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Xavier has no problems in dismissing Butler

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For more on college basketball, follow Tom Davis via Twitter at Tom101010.

Bulldogs struggle at both ends of floor in loss

Wednesday, November 14, 2012 - 1:55 am

Xavier got offense from an Indianapolis native, as well as a stifiling defensive effort to easily dispatch Butler 62-47 at the Cintas Center on Tuesday.

Jeff Robinson, who prepped at Lawrence North High School, had 12 points in the first half and teamate Travis Taylor added eight to lead the Musketeers (2-0) to a 36-29 halftime lead. Xavier then opened the second half with a 16-6 run to put things out of reach.

"Xavier was the better team," Butler coach Brad Stevens said in a release. "They played better, they were better coached, just better. It was not even close, so we'll see if we can make up some ground over the next four months."

It was with striking distance through the first 22 minutes. Bulldog senior Rotnei Clarke hit his lone three-point field goal of the contest to draw the Bulldogs to within 21-16 with 8:42 left in the first half, but the Musketeers answered with an 11-2 run to stretch the lead to 14 points.

Butler (1-1) trimmed the margin in half by halftime, and closed to within 36-32 on a basket by Khyle Marshall with 17:59 left in the game. But Xavier scored the next seven points and the lead never dipped below double-figures for the remainder of the contest.

"We knew what is was going to be like coming in here," Stevens said.

"The fact is that we just didn't do what you have to do to be successful here, let alone at home."

The Musketeers held Butler to 36.5 percent shooting for the game and just 18 points in the second half.

Clarke was the Bulldogs' leading scorer, but was limited to just seven points on three of 11 shooting, including one of seven from beyond the three-point arc.

The Bulldogs, who knocked down nine three-pointers in a victory over Elon three days earlier, managed to his just four of 18 shots from the three-point arc.

Freshman Kellen Dunham came off the bench to lead Butler with 11 points, while senior Andrew Smith added nine.

Sophomore Roosevelt Jones had a team-high seven rebounds, while helping the Bulldogs to a 31-29 rebounding advantage.

Xavier, coming off a 117-75 win in its opener, shot 50 percent (23-46) for the game.

Robinson led the way with 17 points, while Taylor added 15. Another Indianapolis native, Musketeer guard Justin Martin, chipped in with 10 points.

"We talked about prior to the game that you have to choose to be aggressive in every single situation," Stevens said. "Candidly, they were more aggressive the entire game."

The game between the two Atlantic 10 Conference foes was played as a non-conference game, since it was scheduled before Butler joined the A-10 last summer.

Butler will have to regroup in a hurry, as it departs for Hawaii on Friday, where they will play three games in the Maui Invitational. Butler's first game on the islands will be against Marquette on Monday at 3:30 p.m. (EDT).