Updated at: 02/06/2013 8:38 PM
(AP) INDIANAPOLIS - Rotnei Clarke scored 17 points and No. 14 Butler defeated St. Bonaventure 77-58 on Wednesday.
Andrew Smith added 13 points and Khyle Marshall and Chase Stigall each scored 12 as the Bulldogs (19-4, 6-2 Atlantic 10) improved to 12-0 at home this season.
The victory pushed Butler into a share of the Atlantic 10 lead with idle VCU (6-2). Charlotte and St. Louis also entered the night with 5-2 conference records.
St. Bonaventure fell to 9-58 all-time against ranked teams, including a 0-29 record on the road.
Demitrius Conger led the Bonnies (10-11, 3-5) with 18 points. Chris Johnson and Marquise Simmons added nine points each for St. Bonaventure.
The teams exchanged baskets early before the Bonnies took advantage of Butler’s shooting woes to take a 13-9 lead. But Kameron Woods hit a jumper and Stigall had back-to-back 3-pointers to put Butler ahead 17-13.
A 3-pointer by Kellen Dunham extended the Bulldogs’ lead to 20-13, but a 14-9 run by the Bonnies brought them within 29-27.
Butler scored 10 of the first half’s final 13 points to take a 39-30 lead into halftime.
The Bulldogs dominated the rebounding in the first half, keeping the Bonnies from grabbing a single offensive rebound. Butler outrebounded St. Bonaventure 17-7 in the first half and 34-25 for the game.
Butler extended its lead to double digits early in the second half and was never threatened again. The Bonnies made just two of their first 10 field goal attempts while Butler surged to a 56-37 lead.
Play got more physical as the game wore on, with Butler’s Roosevelt Jones going to the bench after apparently hurting his shoulder, and Kameron Woods missing some time after landing hard during a loose ball.
Woods returned to the game, but Jones was taken to the trainer’s room.
Butler’s Erik Fromm, who missed the Bulldogs’ previous game because of his father’s death, came off the bench to a standing ovation in the first half.
The applause was back when he hit a 3-pointer late in the game. That was one of 11 made 3-pointers in 26 attempts by the Bulldogs, with six players making shots from beyond the arc.
The Bonnies couldn’t keep up, making just 4 of 9 3-pointers. St. Bonaventure was just 8 of 28 from the field in the second half as the Bulldogs pulled away.
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