CINCINNATI - Junior Brittany Bowen tied her career high with 25 points and the Butler women's basketball team erased an early 15-point deficit to defeat Cincinnati, 65-48, Sunday evening at Fifth Third Arena. Senior Melanie Thornton had 14 points, 13 rebounds and three blocks for the Bulldogs, who have now won four straight games.
Butler (6-3) trailed by six at the half and trailed by 11 with 17:21 left in the game but the Bulldogs stormed back behind Bowen, Thornton and Claire Freeman.
Not much went right for the Bulldogs in the game's opening minutes. BU missed its first 13 field goal attempts and didn't get a bucket until junior Alyssa Pittman made a runner in the lane at the 9:00 mark. At that point, all Butler had on the board were three Burns free throws and a 16-3 deficit.
Butler trailed 24-9 with 5:16 left in the half before finishing with a 15-6 run. Bowen had a game-high 11 points at halftime.
BU held Cincinnati to just 18 points on 7-for-32 shooting in the second half to get back into the ballgame. The Dogs took their first lead at 39-37 with 14:57 left after two steals and two fast-break baskets by Freeman. The Bulldogs continued to get stops and push the tempo to create opportunities on offense. Butler took a 10-point with 9:18 remaining to complete a 25-6 run over a 5-minute span in the second half.
A lay-up by Thornton following a Bowen steal with 3:38 left in the game gave the Bulldogs a 63-48 lead and allowed Dogs to kill the clock and leave with its second road victory of the week. BU also won at Indiana State, a 67-60 win on Wednesday (Dec. 9).
Students at Butler University will take final exams this week. The Bulldogs' next game is at No. 20 Dayton Monday, Dec. 21 at 5 p.m.
NOTES: The Bulldogs outscored Cincinnati 24-5 over an 8:03 span in the second half. The score of the final 18:10 of the game: Butler 41, Cincinnati 13…BU shot 13-for-16 from the free throw line against the Bearcats. Butler has made 55 of 74 (.743) over the last three games…Brittany Bowen previously had 25 points in a double-overtime win at Miami (Ohio) last December. Bowen is averaging 17.5 points per game over the last four games…Melanie Thornton has scored in double figures in five of her six games this season. She is averaging 14.0 points and 10.3 rebounds over the past three games…Claire Freeman tied her career high with nine points. She shot 4-for-5 and had three assists and three steals.