GREEN BAY, Wis. – Butler picked a good time to find its hot outside shooting, making a season-high 10 3-pointers to defeat Detroit, 69-55, Friday evening in the semifinal of the Speedway Horizon League Women’s Basketball Championship. The Bulldogs will advance to Sunday’s championship game.
The Bulldogs (23-8) shot 10-for-18 from beyond the arc, just days after hitting 9-for-15 against Wright State. Senior Susan Lester led BU with 20 points and six rebounds. Sophomore Devin Brierly had a career-high 14 points and junior Brittany Bowen added 12. Lester, Brierly and Bowen each made three 3-pointers in the game and combined to shoot 9-for-13 from 3-point range.
“We’ve had different people step up all year. Susan took over and when she’s on the floor she gives us a calming presence,” head coach Beth Couture said.
Detroit’s Yar Shayok had 19 points and 11 rebounds.
Detroit led in the game’s opening minutes until BU took its first lead at 18-17. Butler then dropped a flurry of 3s to take control. Back-to-back treys by Brierly and Bowen late in the first half gave the Bulldogs a 35-22 lead and forced a Detroit timeout. BU, which made its first seven 3-pointers and had 10 assists on its first 12 made baskets, led 38-25 at halftime.
The Titans (17-14) turned up the pressure in the second half and would pull within 57-51 with 3:52 to play but Lester scored on the next possession and BU made four free throws down the stretch to get the lead back up to 65-53 with 1:37 to go.
“I knew Detroit would make a run and I was proud of our kids for staying in there. We handled it pretty well and didn’t get to anxious,” Couture said.
Senior Melanie Thornton had nine points and 13 rebounds and junior Terra Burns had a career-high 10 assists.
Lester was named U.S. Army Player of the Game.
Sunday's championship game is Sunday at 1 p.m. ET (12 p.m. CT). It will be broadcast on ESPNU.