Four University of Dayton Flyers scored in double figures, but that could not overcome a masterful team effort by the 14 th-ranked Butler Bulldogs, as Butler beat Dayton 79-73 Saturday in front of a sellout crowd of 13,455 at UD Arena.
Nine Butler players played at least 10 minutes in the game, and each scored at least four points. Roosevelt Jones was the game’s high scorer with 16 points. Flyers Dyshawn Pierre and Vee Sanford led the Flyers in scoring with 14 points each, with Kevin Dillard adding 13 and freshman Khari Price scoring a career-high 10.
Butler’s bench out-scored UD’s subs 27-19.
It was Dayton’s first Atlantic 10 Conference home game of the season, and the first time since the 1993-94 season that Dayton played back-to-back games against ranked conference opponents (UD played at #24 VCU on Wednesday).
Butler was able to control the game without having its leading scorer for much of the game. Rotnei Clarke was fouled on a fast break layup attempt and injured his neck. He left the game on a stretcher with 8:13 to go in the first half and was taken to Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton for examination. X-rays should no fractures and Clarke was dischared from the hospital at almost the same time the game ended.
The Bulldogs opened up the game with two free throws and a layup by Andrew Smith to take a 4-0 lead. Dillard responded for the Flyers with a nifty layup to get the home team on the scoreboard. Butler continued to lead the game until Price nailed a three to give Dayton a 9-8 advantage at the 13:21 minute mark in the first half.
UD was able to hold on to the lead until the Bulldogs went on a 9-0 run at the 9:37 mark to take a 23-16 lead. The away team would extend their lead to as much as 11 before Devon Scott’s jumper cut the lead to nine. Dayton would cut the lead to eight on a Dyshawn Pierre free throw, trailing 35-27 at the half.
In the second half, the home team was able to start the scoring with a three-point play by Josh Benson to narrow the gap to five, 35-30. Butler responded with another 9-0 run, extending their lead to as much as 14. Butler would coast until the Flyers were able to go on a 9-3 run to cut the lead to six, 59-53 with 8:08 remaining in the contest.
After a Jones layup, Sanford was able to make a 3 to cut the lead to 5, 61-56. Jones was able to make another layup, but the home team quickly responded with another Sanford basket.
Smith was then able to give Butler an eight point lead as the 6’11’’ center stepped outside and drained a three to give the Bulldog a 68-60 advantage at the 4:54 minute mark in the game.
The Flyers would get the lead down to six, 70-64 thanks to a Dyshawn Pierre three at the 2:12 mark. The home team was then able to cut the lead to five, 74-69, when Matt Derenbecker drained a three. But the Bulldogs would make enough shots from the free throw line down the stretch to secure a 79-73 victory.
Dayton out-rebounded Butler 40-26 (thanks in no small part to Devin Oliver’s 13 rebounds), but BU out-shot the Flyers from the floor (.581 to .397) and from three-point range (.538 to .368).
Butler is now 14-2 overall and 2-0 in the Atlantic 10. Both conference wins have come on the road. The ‘Dogs have now won 11 straight. Dayton is now 10-6, and 0-2 in conference. The Flyers return to action on Wednesday, Jan. 26 when they travel to Philadelphia to take on La Salle at 7 p.m. ET.