NCAA BK

Thu, Jan 31, 2013 - 9:00 PM ET
Game Preview
 

Butler-Saint Louis Preview

Share This Story

   
 

Butler got an immediate boost with Rotnei Clarke's return to action and will try to use his help to continue a strong start to its inaugural Atlantic 10 season.

The ninth-ranked Bulldogs look to maintain sole possession of first place in the conference by winning at Saint Louis on Thursday night.

Clarke missed two weeks after severely spraining his neck when he crashed into a padded basket support at Dayton on Jan. 12. Butler (17-3, 4-1) suffered its first league loss, 54-53 at La Salle on Jan. 23, in one of the three games without him.

The senior guard and transfer from Arkansas, averaging a team-best 16.7 points, played well in his first game back, an 83-71 home win over Temple on Saturday. He scored 24 points, made 13 of 14 free-throw attempts and had a career-best nine assists, nearly doubling his previous high.

"We're better in transition time when Rotnei's in the game because of the way he passes and because he's a threat to shoot when he crosses midcourt," coach Brad Stevens said. "It was heart-warming to have him back on the court, knowing what he went through and how hard it was for him."

The Bulldogs will try to ride Clarke's efforts and build on their slim lead in the A-10. There are a number of teams with two losses behind them, including Saint Louis (14-5, 3-2).

"The attention he gets makes it a whole lot easier for us as a team," forward Khyle Marshall said after scoring 19 points Saturday. "I think it makes it a whole lot easier on our guys."

Butler and Saint Louis were members of the Midwestern Collegiate Conference from 1982-91 but have met only twice since then. The Billikens won 72-54 in the most recent matchup Dec. 27, 2003, in St. Louis.

Saint Louis heads into this game having won two straight and 11 of 13. The Billikens held St. Bonaventure to 36.2 percent shooting in a 67-57 road victory Saturday as Dwayne Evans had 18 points, his best scoring performance in a little more than two months.

Evans, averaging 10.7 points, has recorded back-to-back games in double figures for the second time this season. He scored 14 in a 73-64 win at Duquesne on Jan. 23.

Leading scorer Cody Ellis (11.2 ppg) has reached double digits in three straight games, one shy of tying his longest streak this season. The Billikens' only other player averaging in double figures, Mike McCall Jr. (10.8), has been held to single digits in four consecutive games.

Saint Louis is allowing 57.8 points per game for the season but has given up 65.8 per contest in conference play. Butler is yielding an average of 62.2 in its league games.

The Billikens lead the series 16-11 and have won eight of 12 home matchups, but they've lost six in a row to top 10 teams since a 59-58 win over then-No. 2 Louisville on Feb. 12, 2003. Saint Louis, though, knocked off the last ranked team it faced, beating then-No. 20 New Mexico 60-46 on Dec. 31.

Tagged: Saint Louis, Butler, Rotnei Clarke

Related Stories

Member Comments

Please note by clicking on "Post comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be Polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator.

powered by



NCAA BK Videos

Georgetown, Syracuse to renew CBK rivalry Posted: Jun 10, 2014
Georgetown basketball coach John Thompson III on the renewal of the rivalry betw...

Cuonzo Martin new head coach at Cal Posted: Apr 16, 2014
Cuonzo Martin is introduced as Cal's new head coach.

UConn tops Notre Dame in women's final Posted: Apr 09, 2014
Hear from Geno Auriemma and his players after their National Championship victor...

More Than Sports on MSN

Fox Sports Store

    itemName itemURL imageSrc price itemDescription
    Nike Florida Gators #1 Replica Elite Basketball Jersey - Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Florida_Gators/browse/featuredproduct/885881/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_885000/ff_885881_xl.jpg&w=100 74.95 Nike Florida Gators #1 Replica Elite Basketball Jersey - Black
    Nike Georgetown Hoyas #22 Hyper Elite Road Performance Jersey - Navy Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Georgetown_Hoyas/browse/featuredproduct/1030243/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1030000/ff_1030243_xl.jpg&w=100 119.95 Nike Georgetown Hoyas #22 Hyper Elite Road Performance Jersey - Navy Blue
    Nike Duke Blue Devils #5 Tourney Takeover Replica T-Shirt - Duke Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Duke_Blue_Devils/browse/featuredproduct/1032710/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1032000/ff_1032710_xl.jpg&w=100 27.95 Nike Duke Blue Devils #5 Tourney Takeover Replica T-Shirt - Duke Blue
    Nike Oregon Ducks X-Ray Ball T-Shirt - Green http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Oregon_Ducks/browse/featuredproduct/1052002/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1052000/ff_1052002_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Nike Oregon Ducks X-Ray Ball T-Shirt - Green
    Nike Ohio State Buckeyes Road Warrior Tri-blend T-Shirt - Scarlet http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Ohio_State_Buckeyes/browse/featuredproduct/1052645/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1052000/ff_1052645_xl.jpg&w=100 29.95 Nike Ohio State Buckeyes Road Warrior Tri-blend T-Shirt - Scarlet
    Indiana Hoosiers 2013 NCAA Men\'s Basketball Road to March Madness T-Shirt - Crimson http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Indiana_Hoosiers/browse/featuredproduct/1124528/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1124000/ff_1124528_xl.jpg&w=100 19.95 Indiana Hoosiers 2013 NCAA Men\'s Basketball Road to March Madness T-Shirt - Cri..
    adidas Louisville Cardinals 2013 March Madness #10 Premier Swingman Jersey - Red http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Louisville_Cardinals/browse/featuredproduct/1127200/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1127000/ff_1127200_xl.jpg&w=100 89.95 adidas Louisville Cardinals 2013 March Madness #10 Premier Swingman Jersey - Red
    adidas Notre Dame Fighting Irish 2013 March Madness #45 Premier Swingman Jersey - White http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Notre_Dame_Fighting_Irish/browse/featuredproduct/1127218/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1127000/ff_1127218_xl.jpg&w=100 89.95 adidas Notre Dame Fighting Irish 2013 March Madness #45 Premier Swingman Jersey ..
    Nike Gonzaga Bulldogs March Madness Bracketville T-Shirt - Navy Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Gonzaga_Bulldogs/browse/featuredproduct/1155821/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1155000/ff_1155821_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Nike Gonzaga Bulldogs March Madness Bracketville T-Shirt - Navy Blue
    Top of the World Miami Hurricanes 2013 NCAA ACC Men’s Basketball Tournament Champions Adjustable Hat – Green http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Miami_Hurricanes/browse/featuredproduct/1177723/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1177000/ff_1177723_xl.jpg&w=100 25.95 Top of the World Miami Hurricanes 2013 NCAA ACC Men’s Basketball Tournament Cham..