There were plenty of highlights in No. 14 Butler’s 77-58 victory over St. Bonaventure on Wednesday night, but the play of the game wasn’t Khyle Marshall’s jaw-dropping alley-oop dunk or any of Rotnei Clarke’s 17 points. It came under 3:45 left in a contest that was practically decided, in a moment no member of the Butler team will ever forget.
Rotnei Clarke had the basketball at the top of the wing, and with a nice pass behind his head and over two defenders, Clarke found a wide-open Erik Fromm waiting for the ball in the corner. Fromm, who had missed the previous game due to his father’s death, caught the ball and in perfect stride shot the ball into the air. Nothing but net, and a standing ovation erupted at Hinkle Fieldhouse.
“I know for a fact my dad would have wanted me to keep doing my routine and what I love,” said Fromm.
“Doing what he and I spent all that time doing when I was growing up. When I play, I feel like a stronger sense of him being with me then when I’m just by myself. In one of the interviews, I said he wouldn’t want me to just sit and stew, and think about what I don’t have anymore. So what I do have is the bond that him and I created with basketball, and I have my teammates that count on me, and I count on them. They are like the brothers to me, and the coaches are like the fathers.”
Fromm’s three helped Butler (19-4, 6-2 A-10) remain undefeated at perfect 12-0 at home this season, in a game that the Bulldogs increasingly took control of with each passing minute.
“The ball really whipped around today,” Butler coach Brad Stevens said. “I thought there were a lot of good basketball plays today.”
Along with Clarke’s 17 points, Andrew Smith scored 13 points with 7 rebounds, while Chase Stigall and Khyle Marshall contributed with 12 points.
The victory wasn’t all rainbow and butterflies for the Bulldogs however, as Roosevelt Jones left the game just a couple minutes into the second half with a shoulder injury.
“I was just told that they didn’t want to put him back in today,” said Stevens. “That he is possible for Saturday, whatever that means I don’t know anything beyond that.”
The Bulldogs pick up their schedule on Saturday when they travel to play George Washington at 2 p.m.