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Butler tops Texas Tech to move into 2nd round of NCAA Tournament

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Kellen Dunham #24 and Kelan Martin #30 of the Butler Bulldogs celebrate the Bulldogs 71-61 victory against the Texas Tech Red Raiders in the first round of the 2016 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at PNC Arena on March 17, 2016 in Raleigh, North Carolina. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

By Wes Woodward

RALEIGH, N.C. (March 17, 2016)– After suffering through a scoreless first 31 minutes of Thursday’s NCAA First Round contest against Texas Tech, Butler Sophomore Kelan Martin exploded for a personal 8 point run that was the difference in the Bulldogs’ 71-61 win. Martin hit two 3-pointers then followed with a steal and breakaway dunk in quick succession.

“We were tied and my teammates did a good job of finding me in transition, I just let the game come to me,” said Martin, who finished with 11 points.

While Martin and and Senior Roosevelt Jones were experiencing shooting woes, Butler used their defense.

“We buckled down on defense and got a few opportunities. Those stops led to Kelan’s open three and then he got that steal and dunk and that just blew the game open,” saidSenior Guard Kellen Dunham. Dunham led Butler with 23 points on the afternoon, 13 of those points in the first half.

“We had some good defensive moments. I still think we can be better defensively. We were able to turn them over in stretches, we made them make plays, ” echoed Butler Head Coach Chris Holtmann.

Sophomore Tyler Wideman was a perfect six of six from the field, with 13 points and seven rebounds. Andrew Chrabascz contributed 13 for the Bulldogs. Jones, despite his early struggles, finished with 8 points and 6 assists.

Butler is now 9-1 in their last ten NCAA first round games. ​No. 9 Butler plays No. 1 Virginia, who knocked off Hampton in the session’s later game,  on Saturday.