Marquette Wire

Ellenson and Carter have career games in Butler win

Both freshmen set new career-highs in points

Ellenson+recorded+his+13th+double-double+Saturday+%28Photo+by+Mike+Carpenter%2Fmichael.carpenter%40mu.edu%29
Ellenson recorded his 13th double-double Saturday (Photo by Mike Carpenter/michael.carpenter@mu.edu)

Ellenson recorded his 13th double-double Saturday (Photo by Mike Carpenter/michael.carpenter@mu.edu)

Ellenson recorded his 13th double-double Saturday (Photo by Mike Carpenter/michael.carpenter@mu.edu)

Patrick Thomas

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Maybe they aren’t done just yet.

Marquette got arguably its biggest home win in the past three years Saturday, knocking off a talented Butler team on the backs of career performances from two of its freshmen.

Henry Ellenson rebounded from one of his worst performances of the season against Stetson with his most efficient performance as a Golden Eagle. He shot 8-for-14 from the field and 2-for-2 from three-point range for a career -high 32 points, the most by a freshman since Dwyane Wade against DePaul in 2002. He recorded his 13th double-double with 10 rebounds in addition to a career-high six blocks. He took all but five of the Golden Eagles’ free throws, shooting 14-of-16.

“We did watch the tape of the Stetson game, and Henry will tell you that was not a performance worthy of someone of his potential and talent,” Marquette head coach Steve Wojciechowski said. “He came out and played like an absolute man. He didn’t play like one of the best freshmen in the country today. He played like one of the best players in the country.”

Traci Carter set a new career high in points as well, shooting 5-of-7 from three-point range and scoring 15 points. Carter has made 12 three-pointers the entire rest of the season.

“Traci works on his game,” Wojciechowski said. “The point guard position is as hard as any because I’m asking him for the first time to think outside of himself all the time … a lot of times in a game when the ball comes back to you and it’s time for you to shoot you’re not thinking about shooting. He can be a good shooter. I thought he was very precise.”

Carter hit five three-points in a row, and nearly all were perfect shots. Carter said the Butler defense gave him room, and he made the most of it.

“My teammates saw that I kept hitting, and they kept feeding me,” Carter said.

The Golden Eagles were also able to win without a single point from Luke Fischer, who helped the team by staying out of foul trouble.

Despite giving up five and-ones in the first half, Marquette had a strong start due to successful shooting. Only 10 of the 37 points were in the paint, and the Golden Eagles were the most successful from three they’ve been all season. Ellenson hit both threes in the first, one from NBA range. Prior to a Duane Wilson highly-contested three in the final 10 seconds of the half, the Golden Eagles were shooting nearly as well from long-range (62.5 percent) than they were from the field (63 percent).

Roosevelt Jones spoiled the party with a 70-foot buzzer beater to tie the game at 37 at half, the first made three-pointer of his career. He hadn’t attempted a shot from long range all season.

Butler seemed to be gaining some momentum at the start of the half, forcing Marquette into three misses and two turnovers at the start of the frame. However, Marquette was able to ride 24 points combined from Ellenson and Carter to victory. Ellenson was able to fight through the paint and shoot over the smaller Butler defenders.

“I sat down with a couple coaches and really looked at the film where I need to attack better,” Ellenson said. “I think just getting to the rack more for me (is important) personally.”

Carter successfully shut down Jones in the second half, keeping him off the scoreboard after allowing him to score 15 points in the first.

“It may be the cumulative effect of having someone pick you up 94 feet for 40 minutes,” Wojciechowski said. “That’s a lot of responsibility. It can wear on you.”

Andrew Chrabascz, who scored 30 against Marquette in a game last season, was held to just six points.

Kellen Dunham, one of the best shooters in the conference, still had a final chance to tie the game at 72 with less than 30 seconds remaining, but his decent look from three rimmed out. Sandy Cohen made both free throws, and Haanif Cheatham added another to seal Marquette’s first win against Butler since 2014.

“I saw a little opening,” Dunham said. ” I definitely can make that shot.”

The victory vaults the Golden Eagles ahead of Butler for seventh place in the conference standings. Marquette is half a game behind Seton Hall for sixth place.

Marquette begins a two-game road trip Wednesday when the Golden Eagles travel to South Orange, New Jersey, to play Seton Hall. The Pirates rode a strong second half in the first match-up, defeating Marquette 83-63 in the BIG EAST opener. Sophomore Desi Rodriguez was the center of attention, scoring a career-high 19 points.

“We’re building off this win,” Carter said. “Nothing else matters. If it happened in the past, it doesn’t matter.”

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