Updated: Thursday, 14 Mar 2013, 5:56 PM EDT
Published : Thursday, 14 Mar 2013, 5:56 PM EDT
BROOKLYN, N.Y. (AP) - Rotnei Clarke scored 21 points, and Butler advanced at the Atlantic 10 tournament with a 73-67 first-round victory over Dayton on Thursday.
The fifth-seeded Bulldogs will need to win four games in four days if they want a conference tourney title in their first -- and perhaps last -- season in the A-10.
Clarke shot 6 of 12 from behind the 3-point arc and added five assists. Fellow senior Andrew Smith had 18 points and six rebounds.
Butler was 10 for 24 on 3-point tries, while the Flyers attempted just four. Josh Benson had 18 points to lead 12th-seeeded Dayton (17-14, 7-9).
The Bulldogs (25-7, 11-5) will face fourth-seeded La Salle in Friday's quarterfinals.
Butler, the national runner-up in 2010 and '11, could be headed along with Dayton to join the breakaway Big East basketball schools.
Dayton was up 43-39 with less than 14 minutes left before Butler hit 3-pointers on three straight possessions to take the lead for good.
It was 55-50 with just over seven minutes left when Erik Fromm, who came in averaging 3.4 points, made the Bulldogs' next four baskets as Butler started to pull away.
Running the floor, Fromm had a fast-break layup on a feed from Alex Barlow and a dunk on a pass from Roosevelt Jones. He made a 3-pointer sandwiched in between, and when Fromm scored inside with 4:26 to go, the Bulldogs led 64-54.
Those nine points were all Fromm scored in the game in 10 minutes.