Career scoring performances assisted the advancement of the Butler University Bulldogs to the semifinals of the 2013 Old Spice Classic in Orlando, Fla.
The Butler Bulldogs battled the Washington State University Cougars for the first time since their first meeting in December 2010 for the Diamond Head Classic. The Cougars secured the victory with a 84-68 win in the championship game.
However, this time was much different. Butler made sure to apply tremendous pressure from beyond the arc to create more offensive opportunities. In addition, the squad has been known for coming in clutch in tournaments and large events. For example, the Bulldogs forced their way into the championship of the Diamond Head Classic in 2010 and, in typical buzzer-beater style, the Maui Invitational last year, defeating Marquette University before losing to University of Illinois in the championship.
Leading the bulldogs, in their 76-69 victory over the Cougars, were sophomore Kellen Dunham and senior Khyle Marshall. The two combined to score 62 of the Bulldogs’ points. Dunham rooted himself perfectly from beyond the three-point line, hitting 6-of-9 baskets for 18 points. Marshall was solid in the offensive end as well, draining 12-of-18 attempts.
The first half was a competitive one to say the least, with Butler having a slim advantage up four, 30-26, going into the second half. It literally felt like the ball went back and forth down the court, both teams keeping up with each other, point-wise.
Late in the second half brought Bulldog fans to their typical nervous state of mind. Trailing 65-62, with a little over three minutes left forced Marshall and Dunham to one-up their game even higher. Dunham added his last 3-pointer of the day to give the Bulldogs a lead 73-67.
The Bulldogs kept their undefeated streak alive collecting their fifth win on the season with new head coach Brandon Miller.
No. 5 Oklahoma State University awaits the Bulldogs in the semi-final round of the classic. The Cowboys defeated fellow Indiana school, Purdue University, with a score of 97-87 to begin the classic. If the Bulldogs win they will face either Memphis, Siena, Louisiana State, or St. Joseph’s on Sunday Dec. 1.
The Bulldogs and Cowboys will face off in the same venue in Orlando, HP Field House at 1:30 p.m. EST tomorrow, Friday Nov. 29. Tune into ESPN to watch the game unfold.