November 25, 2011

Nevada Edges Butler 71-69

RENO, Nev. - A putback by Nevada's Kayla Williams with 6.1 seconds left provided the difference as the Butler women's basketball team dropped a 71-69 contest at UNR's Lawlor Events Center. Freshman Haley Howard led BU with a career-high 19 points.

With the game tied 69-69, UNR's Arielle Wideman took a contested, off-balance jumper from the right wing. Williams, who finished with 16 points and nine rebounds, grabbed the loose ball and scored. She was also fouled but missed the free throw. Butler grabbed the missed foul shot and sophomore Mandy McDivitt dribbled into the frontcourt and shot a 40-footer at the buzzer. McDivitt's heave hit the back of the iron as time expired. 

Nevada's Kate Kevorken led all scorers with 23 points. She finished 7-of-9 from the floor and 7-for-10 at the foul line.

"It was a great college basketball game. Both teams played hard," head coach Beth Couture said. "At the end of the day, it came down to possessions and a couple mistakes we made early in the second half. But both teams are young and worked hard to improve and I think we did that."

Howard was on fire in the first half, scoring 15 points and hitting four 3-pointers as Butler opened a 44-41 halftime lead. The freshman from Whiteland finished 7-for-9 from the floor and 4-for-5 from beyond the arc. Her jumper with 22 seconds left tied the game at 69.

"Haley carried us offensively in the first half," Couture said. "She was really good. And for her being a freshman and to step up and hit that shot late in the game shows what kind of player she can be for us."

Sophomore Sarah Hamm added 15 points on 5-for-7 shooting and grabbed a team-high six rebounds. Senior Terra Burns added 11 points, five assists and three steals.

Butler had perhaps its best offensive game of the young season. The Bulldogs hit 8 of their 17 3-point attempts and shot 11-for-14 from the free throw line. BU shot 48 percent in the first half before cooling off a bit after the half. Nevada (2-2) shot 52 percent from the floor for the game.

The Bulldogs led the game by as many as seven and held the lead for 12 straight minutes at one point. Butler's last lead of the game came at the 13:13 when BU led 53-52.

Butler (1-3) will advance to play the loser of Iowa State-Penn State in the consolation game of the Nugget Classic in Reno.