Saint Louis was the preseason pick by some experts to win the Atlantic 10 conference. The Billikens showed they are indeed a contender in the league by dominating first place Butler 75-58. Saint Louis has now won 12 of their last 14 games.
Chaifetz Arena was sold out and fans were fired up for the highest-ranked opponent to visit Saint Louis. Both teams struggled to get into an offensive rhythm in the opening minutes, however, Butler was able to take a 10-5 lead on a Rotnei Clarke three-pointer. From that point on, Butler’s offense struggled mightily against the Billikens pressure and Saint Louis rode the emotion from a frenzied arena to take an 11-point lead to the half.
Butler never really challenged Saint Louis in the second half and eventually lost 75-58. Butler committed 23 turnovers in the game compared to just 10 for Saint Louis. Rotnei Clarke led Butler with 17 points, while Andrew Smith added 12.
Seven teams are now tied in the loss column in the Atlantic 10 and this highly competitive league is about to get even more interesting. Butler has short rest to bounce back and get the bad taste out of its mouth after Thursday’s defeat. The Bulldogs host Rhode Island Saturday afternoon at Hinkle Fieldhouse.