No. 25 Virginia Commonwealth 84, No. 21 Butler 52: Troy Daniels scored 14 of his 20 points in a dominating first half for the host Rams, who kept the heat on first-place Saint Louis in the Atlantic 10 race.
Darius Theus had nine assists and five of his team's 16 steals while Juvonte Reddic was one of three players to score 11 points for VCU (23-6, 11-3), which pulled to within a half-game of the Billikens. St. Louis visits George Washington later Saturday.
Roosevelt Jones scored 14 points and Khyle Marshall added 13 for the Bulldogs (22-7, 9-5). Leading scorer Rotnei Clarke was held to five points on a 2-for-8 showing from the field.
Marshall scored the first points of the game but VCU rolled off the next nine, took its first double-digit lead at 16-6 and went up 28-10 on a layup from Theus with 8:16 left in the first half. Treveon Graham's 3-pointer six seconds before halftime made it 45-21.
The Rams, who had nine steals in the dominating opening stanza, took their largest lead when D.J. Haley threw down a dunk to make it 80-47. VCU had 12 fewer rebounds than Butler but committed 12 fewer turnovers to avenge a loss to the Bulldogs in the 2011 Final Four in Houston.
GAME NOTEBOOK: Between the second half of its win at Xavier last Saturday and the first half of this one, VCU outscored opponents 94-53. ... Butler was 9-for-20 from the foul line. It was 15-for-26 in its previous game, a loss to Saint Louis on Feb. 22. ... The Rams were 10-for-23 beyond the arc while the Bulldogs shot 3-for-14.