INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — Richmond shot 60 percent in the first half and never looked back as it beat Butler, 68-44 Saturday at Hinkle Fieldhouse.
The Spiders improved to 15-13, 5-7 while Butler fell to 16-11, 7-5 overall. The win was Richmond’s third-straight and first in conference play away from the Robins Center. The pivotal win moved Richmond into eight-place in the conference standings.
The Spiders snapped Butler’s two-game win-streak and served them their first loss at home since Jan. 12. Butler had previously won four-straight conference games at Hinkle.
Richmond had one of its best shooting performances in conference play, going 24-of-49 (49%) and made 7-of-15 (46.7%) from long-range. To balance the offense, Richmond’s defense was stellar holding Butler to 16-of-51 (31%) from the field and forcing 13 turnovers. Richmond scored 20 points off those miscues.
After the initial back-and-forth game between the two teams, Richmond used a dominating spurt to pull away midway through the first half. The score was knotted at 16-all but Richmond then used an 8-0 run to take the lead for good.
Shots kept falling for Richmond, as it used a 27-5 run to close the half and take a 43-21 lead into the break. The Spiders shot a scorching 17-for-28 (60.7%) from the field in their best half all season.
Richmond went 5-for-8 from behind the arc (62.5%) in the first frame and had 10 assists and only three turnovers.Rachael Bilney had a team-high 11 points at the half.
The Spiders continue road play at Rhode Island Wednesday, Feb. 27 at 7 p.m.
NOTES: Richmond beat Butler in the series’ first-ever meeting at historic Hinkle Fieldhouse… The 43 first-half points was Richmond’s most in the first half since Dec. 9 against UNCG.