Eagles Hold Off Bulldogs in Overtime 81-76

Eagles Hold Off Bulldogs in Overtime 81-76
Daress McClung

YPSILANTI, Mich. – The Butler women's basketball program tasted defeat for the first time this season as they lost a road contest at Eastern Michigan in overtime by the final score of 81-76. Butler had the final possession in the second half, but they couldn't put away EMU as the 'Dogs fall to 1-1 early in the 2013-14 season.

Liz Stratman had a career night on Wednesday with 23 points, 16 rebounds, five assists and five blocks. The junior was on the floor for all 40 minutes as she connected on 10 of her 18 field goal attempts. Daress McClung was another source of points for Butler as she ended the game with 22 points and 11 rebounds.

Both Stratman and McClung used their size against Eastern Michigan to control the paint. Butler outscored EMU 48-24 inside, but poor 3-point shooting kept the Eagles alive as the 'Dogs hit just 4-of-23 from beyond the arc.

The top 3-point shooter for BU on Wednesday was junior Taylor Schippers who chipped in with 17 second half points after spending most of the first half on the sideline with two personal fouls. Ijeoma Uchendu was also in foul trouble for Butler as she ended the game with six points and three rebounds.

Eastern Michigan was led by Janay Morton who matched Stratman with a game-high 23 points. Olivia Fouty poured in 20 and Desyree Thomas was also active with 12.

The Eagles held a 36-33 lead at the half thanks to an 11 point outing from Fouty. The forward stretched the floor by hitting three 3-point field goals in the opening 20 minutes.

Neither team was able to build a comfortable lead as the game stayed close the entire second half. Schippers came alive midway through the second stanza with a deep 3-point field goal to give Butler their first lead of the half at 50-49.

The Eagles would respond with an 8-0 run capped by an old fashioned three-point play from Janay Morton who hurt Butler in the second half with 13 points. Morton's layup took the game into the under eight media timeout as Butler faced a seven point deficit.

Schippers, McDivitt and McClung got Butler back into the game with their scoring ability and it was Schippers who would once again give BU a one point lead with a 3-point field goal with 5:28 left to push the scoreboard to 60-59.

Butler scored four-straight points after the Schippers triple, but EMU would fight back to tie the game at 64-64 after a 3 ball from Fouty. Butler would go on to regain the lead with less than a minute to play, but Morton stepped up with a clutch 3-point field goal with 33 second remaining to tie the game at 69-69.

The final moments of the second half were frantic as the Bulldogs turned the ball over, but dodged a bullet after a miss from Sara Stone. Stratman had two looks at the buzzer, but neither fell as the two teams would go into overtime tied at 69-69.

The extra time started with a field goal from Jamaica Bucknor, but Stratman would quickly knot the game with a close shot of her own. Fouty was the next player to score a bucket, but Schippers answered with her third 3-point field goal of the game to give Butler a slim 75-74 advantage.

The two evenly matched teams tied the game for the 11th time at 76-76 with 1:26 remaining, but Morton pushed EMU back on top with a runner in the paint. The shot by Morton would be the last made field goal of the game as EMU used free throws down the stretch to ice the game at 81-76.

The Bulldogs will return to action this weekend with a Saturday game at Hinkle Fieldhouse vs. St. Mary's. Tip-off is scheduled for 12 p.m.