Butler clawed its way back into the game and now trail VCU just 22-20 after VCU jumped out to a 15-7 lead. Butler made most of its progress while its two top scorers, Shelvin Mack and Matt Howard, were on the bench. VCU’s three-point touch has gone cold and its pace has slowed a bit, and Butler’s 2-to-1 edge in rebounds (15 to 7) has helped a great deal.
Nearly all of VCU’s scoring has been done by Jamie Skeen (10 points) and Bradford Burgess (nine points). Meanwhile, Mack leads Butler with eight points. VCU point guard Joey Rodriguez has struggled with Mack so far, and has been a nonentity on offense – in fact, he was just the victim of an absolutely brutal Butler block, and his attempts to penetrate into the paint have gone nowhere so far. There are a few minutes left before halftime, and it looks like this should be a close one.