PHILADELPHIA - Junior Daress McClung led BU with 21 points and 12 rebounds but the Butler women's basketball team dropped a physical and fast battle with league unbeaten Saint Joseph's 57-50 on Wednesday night.
Sophomores Taylor Schippers (12 points) and Liz Stratman (10 points, 9 rebounds) were the other Bulldogs in double figures. The Bulldogs managed just 18 points in the second half and Saint Joseph's shot 19 free throws to Butler's four.
Butler (13-8, 4-2) trailed 52-48 with 1:23 left after a nasty collision involving SJU's Ashley Prim and BU's Mandy McDivitt. The Bulldogs went into McClung, who scored and Butler called timeout with 1:06 left. The Hawks called two timeouts on the next possesion, in both cases caught by Butler's defensive pressure. After the second timeout, Ashley Robinson scored for St. Joe's to make it 54-50.
Butler then called its last timeout. The ensuing possesion was a turnover and Saint Joseph's finished the game at the foul line.
SJU (14-5, 5-0) remained unbeaten in what was its toughest A-10 battle to date. The Hawks were led by Chatilla van Grinsven with 12 points and 11 rebounds. Robinson added 11 off the bench.
McClung had 13 points and six rebounds in the first half as Butler took a 32-30 lead to the locker room. BU was the aggressor on both ends and was effective in limiting St. Joe's and then scoring in transition. The Bulldogs led by as many as 12 in the first half and held a 30-19 lead at the 3:40 mark. St. Joseph's finished the period on an 11-2 run to pull within 32-30.
The Hawks then started the second half with eight unanswered points before an offensive rebound on a free throw resulted in a deep 3-pointer by Schippers. With the game tied 38-38, BU got an 8-2 spurt to lead by 6 with 11 minutes remaining.
Butler doesn't play again for a week. BU's next game is against Rhode Island Wednesday, Feb. 7 at Hinkle Fieldhouse at 7 p.m.