January 18, 2006

Couture Wins No. 300 as Butler Drops Loyola, 85-72

Jan. 18, 2006

Box Score

Freshman Lade Akande led four Bulldogs in double figures with 22 points, as Butler downed Loyola, 85-72, in a Horizon League game Wednesday evening in Hinkle Fieldhouse. Akande added nine rebounds, helping Butler coach Beth Couture to her 300th career victory. Butler levels its overall record at 8-8 and improves to 4-2 in league play. The Ramblers fall to 1-16 (1-5).

"I have to give Loyola a lot of credit," said Couture, whose overall record improves 300-177. Her first 258 wins came at Presbyterian College. "For a team that has been struggling, they came in here and played hard and played well. I thought we made big plays when we had to on both offense and defense. I just want to say thanks to everyone who was here to celebrate my 300th win. It was a great moment. These 300 wins are the team effort of a lot of players, coaches and fans over the years and I'm looking forward to everyone working together to win a lot more."

Following the game, the crowd held up "300" signs and joined Couture and the team courtside for a cake after the team presented their coach with a personalized basketball.

Akande scored the first six points of the second half to turn a 36-27 halftime advantage into a 42-27 lead. Loyola helped the Bulldogs out by turning the ball over on their first three possessions of the second half. The Bulldogs opened the second stanza by hitting eight of their first nine shots and stretched the lead to 17 at 53-36 with 14:44 remaining. That was the largest margin of the game, but the Ramblers never got the lead under 10 after the intermission.

Ellen Hamilton, the reigning Horizon League "Player of the Week," scored 15 points for the Bulldogs. Stephanie Boeke and Cassie Freeman each had 11 points, with Boeke adding eight rebounds. Hamilton and Boeke returned to the starting line-up for Wednesday's game.

The Bulldogs shot 49 percent for the game, including a 61-percent clip in the second half. Juniors Jackie Closser and Carla Gheorghe each had eight points for the Bulldogs. Closser tied a career-high with nine assists. The Bulldogs turned the ball over a season-low 10 times and had assists on 19 of their 29 baskets.

Loyola entered the contest with the third-best shooting percentage in the Horizon League despite its record and shot well, hitting 49 percent of their attempts. The Ramblers went 6-of-9 from behind the arc, using three early treys to stay within reach early in the first half. Danielle Lonie had 27 points and 11 rebounds for Loyola and Mandy Manella added 11. The Bulldogs forced 17 turnovers and limited the Horizon League's leading scorer, Marquise Hanser, to nine points on 3-of-9 shooting. She averaged better than 18 points per game entering the game.

The Bulldogs return to action Sunday (Jan. 22) at league-leading UW-Green Bay. The game will be televised nationally on ESPNU with the tip set for 11 a.m. (CST in Green Bay, 12 p.m. Indianapolis). Butler will also have a free audio feed available at www.butlersports.com. There will be no video stream available for the contest due to the national broadcast.