January 27, 2007

Akande, Lester Drive Bulldogs Past Panthers, 81-74

Jan. 27, 2007

Box Score

Indianapolis, Ind. - Lade Akande netted 25 points, Susan Lester notched her third-straight double-double and the Bulldogs had every one of their 31 field goals assisted on as Butler (8-12, 5-3 Horizon League) held off visiting UW-Milwaukee on Saturday (Jan. 27) afternoon at Hinkle Fieldhouse.

The two teams scrapped through 15 lead changes and eight ties, with neither team leading by more than six until the final minute of play.

UW-Milwaukee (10-11, 6-2 HL) led for most of the final 10 minutes of play but was unable to pull ahead by more than three at any point, as the Bulldogs responded to everyone of the Panther's offensive strikes. With the score deadlocked at 72-72 and 2:28 left on the clock, Ellen Hamilton nailed a tie-breaking three-pointer before Akande netted a lay-up just over a minute later to give the Bulldogs a five-point edge at 77-72.

After Katie Fournier sunk a pair of free-throws with a minute left to close the gap to three, Akande made up the difference with a lay-up 20 seconds later before sealing the game on a lay-in off a break-away with five seconds remaining.

The Bulldogs jumped out to an early lead in the game, running ahead to a 14-9 advantage six minutes into the period thanks in part to six points from Lester and three-pointers from Tara Miller and Jackie Closser. The Panthers rallied to tie the game for the first time at 17-17 midway through, but Butler would hold UW-Milwaukee at bay for the remainder of the period and carry a four-point advantage into the break at 36-32.

Akande took over in the second half, scoring 23 of her game-high 25 points on 10-of-11 shooting from the field, while the Bulldogs continued to distribute on offense, as seven players each contributed at least one assist.

Lester finished with her fourth double-double of the year and third in her last three games, notching 20 points and 10 boards while dishing five assists.

Closser joined the two post players in double figures with 16 points, coming on 4-of-6 shooting from three, while adding a game-high nine assists. She also extended her streak of consecutive games with a three-pointer to an NCAA-best 48 straight games.

Hamilton chipped in eight points on 3-of-5 shooting from the field, while Miller notched eight assists and six rebounds.

The Bulldogs' 31 assists on 31 field goals is just one off of the NCAA Division-I single-game record of 32 assists on 32 makes, set by St. Louis in 1986.

Traci Edwards led UW-Milwaukee with 22 points on 9-of-12 shooting from the field and a 4-of-4 mark from the line, while Fournier (14) and Aubrey Hampton (13) also finished in double figures.

Butler will have a week off before welcoming Horizon League foe Wright State to Hinkle Fieldhouse on Saturday (Feb. 3) beginning at 6:00 p.m.