which has now won four early-season tournaments – Villanova won the Charleston Classic, Creighton won the Paradise Jam and Xavier won the Puerto Rico Tip-Off.

The loss is Arizona’s first of the season, but it’s not a loss that comes as all that much of a surprise. The Wildcats, who are still playing without Allonzo Trier, struggled to put away Cat St. Bakersfield, Northern Colorado and Santa Clara. This is a young Arizona team that is only getting consistent play from Lauri Markannen, who led the way with 15 points for the Wildcats.

Kobi Simmons scored all 14 of his points against Butler in the second half, helping Arizona dig out of a nine-point hole.

Video: Butler tops Northwestern in final second

Chris Holtmann
AP Photo/Darron Cummings
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In a 40-minute battle, a freshman won the game for Butler.

Kamar Baldwin’s pull-up from just inside the 3-point arc with 0.5 seconds remaining gave the Bulldogs a 70-68 win over Northwestern on Wednesday night at Hinkle Fieldhouse.

Baldwin, a true freshman from Georgia, finished with 11 points on 5 of 8 shooting. Delivering a near-buzzer-beater is a heck of a way to start the first week of your college career.

Northwestern shot 45 percent on 20 3-point attempts but 16 turnovers to Butler’s eight cost them in what would have been a nice resume bullet point for the program that’s never been to the NCAA tournament.

Hinkle Magic claims another victim and finds another hero.

Butler’s Savage sidelined with illness

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Kethan Savage scored 16 points on eight shots in 20 minutes in his unofficial Butler debut last week. When he’ll back back in a Bulldogs uniform next, however, is a little uncertain.

The 6-foot-3 guard has been sidelined with pneumonia and will not play in Butler’s Saturday exhibition, the school announced Wednesday.

Savage will return to practice once cleared by team doctors, the school said.

The Virginia native sat out last season for the Bulldogs after transferring from George Washington,  where he averaged 11.7 points, 4.8 rebounds and 2.3 assists as a junior in 2014-15.

Savage missed time this off-season after undergoing shoulder surgery on the last day of February and also missed practice time this fall due to back spasms, according to the Indianapolis Star.

He went 5 of 8 from the floor and had four rebounds and two assists in Butler’s exhibition win over Wabash last weekend.

Butler has an exhibition against Saginaw Valley State on Saturday before opening the season a week later at Hinkle Fieldhouse against Northern Colorado. The Bulldogs then play Northwestern at home on Nov. 16, as part of the Gavitt Tipoff Games.

Former Butler standout Cornette dies at age 35

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The Butler basketball community has suffered another terrible loss.

Joel Cornette, who played with the Bulldogs from 1999-2003, died Tuesday morning at the age of 35.

“This morning, we spoke with the Cornette Family, who has confirmed that their beloved son and brother, Joel, passed away early this morning due to natural causes,” the school said in a statement. “They are shocked and devastated by this news. The Butler Family also mourns the loss of one of our favorite Bulldogs.”

Cornette played on three NCAA tournament teams, including a Sweet 16 berth in 2003, while at Butler. He was a 1,000-point career scorer and led the Bulldogs in rebounding in three seasons. After his playing career, he went on to stints coaching at Butler and Iowa before becoming an agent to NBA players.

His passing comes just months after Butler lost 25-year-old Andrew Smith to cancer in January. Smith was at Butler from 2009-13 and played in both of the school’s Final Four appearances.