No. 18 Butler takes easy route with 93-66 win over VMI

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INDIANAPOLIS (AP) Butler pushed the pace Monday night.

A tired VMI team just couldn't keep up.

Kelan Martin scored 20 points, Roosevelt Jones added 14 and three other Bulldogs reached double figures as No. 18 Butler routed the Keydets 93-66.

''We have some versatility and when we're playing well, we have an unselfish bunch,'' coach Chris Holtmann said. ''That's who they are.''

It has certainly been their identity this season.

Butler (7-1) has won four straight, has scored at least 85 points five times and continued to pad the nation's second-highest scoring average (91.1).

When the Bulldogs extended their 57-31 halftime lead to 72-37 with 15:14 left in the game, it looked as if the Bulldogs would easily top the 100-point mark for the second time this season - a feat they haven't achieved since 1990-91.

That chase failed. Not much else did Monday.

Butler never trailed and was only tied once, at 2-2, in a game it dominated in every facet. The Bulldogs had a 42-24 scoring advantage in the paint, a 42-3 edge off the bench and a 48-28 rebounding advantage. They still won easily on a night they committed a season-high 14 turnovers.

''I was very impressed with them, both on film and up close and personal,'' first-year VMI coach Dan Earl said. ''They are a very good basketball team and are very unselfish. They can hit some shots to hurt you and they've got some size, too.''

VMI (3-5) got a taste of all of it as they played for the fourth time in seven days.

While Martin and Jones led the way, the rest of the Bulldogs seemed content to play supporting roles.

Kellen Dunham, the Big East's top scorer, took six shots and finished with 11 points. Point guard Tyler Lewis scored eight of his 12 points in the first 5 minutes and finished with five assists. Forward Andrew Chrabascz had 13 points and three assists and the only starter to score in single digits, Tyler Wideman, had one point, eight rebounds and three blocks.

The Keydets were led by Julian Eleby with 21 points and QJ Peterson, the Southern Conference's leading scorer, with 17.

But it wasn't nearly enough as the high-scoring Bulldogs pulled away with an early 11-3 run then went on a 12-3 spurt to take a 39-19 lead less than 12 minutes into the game. They led 57-31 at halftime and VMI never got closer in the second half.


Before the Pearl Harbor Day game, Butler paid tribute to World War II veterans - some of whom served at the Hawaiian naval base that was attacked on Dec. 7, 1941. For a military school such as VMI and a coach with family ties to the military, it was a special moment. ''I think it's great to see veterans there and what they've done for our country. My father was in the Army, my uncle was in the Navy and to have that on such a special day for our country really meant a lot,'' Holtmann said.


Holtmann issued two warnings to Bulldogs fans after the game. First, don't get used to the 90-point games, which will be harder to do when Big East play begins. Second, lay off Jones' free throw shooting. ''Twitter world, I'm talking to you, cut it out,'' Holtmann said, drawing laughter. Jones went 2 for 2 from the line Monday.


VMI: The Keydets had won four straight games on Pearl Harbor Day. ... VMI has lost consecutive games for first time this season after losing all of its previous odd-numbered games and winning all of its previous the even-numbered games. ... Monday was the first time since December 1975 that VMI played in the state of Indiana.

Butler: Butler improved to 4-0 at home this season and continued its good shooting at Hinkle Fieldhouse, finishing at 54.5 percent. ... Holtmann said freshman swingman Sean McDermott would redshirt this season. ... After playing three games in six days, the Bulldogs have a four-day break before their next game.


VMI hosts Navy on Saturday.

Butler hosts Tennessee on Saturday.