INDIANAPOLIS - The Butler men's basketball team climbed to 3-0 all time in the Crossroads Classic with a 76-70 win over Purdue on Saturday. The Bulldogs improved to 8-2 on the season.
"It's a lot of fun," senior Khyle Marshall said of the event. "Its the best four teams in Indiana coming into one facility and four teams trying to come out with a win."
Sophomore Kellen Dunham led the team with 25 points on 50 percent shooting from the field and from behind the arc. Marshall contributed 18 points of his own to go along with nine rebounds.
"Obviously Kellen and Khyle's play speaks for itself," Miller said. "When you look at Kellen's line, for him to score 25 points and only make two threes, that's a statement about who he is as a player."
Fellow senior Erik Fromm added 14 point and four blocks. The Bulldogs, as a team, blocked nine shots, a new season high.
The Bulldogs overcame an early eight-point deficit and left the court at halftime with a three-point, 36-33, lead. Purdue quickly erased the deficit at the start of the second half and the two teams traded leads for the first eight minutes of the final period. Butler finally took the lead for good at 50-49 on a lay-up by freshman Elijah Brown.
Butler's lead ballooned to as much as 16 points late in the game, before the Boilermakers staged a late rally to reduce the final margin to single digits.
"We were detail oriented and we were doing what we were supposed to be doing possession after possession," Miller said of Butler's second-half effort.
Brown scored nine points off the bench. Juniors Alex Barlow and Kameron Woods both scored five points in starting roles. Barlow blocked two shots and had five steals. Woods had a game-high 12 rebounds and four steals.
As a team, Butler had 11 steals on the night.
"Extremely proud of our effort on the defensive end of the floor in the second half," Miller said. "I thought our group, with multiple guys playing, really defended on that end of the floor and I thought that's what helped build the lead and then turned the game."
The Bulldogs shot 46 percent from the field in the contest and 42 percent from behind the arc. In the second half alone, they shot 52 percent from the field and 55 percent from three-point land.
"What a terrific event," Miller said. "I hope the event lasts a very, very long time."
Butler visits Evansville on December 21 at 3:05 p.m. They open BIG EAST play on New Years Eve at Hinkle Fieldhouse against Villanova. That game will be televised nationally on FOX Sports 1.
Contact: Matt Rhinesmith (firstname.lastname@example.org)