Jan. 8, 2009
Detroit, Mich. - Four players finished with double-digit scoring figures and the Butler defense held its fourth-straight opponent to 50 or fewer points, as the Bulldogs broke open what had been a closely-contested game in the early going to run away with a 71-48 victory over host Detroit on Thursday (Jan. 8) evening at Calihan Hall.
The win improves Butler to 8-6 on the year and 3-0 in the Horizon League - the program's first 3-0 start to the league season since the 1999-2000 campaign. The Titans, meanwhile, fall to 5-9 on the year and 1-2 in the conference.
Detroit had the hot hand in the opening minutes of the contest, as the Titans scored on their first two possessions to take a quick 5-0 lead. Butler battled back to tie the game at 9-9, but a 7-2 surge by the Titans - capped by a three-pointer by Lauren Allen - pushed them back in front by five at 16-11 with 10:21.
Allen's triple would be the last bit of offense Detroit would see for sometime, however, as the Bulldog defense went on to hold the Titans scoreless for the next 7:26 and to just three points for the remainder of the half. The Butler offense, meanwhile, jumped for 19 points in the final 10 minutes - keyed by seven points from Lester and a pair of threes from Devin Brierly - to head into the locker room with a 30-19 advantage.
A 14-4 run by the Bulldogs out of the break put Butler up by 21 less than five minutes into the period, as Bowen and Thornton led the charge with five points a piece.
The rout was on from there, as the Bulldogs would hold no less than a 21-point advantage through the final 14 minutes of the game.
Butler finished with a convincing margin in just about every statistical category, including shooting percentage (44.3 to 38.3), rebounds (40-24) and assists (18-5). The Bulldogs also took advantage of 22 Titan turnovers by converting them into 17 points and held an 18-7 lead in second chance scoring.
The Butler bench also stepped up once again, finishing with a 34-15 advantage in scoring.
Lester went 6-for-11 from the field to finish with 14 points and added a game-high eight rebounds. Bowen added a 4-for-8 effort from the field, Thornton went 5-of-12 and Akande notched a 5-for-9 performance.
Butler returns to action on Saturday (Jan. 10) when it battles host Wright State beginning at 1:00 p.m. at the Ervin J. Nutter Center.