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Butler rolls over Richmond without leading-scorer Clarke
Indianapolis, IN (Sports Network) - Andrew Smith scored a game-high 15 points to go with seven rebounds, as No. 13 Butler earned a 62-47 victory over Richmond on Wednesday at Hinkle Fieldhouse.
Butler (15-2, 3-0 A-10) was without leading scorer Rotnei Clarke, who missed the triumph with a sprained neck after being fouled into the basket standard in the first half of Saturday's win at Dayton.
Clarke had to be carried off the court on a stretcher, but is only expected to miss a few games due to the injury.
Kellen Dunham donated 11 points in Clarke's absence, while Roosevelt Jones registered a double-double with 10 points and 12 boards for the Bulldogs, who have won 12 straight and are off to their best start since opening 19-1 in 2008-09.
"I'm really proud of these guys. That was a great win," Butler head coach Brad Stevens said. "That's a hard team to play against. It's a hard team to prepare for. They're unique in many ways."
Darien Brothers poured in 12 points to lead the Spiders (11-7, 1-2), who have lost two straight.
"Playing without their best player, they didn't miss a beat on defense," Richmond coach Chris Mooney said of the Bulldogs. "They may be a little less dynamic on offense."
After exchanging blows over the opening stages of the contest, Butler ripped off a 15-3 run, highlighted by back-to-back buckets from Kameron Woods, to grab a 23-11 edge with just under 5 1/2 minutes left in the first half.
Deion Taylor quelled the surge with consecutive 3-pointers around an Erik Fromm jumper, but the Bulldogs closed the half on an 8-4 swing to take a 33-21 advantage into the locker room.
Butler opened things up early in the second half, scoring eight of the first 11 points of the second stanza to push the lead to 41-24 just under four minutes into the frame.
Butler built its lead to 20 a bit later before a 15-4 Richmond run, capped by six straight points from Brothers, brought the Spiders within 50-41 with 8:23 left in the contest.
Richmond, though, went the next four-plus minutes without a field goal, allowing the Bulldogs to push their lead back above double-digits, where it stayed for the remainder of the contest.
The first and only previous meeting took place in 2004, a 69-68 victory for Richmond in the Fiesta Bowl Classic ... Clarke is averaging 16.3 points per contest through 16 games this season ... Butler outrebounded Richmond, 53-20.
01/16 22:53:05 ET
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