The crowd at Chafeitz Arena in St. Louis was white clad as their intent was to "white out" Butler on Thursday, January 31. The host Billikens did that and much more as they caught the #9 Bulldogs off guard with a dominating 75-58 home win.
Saint Louis had four pesky guards that became a thorn in the side of Butler senior guard Rotnei Clarke all night long. Clarke still managed to score a team-high 17 points, but was forced into committing six of Butler's 23 turnovers.
The Bulldogs started the game out just fine, leading 10-5, and before they knew it Jordair Jett had tied things up at 10-10. A Jake Barnett layup gave the Billikens a 12-10 edge that they would keep and build on for the rest of the night.
The Billikens ended the first half on a 23-13 run that was led by Jett (11) and Rob Loe (7) in that span to take a 34-23 advantage at halftime.
Things went from bad to worse in the second half for Butler. SLU jetted out to an 11-4 run in the first four minutes for a 45-27 distance, aided by Mike McCall, Jr. and Dwayne Evans combining for 10 of those 11.
From that point on, in quick fashion, Saint Louis extended their lead to double-digits and that's where it stayed the rest of the way. They shot 55% in the second half, going 16-of-29. They found every hole and crease in the Butler defense, taking the visiting Bulldogs further and further out of the game.
The lead grew to as large as 18 points before the final margin of 17 at 75-58.
Saint Louis had won 11 of 13 before this dominating win over #9 Butler. The Bulldogs had an even better stretch, winning 14 of 15 before bowing out on the road Thursday night in Saint Louis.
Butler shot just 43% (22-51 overall) and 36% (5-14) from three-point range. The Billikens were able to shoot 50 % (30-60) from the floor.
Saint Louis, on the other hand, fed off the largest crowd in Chafeitz Arena's history (10,612). Their defense was dialed in, to say the least. Four different Butler Bulldogs committed four or more turnovers (23 total), 18 coming from BU starters. Of those 23 giveaways, 14 came from Billiken steals, completely throwing Butler's overall game plan out the window.
The victorious Billikens were led in scoring off the bench by Jordair Jett, with a game-high 19 on 8-for-12 from the field. Dwayne Evans (15) and Rob Loe (12) also joined Jett in double-figures.
Rotnei Clarke was Butler's top scorer with 17 point on 5-of-12 shooting (3-7 from three) and center Andrew Smith also added 12 points.