Kelan Martin scored 24 points, including a career-high-tying five 3-pointers, to lead Butler to a 79-67 victory over DePaul in Big East action at Wintrust Arena in Chicago on Saturday.
Martin made 7 of 15 shots, including 5 of 11 from 3-point range. Kamar Baldwin chipped in with 18 points and a team-high nine rebounds. Baldwin, a sophomore point guard, hit 5 of 6 shots and all eight free throws for the Bulldogs (14-7, 4-4 Big East). Aaron Thompson led Butler with eight assists.
Max Strus led the Blue Demons (8-11, 1-6) with 27 points, hitting 8 of 17 shots, including 5 of 10 from 3-point range. Eli Cain added 14 points for DePaul, which has lost three in a row.
Butler shot 51.1 percent overall, while DePaul hit 35.0 percent.
Martin scored 15 in the opening half as Butler grabbed control. The Bulldogs sank 15 of 25 shots to grab a 41-19 lead at halftime. Butler closed the half with a 9-0 run. DePaul hit just 8 of 29 shots in the opening half.
With Butler leading 44-22, the Blue Demons used a 12-2 run to cut the lead to 46-34. Butler rebuilt the lead to 55-38 before DePaul once again narrowed the deficit to 12 points.
Butler coach LaVall Jordan was called for technical for protesting a no-call on the offensive end with 6:02 left. Strus hit both free throws to cut it to 58-46, but he then missed a 3-pointer on the ensuing possession.
DePaul missed all five free throws in the first half, but were 15-of-16 from the foul line in the second half. Butler made 21 of 25 free throws.
The Blue Demons were hampered by the loss of senior center Marin Maric, who suffered a knee sprain in Friday’s practice. Maric is averaging 13.2 points and 6.3 rebounds per game.
Butler used a 14-0 spurt to take 18-7 lead with 10:13 left in the first half. DePaul missed 10 shots in that 7 1/2-minute scoring drought. Strus finally hit a shot to trim the deficit to 18-9.
The Bulldogs have won eight straight in the series and hold a 9-6 overall edge.
--Field Level Media