Big Second Half Leads Butler Over Wright State, 78-56

Jan. 14, 2006

Box Score

Butler shot 65 percent in the second half, including nine three-pointers in the final 20 minutes, to win going away, 78-56, at Wright State Saturday afternoon. Junior Ellen Hamilton had a career-high 24 points for the Bulldogs to lead all scorers. Lade Akande had 21 points and Jackie Closser added 17, as Butler improves to 7-8 (3-2 Horizon League). Wright State falls to 6-9 (2-3).

"We executed well early on against their man-to-man defense, which forced Wright State to change their gameplan and go zone," said Butler coach Beth Couture. "Once they had to go to their zone, we got a lot of open looks from three-point range and Jackie and Ellen did an excellent job knocking them down. The biggest thing about today is that we matched their aggressiveness and came at them for all 40 minutes."

The Bulldogs opened the second half with a 13-2 run to turn a 31-29 halftime deficit into a 42-33 advantage. That's when Closser and Hamilton went to work. Both had four three-pointers in the second half. The lead stretched to 25 with three minutes to play before the 22-point decision.

Butler's 12 three-pointers were a season-high. The Bulldogs shot a season-best 51 percent from the field and 52 percent from three-point range. Butler also out-rebounded the Raiders, 45-36, and limited the home team to 33 percent shooting.

Akande went 10-of-18 from the field for her fifth 20+ point performance of the season. She added seven rebounds and three steals. Senior Stephanie Boeke came off the bench to post career-highs of 11 rebounds and seven assists. She tied Closser for the game-high in assists. Closser went 5-of-9 from behind the arc, while Hamilton hit six of her 10 attempts from long range.

An Akande steal and coast-to-coast bucket gave the Bulldogs their first lead at 27-25 with 5:17 remaining in the first half. However, Butler would not connect on another field goal and WSU closed the opening 20 minutes with a 6-2 spurt for the halftime score. Butler committed 13 turnovers in the first half, but just five in the second half as they took control of the game.

Rhea Mays led the Raiders with 14 points. Sophomore Whitney Lewis added 13. The Bulldogs held WSU leading scorer and "All-Horizon League" performer Brittney Whiteside to 4-of-15 shooting and nine points.

The Bulldogs had two players each score at least 20 points for the first time since Nancy Bowden and Cortney Urquhart accomplished the feat Feb. 19, 2004 in an overtime game at Loyola.

The Bulldogs return to action Wednesday (Jan. 18), hosting Horizon League foe Loyola at Hinkle Fieldhouse. Free audio and video of the 7 p.m. tip will be available live at both www.butlersports.com and www.horizonleague.com.