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Recap: Butler 52, Virginia Commonwealth 84
Line Movements
Date: March 02, 2013 12:00 PM EDT
  

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - ``Be VCU.'

It was the last thing coach Shaka Smart wrote on the locker room board before leading his team out to play No. 20 Butler on Saturday. The Rams heeded his advice with their most dominating 40-minute performance of the season.

``Nobody's coming in here today and winning,' Butler coach Brad Stevens said after the Rams, spurred on by a fast start and a deafening home crowd, won 84-52. ``We didn't play well enough to even make it close, but that's a whole other story.'

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Troy Daniels scored 14 of his 20 points in the first half when VCU' forced 14 turnovers and turned them into 24 points on their way to a 45-21 lead. For the game, the Bulldogs tied their season high was 23 turnovers, leading to 34 points for VCU.

``You can always see the pressure on film, but once you've got to deal with it in live play, it's kind of hard to deal with,' said Rams senior point guard Darius Theus, who had eight points, nine assists, two blocks and five of VCU's 17 steals.

``It was pretty intense out there tonight.'

The meeting was a much anticipated rematch of their unlikely meeting in the national semifinals in Houston in 2011, which Butler won 70-62, and several of the Rams (23-6, 11-3 Atlantic 10) saw it as a chance to make a statement. Both schools also made the jump to the Atlantic 10 in the offseason, making the league a big winner in the conference realignment shuffle.

``That was a team who's been in the top 10 in the country. Now they're top 20,' Theus said, ``and we're still out to prove ourselves. We're in the A-10 and we're still trying to let everyone know we belong in the top.'

It didn't take long.

The Rams, who didn't press with near the intensity they do now two years ago, seemed to overwhelm Butler right from the outset. The Bulldogs turned it over on three of their first five possessions, and 11 more times before getting to halftime.

The Bulldogs (22-7, 9-5) arrived averaging 13 turnovers per game.

The Rams, meanwhile, used all the extra possessions and the combination of Juvonte Reddic down low and Daniels from the outside - sometimes way outside - to pour on the offense as the Siegel Center grew deafening.

In a 28-8 run, Reddic scored nine points and Daniels had 11, including consecutive 3-pointers and then three free throws when he was hit while launching another shot from about 26 feet.

Butler seemed to figure the pressure out briefly, pulling within 31-17 on top scorer Rotnei Clarke's first field goal, a 3-pointer with 4:46 left, but 3-pointers by VCU's Rob Brandenburg and Graham highlighted a 14-4 run to make it 45-21.

Butler scored the first seven points after halftime to close within 17, and Smart called a quick timeout.

``He let us know that we're not letting up and we're not letting this lead go,' Theus said. ``Guys came back out and had that fire in their eyes.'

Briante Weber and Treveon Graham each scored five points in a 10-4 run that followed and it was pretty much over, allowing the Rams to clinch one of the top four seeds in the conference tournament later this month.

Roosevelt Jones scored 14 points and Khyle Marshall had 13 for Butler.

``I haven't seen a team that fast yet,' Stevens said. ``I mean, Weber and Theus and Johnson, you can just go down the list. Brandenburg They can really get into the ball.'

The Bulldogs forced only eight turnovers, leading to just two points.

Anticipation was high before the game, with some students even sleeping in tents outside to be sure to get their pick of seats once the doors opened, and once the ball was tipped, VCU was at its best.

Graham, Reddic and Weber all scored 11 points for the Rams.

Claarke, who came in averaging 17, finished with five on 2-for-8 shooting. He also had three turnovers.

---

Follow Hank on twitter at: http://twitter.com/hankkurzjr

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2014
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved

 CLOSING LAS VEGAS LINE
 Team  ML   SPR   O/U 
 BUTLER  +300   +8   137 
 VACOMM  -360   -8   
LAS VEGAS LINE MOVEMENTS

 CLOSING SPORTSBOOK LINE
 Team  ML   SPR   O/U 
 BUTLER  +310   +8   137 
 VACOMM  -380   -8   
OFFSHORE LINE MOVEMENTS

 BETTING TRENDS
 Team  ML   SPR   O/U 
 BUTLER  51%   75%   62% 
 VACOMM  49%   25%   38% 
BT MOVEMENTS

 NCAA BK RECAPS
 Saturday, Mar 2
 
    Ohio at Bowling Green
12:00 PM EDT
    Alabama at Florida
12:00 PM EDT
    Old Dominion at Northeastern
12:00 PM EDT
    Louisville at Syracuse
12:00 PM EDT
    Butler at Virginia Commonwealth
12:00 PM EDT
    Maryland at Wake Forest
12:00 PM EDT
    Memphis at Central Florida
1:00 PM EDT
    Tennessee at Georgia
1:45 PM EDT
    Iowa State at Oklahoma
1:45 PM EDT
    Texas El Paso at Rice
2:00 PM EDT
    Wichita State at Creighton
2:00 PM EDT
    George Mason at Delaware
2:00 PM EDT
    Marshall at Houston
2:00 PM EDT
    Detroit at Illinois Chicago
2:00 PM EDT
    West Virginia at Kansas
2:00 PM EDT
    Notre Dame at Marquette
2:00 PM EDT
    Youngstown St at Wright State
2:00 PM EDT
    Massachusetts at Xavier
2:00 PM EDT
    Pepperdine at San Diego
3:00 PM EDT
    Arizona State at Southern Cal
3:00 PM EDT
    Valparaiso at Wisconsin-Green Bay
3:00 PM EDT
    Kentucky at Arkansas
4:00 PM EDT
    Louisiana State at Missouri
4:00 PM EDT
    UNLV at Nevada
4:00 PM EDT
    Texas Christian at Texas Tech
4:00 PM EDT
    Hofstra at Towson
4:00 PM EDT
    Texas at Oklahoma State
4:00 PM EDT
    North Dakota at Eastern Washington
5:00 PM EDT
    Mississippi at Mississippi St
5:00 PM EDT
    New Mexico State at Denver
6:00 PM EDT
    Miami (FL) at Duke
6:00 PM EDT
    Harvard at Pennsylvania
6:00 PM EDT
    Dartmouth at Princeton
6:00 PM EDT
    Middle Tennessee at W. Kentucky
6:30 PM EDT
    Kansas State at Baylor
7:00 PM EDT
    Long Beach State at UC Irvine
7:00 PM EDT
    Brown at Columbia
7:00 PM EDT
    Yale at Cornell
7:00 PM EDT
    UNC Wilmington at Drexel
7:00 PM EDT
    South Carolina at Texas AM
7:00 PM EDT
    Iowa at Indiana
7:30 PM EDT
    Pacific at Cal Riverside
8:00 PM EDT
    Southern Illinois at Drake
8:00 PM EDT
    St Johns at Providence
8:00 PM EDT
    Clemson at Virginia Tech
8:00 PM EDT
    Vanderbilt at Auburn
9:00 PM EDT
    UC Davis at Cal State Fullerton
9:00 PM EDT
    Rutgers at Georgetown
9:00 PM EDT
    Montana at Montana State
9:00 PM EDT
    Arizona at UCLA
9:00 PM EDT
    Idaho State at Sacramento State
10:00 PM EDT
    Santa Barbara at Northridge
10:00 PM EDT
    Northern Colo at Portland State
10:30 PM EDT
 
 
 
  
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