Butler Pulls Away From Cleveland State

INDIANAPOLIS - The Butler women's basketball team shook off a slow start to rout Cleveland State 67-43 Saturday afternoon at Hinkle Fieldhouse. Sophomore Sarah Hamm scored 14 points and senior Devin Brierly added 13 for the Bulldogs.

After falling behind 20-9 in the first 10 minutes of the game, Butler dismantled the visiting Vikings for its second win of the weekend. BU out-scored Cleveland State 58-23 during the game's final 30 minutes. 

"The first five minutes, we missed some assignments and missed some easy buckets that could've given us some confidence," head coach Beth Couture said. "Our energy and focus were outstanding. I also felt like we did an excellent job of executing."

Brierly, who scored 19 in Thursday's win over Youngstown State, finished 5-for-9 shooting and made 3-for-5 from 3-point range. She also had four assists and two steals. Hamm shot 4-for-8 and pulled in five rebounds in 25 minutes off the bench.

Sophomore Jenna Cobb added 11 points, matching her career high which was set last year against Cleveland State. 

"Jenna's game is driving to the hole and she's been able to do that and make lay-ups in traffic," Couture said. "She's helped our offense tremendously."

Cleveland State's last lead of the game was 23-22 at the 5:50 mark in the first half. Butler finished the half with a 12-3 run to lead 34-26 and then turned the game into a rout. The Bulldogs had their first 20-point lead with 8:21 left in the game and continued to pour it on as Couture inserted her subs.

Couture said Cleveland State surprised Butler by subbing platoon-style, sending in five different players at a time. 

"We took away the strengths of the players in each (group of) five," Couture said. "They have kids that want to shoot the basketball and they have kids who are athletic that you can't stop on the drive. Our two defenses were good and we took them out of their offense."

BU set season highs for 3-pointers made (8), 3-point shooting percentage (.471) and assists (19). The Bulldogs were +9 on the boards and held Cleveland State to 17 points in the second half.

CSU (6-8, 1-2) was led by Shalonda Winton with 20 points, seven rebounds and six steals. No other Viking made it to double figures.

Butler (6-9, 2-2) has one game next week, a Saturday contest at Valparaiso. The game at Valpo will start at 2:30 p.m. ET.