INDIANAPOLIS - Senior Melanie Thornton scored 16 points and grabbed 10 rebounds and the Butler women's basketball team used a 23-2 run in the first half to run past Youngstown State, 82-36, Thursday evening. The win pulled BU to 8-3 in the Horizon League, tied for second place with Green Bay.
Butler (15-7, 8-3) turned an early 5-4 deficit into a 27-7 lead with 9:31 to go in the first half. At one point, the Bulldogs ripped off 20 straight points to lead 24-5.
"I'm really proud of the girls," head coach Beth Couture said. "We wanted to set the tone early, and our girls showed they were ready to play."
Thornton was dominant. She had 10 points and eight rebounds at halftime and finished with 8-for-12 shooting. She added three assists and two blocks, including a monster swat that flew into the basket support.
Junior Chloe Hamilton added 15 points and freshman Claire Freeman had 10. Sophomore Devin Brierly had nine points and a team-high five assists. All 12 Bulldog players dressed played, and all 12 scored.
The Bulldogs led 47-15 at the half and took their first 40-point lead (65-25) with 13:19 left in the game.
BU shot 53.3 percent (32-for-60) for the game while committing just 10 turnovers. Butler also had a 44-30 rebounding advantage. Youngstown State (0-23, 0-12 HL) shot 26.3 percent (15-for-57) for the game.
YSU's Brandi Brown had 10 points and 10 rebounds.
The Bulldogs host Cleveland State Saturday, Feb. 13 at 2 p.m. The game is Butler's WBCA Pink Zone game, which is an initiative to increase breast cancer awareness. Coach Couture will speak and honor special guests before the game. All fans are encouraged to wear pink to support the cause.
NOTES: Butler's 46-point margin of victory tied for the 9th-largest in school history. It was BU's largest margin of victory since a 47-point win against Western Michigan in 1997...BU's 53.5% shooting was just shy of the season high, set at Youngstown on Jan. 16 (53.7%)...Butler was +14 on the boards, also the second highest mark of the season (+19 vs. IPFW)...The win was Beth Couture's 120th at Butler. She needs four more Ws to tie the school record set by Linda Mason (1976-84)...Melanie Thornton now has a team-best six double-doubles on the year...Chloe Hamilton was one point shy of her career high. She has twice scored 16 points this season...The 82-point offensive output was BU's third game with 80+ this year, and tied the season high. Butler had 82 vs. Ball State on Dec. 30...Butler has won six of seven games and is shooting 48.7% from the floor in that span. Hamilton is shooting 30-for-49 (.612) over the last seven games...Alyssa Pittman made two 3s Thursday night and has hit 16 of her last 36 (.444) from beyond the arc...Butler improves to 9-1 at home this season.