INDIANAPOLIS (IN) - It was a close call, but Butler (2-0) was able to hold on against Princeton (1-1) and grab their second win of the season 70-67.
Butler led by 11 with just under 6 minutes to play and Princeton chipped away at the lead, just as they had done all game, but couldn't overcome the deficit completely.
The Bulldogs were led by Kellen Dunham who finished with a career-high 26 points. The sophomore guard finished 7/14 from the field (4/8 3PT) and 8/11 from the FT line. He also grabbed 6 rebounds, 2 steals, and made 2 assists.
Freshman Elijah Brown struggled in his debut, but made an instant impact in game number two to complement Dunham on the perimeter. The 6-foot 5 guard scored 8 straight points during a 4 minute stretch of the 1st half and finished with a career-high 13 points and 4 rebounds. Brown shot 4/10 from the field including 3/7 from 3-point range.
Butler led by as many as 7 points in the 1st half, following the 10-0 run led by Brown. However, Princeton's size and 3-point shooting caused some problems for the Bulldogs in the 1st half. The front line found themselves in foul trouble and had little productivity. Four Butler players had two fouls in the 1st half.
In the 2nd half Butler and the front court responded.
Kameron Woods, who was saddled with foul trouble in the 1st half, collected his fifth double-double of his career with 11 points and 10 rebounds. Woods scored all 11 points in the 2nd half.
Butler stretched the lead to 13 early in the 2nd half on the heels of a 15-2 run fueled by Dunham and Woods, but Princeton would respond slowly.
The Bulldog lead ballooned to 11 points with 6:04 left in the game. Princeton then countered with a 9-2 run and cut the lead to 69-67 with 47 seconds left.
Down two, Princeton gave the ball to Denton Koon, who finished the game with a team-high 21 points on 7/14 shooting, but he couldn't connect over Devontae Morgan in the closing seconds.
Hans Brase added 15 points and 11 rebounds for Princeton.
Kellen Dunham rebounded the ball and was fouled by Koon. He made 1-of-2 free-throws and Princeton's desperation heave fell short.
Senior Khyle Marshall was held to just 4 points and 4 rebounds after leading the Bulldogs in scoring and rebounding in the 1st game.
Erik Fromm joined Woods and Dunham in double figures with 10 points in 23 minutes before fouling out late in the 2nd half.
Notes: Freshman Nolan Berry and Rene Castro did see significant action...Jackson Aldridge was held scoreless in 9 minutes...Andrew Chrabascz was the 2nd freshman off the bench again for Butler...Devontae Morgan played just 10 minutes was big down the stretch on defense...Attendance was 7,471
It was over when... Princeton's final heave off of Kellen Dunham's missed free throw fell short after the Bulldogs let a double digit lead almost slip away over the final five minutes of play.
Stat of the Game: 13 Butler's points off of 11 Princeton turnovers. The Bulldogs protected the ball better than the Tigers and the result was a three point win for Butler.