Kelan Martin's Butler Career Comes To A Close After Loss To Purdue
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The Bulldogs, under the direction of first-year head coach LaVall Jordan, finished the 2017-18 season with a record of 21-14, Butler's 12th 20-win season in the last 13 seasons. The game was played at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit.
Butler's graduating class of Kelan Martin and Tyler Wideman leave Butler as the first class in program history to win at least one NCAA Tournament game in each of their four seasons.
"As you get into this, what we're in this for, as mentors and teachers, the relationships, you love being around these guys," said Jordan, a 2001 Butler alum who took over the program in June. "Every day at practice, this group, they came and they embraced and they were willing to learn. So I just wish we could have done better so we could still coach them for a few more practices and at least one more game."
After Butler led by as many as nine in the first half, Purdue took a 40-36 halftime lead.
Purdue would push the lead to 10 twice in the second half, including 70-60 with 6:22 to play. The Bulldogs responded with an 11-3 run to cut the deficit to two (73-71) on a Sean McDermott cut and lay-in with 1:56 to play.
Kamar Baldwin had a steal on the ensuing possession, but Vince Edwards was able to recover and block his running attempt from behind to preserve the Boilermakers' lead. After a Purdue shotclock violation, a Butler three-point attempt to take the lead was no good.
Purdue, with a two-point lead, was able to find Dakota Mathias for a three-pointer with 13 seconds to play to take a 76-71 lead. Martin had a putback to trim
the lead to three, and Purdue missed the front end of a 1-and-1 after Butler fouled to extend the game.
With 1.6 seconds to play, Butler called a timeout and drew up a fullcourt play, but Baldwin's halfcourt attempt hit off the rim to end the contest.
Martin had 29 points to lead Butler, one off the Bulldogs' NCAA Tournament record. He climbed into second on Butler's career scoring list in the game, finishing his career with 2,047 points. He went 9-of-18 from the field and connected on all eight of his free throw attempts.
Baldwin added 14 for the Bulldogs, who shot 49 percent and committed only eight turnovers. After hitting five of 10 three-point attempts in the first half, the Bulldogs went only 1-of-10 from behind the arc after the intermission.
Edwards led Purdue (30-6) with 20 points. He was one of four Boilermakers in double figures. Purdue hit 11 three-pointers and shot 50 percent from the field.
Baldwin, who is expected to receive preseason All-BIG EAST consideration, leads a talented group of returners for the Bulldogs. Butler is one of only eight programs to win an NCAA Tournament game in each of the last four years.