Men's College Basketball
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              === Bulldogs butt heads with Rams in A-10 action ===
 
 Bronx, NY (Sports Network) - The 11th-ranked Butler Bulldogs seek a quick
 turnaround after suffering their first home loss of the season, as they take
 on the Fordham Rams on Saturday in an Atlantic 10 Conference matchup at Rose
 Hill Gym.
 
 Brad Stevens' Bulldogs have acclimated to their new conference quite well, as
 the team has asserted itself as one of the A-10 elite with an impressive 20-5
 record. However, Butler is now sitting in third place in the league standings
 following Wednesday's 71-67 loss to Charlotte at the Hinkle Fieldhouse.
 
 Tom Pecora's Rams have struggle both in and out of conference this season and
 are currently saddled with a 6-19 overall record. Wins have been even harder
 to come by in-conference, with Fordham buried in the standings, currently one
 game out of the conference cellar at 2-8. To make matters worse, Fordham comes
 into this contest with an ugly five-game losing streak in tow, including
 Wednesday's 79-66 setback at Xavier.
 
 Butler won the only previous meeting between these two teams, a 94-80 victory
 in the first round of the 1959 NIT.
 
 Butler fell victim to an efficient offensive performance by the 49ers this
 week, as Charlotte converted 54.2 percent from the floor, compared to a mere
 39 percent effort from the hometown Bulldogs. Despite the setback and less
 than efficient shooting, four Bulldogs finished in double figures, led by
 Rotnei Clarke's 18 points. Roosevelt Jones poured in 17, while Erik Fromm and
 Kellen Dunham finished with 13 and 12 points, respectively.
 
 Butler was without starting center Andrew Smith (11.4 ppg, 5.4 rpg) against
 Charlotte, but the big man could return in this game. Still, Butler usually
 goes as Clarke goes. The Arkansas-transfer has been a dynamic leader in his
 first stint with the team, leading Butler in the scoring column at 17.0 ppg.
 Jones (10.6 ppg), Dunham (10.6 ppg) and Khyle Marshall (10.0 ppg) round out
 the team's top scoring threats.
 
 The Rams have struggled this season primarily because they have been porous at
 the defensive end. Fordham suffers from an ugly -11.4 scoring margin by
 allowing foes to net an alarming 76.7 ppg. Only eight teams at the Division I
 level are allowing more points. Branden Frazier and Chris Gaston are the only
 currently double-digit performers, averaging 15.0 and 14.0 ppg, respectively.
 Gaston (8.1 rpg) has missed more than half the season, including the loss at
 Xavier, but he is expected to play against Butler and is a welcome site to the
 frontcourt. Still, depth behind those two is scarce. Mandell Thomas and Bryan
 Smith are the next closest scorers at 8.8 and 8.1 ppg, respectively.
 
 Just a freshman, Thomas has made a solid impact with the team, including a
 career-high 23 points in the loss to Xavier. Frazier added 11 points, while
 Ryan Canty finished with eight points and 10 rebounds.
 
 
 
 
 02/16 11:09:43 ET

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