DAYTON, Ohio (AP) -- Roosevelt Jones scored 16 points on Saturday, and Butler extended its best start in four years, beating Dayton 79-73 for its 11th straight victory despite losing its top scorer to injury.
The Bulldogs (14-2, 2-0 Atlantic 10) lost guard Rotnei Clarke, who hit the padded backboard support after an intentional foul at 8:13 at the first half and was taken off the court on a stretcher. He was moving his legs and gave a thumbs-up sign as he left the court.
He was taken to a hospital for tests that were negative. Trainer Ryan Galloy said he had a sprained neck. It's unclear how long the Bulldogs will miss Clarke, who averages 17 points per game.
"He was emotional more than anything about having to come out of the game," Galloy said. "He's got no fracture. He'll be stiff and sore for a while. It's not like an ankle where you can tape it up."
The Bulldogs' depth pulled them through against Dayton (10-6, 0-2), which has lost four of its last six and fell to 7-3 on its home court. Dyshawn Pierre and Vee Sanford scored 14 apiece for the Flyers.
It was one of Butler's grittiest wins during the streak, which includes away-from-home victories over then-No. 1 Indiana, Northwestern and Vanderbilt. The Bulldogs are off to their best start since they won 19 of their first 20 games during the 2008-09 season.
The Bulldogs put together a nine-point run around Clarke's injury to take the lead for good.
Clarke stole the ball from Matt Derenbecker and was going up for a layup when Derenbecker fouled him hard, sending his head and left shoulder into the padded base of the backboard support. Clarke lay on his back for several minutes while he was examined, moving his arms and legs.
He was strapped onto a back support and got a standing ovation as he left on the stretcher, raising his thumbs to the crowd. Galloy said he had full sensation in his arms and legs.
Andrew Smith had a pair of baskets during the nine-point run that made it 23-16. Minutes later, Khyle Marshall made a basket, was fouled and missed the free throw, but Butler got the rebound and Marshall scored on a layup as the Bulldogs stretched their lead to 31-20.
The Bulldogs shot 59 percent in the first half despite missing Clarke, who had five points before he got hurt.
Pierre missed an uncontested dunk to open the second half, and Butler went on a nine-point run for a 44-30 lead that was never seriously threatened. Alex Barlow had a steal and layup during the surge.
Back-to-back 3s by Sanford cut the lead to 61-56 with 6:35 to go, the closest the Flyers had been since the opening minute of the second half. Sanford scored 10 straight points for Dayton, keeping the Flyers in it.
Smith hit an uncontested 3-pointer from the right wing off a set play to blunt the comeback, and Butler scored its last 11 points off free throws. Dayton never got closer than four points.
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