Bulldogs Escape Calihan With Gutsy 59-51 Win Over Detroit

Jan. 18, 2007

Box Score

Detroit - Clutch three-pointers by Cassie Freeman and Tara Miller and a near-record-setting effort from the free throw line by Jackie Closser helped the Bulldogs claw their way back late to claim a 59-51 victory over Detroit on Thursday (Jan. 18) at Calihan Hall.

Freeman and Miller each nailed a pair of three pointers late in the contest, with Freeman's second trey with 9:26 remaining in the game giving the Bulldogs their first lead of the contest, and Closser notched 10 second-half makes from the line to secure the win in the final minutes.

Nothing seemed to fall for Butler (7-10, 4-2 Horizon League) in the first half, as the Bulldogs shot a mere 23.3 percent from the field while hitting only 1-of-10 shots from beyond the arc. The Bulldog defense, however, kept them in the game in the first half, forcing 13 turnovers and holding the Titans (4-14, 1-4 HL) to just 33.3 percent shooting in taking a 22-19 deficit into the locker.

An 8-3 run to open the second period pushed the Titans out to their largest lead of the game at 30-22 before the Bulldogs began their climb back.

With Butler trailing by six at 32-26 with just over 13 minutes to play, Miller canned her first three of the night to cut the deficit in half before Freeman hit her first long-range shot two minutes later to knot the game at 32.

Detroit regained the lead moments later on a lay-up by India Bruster, but Freeman answered right back with her second triple to give Butler the lead at 35-34.

The Titans refused to go away, as Detroit rallied once more to take a 44-42 advantage with under seven minutes left, but a trey by Miller gave Butler the lead back for good.

After converting her first four attempts of the night, Closser kept right on going, netting 8-of-8 in the final five minutes to seal the win and finish with a 12-for-12 mark from the line.

Closser led four Butler players in double figures with 17 points, thanks largely to her near-record-breaking performance from the line. It is the second time in her career that she has gone 12-for-12 from the charity stripe and finished one make short of trying Shelley Roby's 13-of-13 performance in 1988. Closser also added nine assists.

Miller notched 13 points in the game, going 3-for-5 for three and 4-of-4 from the line. Lade Akande fought off a cold first half from the field to finish with 11 points on 5-for-13 shooting, while Freeman added 10 points after going 2-for-2 from three and 4-of-6 from the line.

Joyce Massey led the Titans with 15 points, while Sandi Brown contributed 10.

The win is just the Bulldogs' fifth in 23 trips to Calihan Hall.

The Bulldogs take a short break from the Horizon League schedule when they take on IPFW on Saturday (Jan. 20) beginning at 1:00 p.m.