RICHMOND, Va. -- A quick look at VCU’s 84-52 win over Butler.
Overview: With rumors swirling that Butler could be moving on to the newly reconstructed Big East, this could be the first and last meeting of these two name-brand programs as conference rivals. It’s not the sort either will soon forget, although Butler would surely like to.
The Rams were terrific, the Bulldogs a debacle. One led to the other. VCU’s trademark "havoc" defense created more bedlam for the Bulldogs, whose biggest adventure was getting the ball over midcourt … or at times even inbounded.
The Rams’ first-half defense was easily the best I’ve seen this season, leaving Butler completely flummoxed and out-of-character sloppy. The Bulldogs did themselves few favors on the defensive end, either, allowing VCU to sink 10 3-pointers.
Turning point: Jump ball. The Rams took it to the Bulldogs from the get-go, their energy and pressure putting Butler on its heels and out of the game early. The Bulldogs trailed 45-21 at the break, and that was about all she wrote.
Key player: Troy Daniels. He hit a 3-pointer that was from where one might draw a 4-point line. That about sums up Daniels’ night. He had 20 points, including four 3-pointers.
Key stat: 34-2. That was the points-off-turnovers edge for VCU, which tells you just how much Havoc the Rams really wreaked. Butler coughed up 23 turnovers, and VCU capitalized on just about every one.
Miscellaneous: With the win, VCU guarantees itself a top-four seed in the Atlantic 10 tournament. The last time a team had 15 steals against the Bulldogs came 13 years ago, when Cleveland State swiped 15 on Jan. 13, 2000. The Rams had 14 at the break. With this game, the Rams have sold out the Siegel Center 34 games in a row
Next game: The Rams face rival Richmond on Wednesday before finishing out the regular season at Temple. Butler travels to Massachusetts on Thursday, then closes out the Atlantic 10 regular season at home against Xavier.