INDIANAPOLIS – The Bulldogs are off to a 1-0 start to the 2013-14 season after defeating Cleveland State on Friday night by the final score of 85-69. Five Bulldogs reached double figure scoring total against the Vikings as Butler cruised to a 16 point win on 54 percent shooting from the field.
Liz Stratman scored a career-high 19 points on 8-of-10 shooting to lead Butler in the home opener. The junior center also tied her career-high assist total with four against the Vikings. Stratman, Daress McClung and Ijeoma Uchendu attacked Cleveland State from the paint as the Bulldogs scored 36 of their 85 points from close range.
McClung got things going in the second half after battling foul trouble during the first 20 minutes. She ended the game with 10 points, three rebounds and a steal. Uchendu led all bench scorers with 11 points on 4-of-9 shooting and freshman Ashton Feldhaus had a nice debut with seven points.
Taylor Schippers and Mandy McDivitt paced the offensive tempo from the perimeter. McDivitt buried three shots from behind the arc on her way to scoring 14 points and Schippers did her part with 11 points and four assists.
The Bulldogs shot 53 percent from distance (8-for-15) and were also solid from the charity stripe connecting on 19 of their 25 attempts.
Bench points were lopsided on Friday night as the Vikings relied heavily on Kiersten Green who scored a game-high 28 points on 7-of-14 shooting. Green hit five 3-point field goals and was 9-for-13 from the free throw line, but Butler used the entire roster to gain a 28-5 advantage from the reserves.
Butler built a 43-30 lead at the half after a 15 point, four rebound, three block effort from Stratman. The lead ballooned to 15 after a layup from Stratman off an assist from Blaire Langlois. Stratman also started the scoring run with a 3-point field goal to give the 'Dogs a 27-16 edge.
The double digit lead would stand for the entire second half as Butler shot 45 percent in the final 20 minutes to earn their first win of the season. Langlois made the first start of her career, finishing with three points, and freshman Serena Sandusky made her collegiate debut with six points for the Bulldogs.
The Bulldogs will return to action with a road game at Eastern Michigan on Wednesday, Nov. 13. Tip I scheduled for 7 p.m.