The Virginia Commonwealth men’s basketball team upset No. 20 Butler on Saturday., destroying the Bulldogs, 84-52, in Richmond, Va.
The 32-point decision is the largest margin of victory for the Rams (23-6, 11-3 Atlantic 10) this season against an A-10 team, as the Bulldogs (22-7, 9-5 A 10) dropped to fourth place in the conference standings.
VCU started the onslaught early, starting with a 24-10 run in the first 10 minutes of the game, which consisted of forcing Butler to seven turnovers and a 35 percent field goal percentage on 5-of-14 shooting.
Troy Daniels scored 14 of his 20 points in the first half as the Rams took a commanding 45-21 lead into halftime.
The second half went better for the Bulldogs, but they didn’t do quite enough to even be a presence in the final score, as usually reliable Butler guard Rotnei Clarke almost disappeared with just five points on 2-of-8 shooting from the field.
The Bulldogs look to regain their pride on Thursday as they visit Massachusetts, while VCU takes on Richmond on Wednesday.
SLU extends winning streak
Red-hot Saint Louis extended its winning streak to 11 games on Saturday with a 66-58 win at George Washington.
The win over the Colonials (12-15, 6-8 A-10) helped the Billikens (23-5, 12-2 A-10) maintain first place in the A-10 standings.
After trailing 48-45 with six minutes, 41 seconds left in the game, the Billikens went on a 10-0 run to regain a semi-comfortable seven-point lead. GW cut the lead to five points with 2:18 left on a Lasan Kromah layup, but Saint Louis proved too much for any sort of comeback.
Dwayne Evans recorded a double-double with 22 points and 12 boards for SLU while shooting an impressive 7-for-13 from the field. Kwamain Mitchell had 18 points.
With the loss, GW clings to the 11th seed in the A-10 tournament with a trip to La Salle on Wednesday. The Billikens look to keep hold of first place on Wednesday at Xavier.
Bonnies rout Charlotte
St. Bonaventure blew out a struggling Charlotte squad at home, 104-83, on Saturday.
The Bonnies (14-13, 7-7 A 10) showed they were in the zone right from the beginning, outscoring Charlotte, 53-24, in the first half of the game. Bonnies guard Matthew Wright was on fire, shooting 6-for-8 from the field, including 3-for-4 from long-range with 20 points. However, teammate Eric Mosley led the show for St. Bonaventure with 23 points and five rebounds.
Despite a minuscule 24 points in the first half, the 49ers bursted with life in the second half with a high-powered 59 points. The charge was led by guards Terrence Williams and Victor Nickerson, who scored 17 and 18 points, respectively, for Charlotte (18-10, 6-8 A 10).
However, the offensive second half was tainted by allowing 51 points to the Bonnies, making it near-impossible for the 49ers to win the game.
St. Bonaventure travels to Dayton on Wednesday while the 49ers head to Duquesne.
Tom Mulherin can be reached at tmulheri.umass.edu.