Clarke leads Butler past St. Bonaventure
by David Woods, USA TODAY Sports
Butler reverted to a formula familiar for winning basketball in the 2000s: Defense and 3-pointers.
Rotnei Clarke scored 17 points, and the No. 14 Bulldogs sank 11 from the arc to beat St. Bonaventure 77-58 in Atlantic 10 basketball Wednesday night before a crowd of 6,591 at Hinkle Fieldhouse.
Andrew Smith scored 13, Khyle Marshall and Chase Stigall 12 each and Kellen Dunham nine for Butler (19-4). The Bulldogs pulled into a tie atop the A-10 standings at 6-2 and are 12-0 at home.
Demitrius Conger scored 18 for St. Bonaventure (10-11, 3-5). The Bonnies were limited to 30 percent shooting in the second half.
Butler shot 50 percent from the field and 42 percent from the 3-point line (11-of-26). Under coach Brad Stevens, the Bulldogs are 59-6 when making nine or more 3s.
Butler played most of the second half with Roosevelt Jones, who injured his shoulder and was treated by a team physician in the training room. Kameron Woods took a hard fall while fighting for a loose ball but resumed play after a short stint on the bench.
Marshall opened the second half by spearing a high lob from Jones and tomahawking the ball through for a SportsCenter-worthy dunk – his 40th dunk of the season.
Junior forward Erik Fromm, who lost his father to cancer Saturday, received a couple of ovations. One was when he entered the game in the first half, and the other when he sank a 3-pointer with 3:38 left for Butler’s final points.
The Bulldogs outscored St. Bonaventure 17-5 to open the second half, stretching the lead to 56-35.
Butler was 7-of-10 from the arc to build a 39-30 halftime lead. Clarke dribbled through a double-team and scored on a floater in the lane with four seconds left in the half.
The Bulldogs began sluggishly in falling behind 13-9. Chase Stigall came off the bench to spark an 11-0 run, sinking two 3-pointers that were 32 seconds apart and sending Butler ahead 20-13.
With Butler’s offense stalling, Stigall hit his third 3 to expand a lead that had been trimmed to one. Successive 3s by Clarke and Andrew Smith made it 35-27 before … [For more on Rotnei Clarke leads Butler Bulldogs past St. Bonaventure Bonnies, click here.]