Jan. 22, 2006
Seven three-pointers in the second half fueled a furious comeback bid for the Bulldogs, who ultimately fell, 56-51, at UW-Green Bay Sunday afternoon. Juniors Jackie Closser and Ellen Hamilton led the Bulldogs with 12 points apiece, with 21 of those 24 coming in the second stanza. With the win, the Phoenix improves to 14-3 overall and remains perfect in Horizon League play at 7-0. Butler falls to 8-9 (4-3).
In front of a nationally-televised audience on ESPNU and in front of a sellout crowd of 1,850 at the Phoenix Sports Center, Butler erased a nine-point deficit midway through the second half when Candace Bain connected on a trey with 10:57 to play. That gave Butler a 38-37 lead, its first advantage since three minutes into the game. Hamilton started the Bulldogs in the right direction with three bombs in the opening 2:30 of the second half.
UWGB's Amanda Popp connected on back-to-back buckets to extend the Phoenix lead to 46-41 with 4:51 to play before a Bain bucket and a Closser three-point play deadlocked things at 46. However, Butler went scoreless for the next 2:27 and UWGB built an insurmountable 53-46 lead with just over a minute remaining.
Nicole Soulis led the Phoenix with 20 points, leading a 38-6 points in the paint advantage for UWGB. Popp had 11, all in the second half, and Natalie Berglin added 10. UWGB shot 48 percent for the game, but connected on just 3-of-15 three-point attempts and 5-of-13 free throws. The Phoenix compensated by just turning the ball over eight times.
Carla Gheorghe and Bain each came off the bench to score nine points for the Bulldogs. Sophomore Cassie Freeman's game-high seven rebounds keyed a 35-27 rebounding edge for Butler, which shot 37 percent. Butler had 17 turnovers, but only six in the second half. The Bulldogs hit 10 three-pointers. Closser had seven assists.
After Butler took a 6-2 lead three minutes into the contest, the Phoenix went on a 20-2 run to take a 22-8 advantage with 8:28 to play in the opening half. Gheorghe came off the bench to score the next seven points and an Akande bucket with 2:05 to play in the half capped a 9-0 Butler answer and pulled the team within five at 22-17. The Phoenix went into the locker rooms with a 26-17 advantage. Butler shot just 27 percent in the opening half, including 1-11 during the UWGB run. Butler had 11 turnovers in the first half, while the Phoenix shot 48 percent and committed just three miscues, all in the last 4:30 of the half.
The Bulldogs return to action Wednesday (Jan. 25) with their last venture out of Horizon League play, traveling to Fort Wayne to take on in-state foe IPFW. The 7 p.m. tip can be heard live on www.butlersports.com. The team returns to Hinkle Fieldhouse Saturday (Jan. 28) to face Wright State at noon in the first game of a Butler basketball doubleheader. The men's team faces off against the Raiders immediately following the conclusion of the women's game.