February 6, 2006

Closser's Charity Secures 71-65 Win at Detroit

Feb. 6, 2006

Box Score

Butler's last 14 points came from the free throw line and host Detroit was held scoreless for a key five-minute stretch late in the second half as the Bulldogs scored a come-from-behind 71-65 win in the Motor City Monday night. Junior Jackie Closser led the Bulldogs with 23 points, including a perfect 12-of-12 performance at the charity stripe. With the win, Butler improves to 12-10 overall and 7-4 in Horizon League play. Detroit falls to 9-13 (6-5).

"We really stepped up in some key spots down the stretch," said Butler coach Beth Couture. "We controlled the boards in the final minutes (29-26 advantage overall) and hit enough free throws to score a really good win on the road. We asked younger players who hadn't been in many of these situations before to make plays and they did for us."

By the 16:46 mark of the second half, Butler had already erased an 11-point deficit after a 13-2 run to open the second 20 minutes. From there, the two teams fought back and forth until Butler took the lead for good at 63-61 after two Closser free throws at the 4:37 mark. The free throws started a 6-0 run, as neither team hit a field goal from the five-minute mark until the final seconds. The difference was Butler was able to make enough free throws down the stretch to score the win.

The Bulldogs went 23-of-32 from the line, including 22-of-29 in the second half. Detroit attempted only five free throws. In addition to Closser's 23, Ellen Hamilton had 14 points and Lade Akande added 13. The Bulldogs hit 8-of-16 three-pointers and shot 53 percent from the field. Detroit shot 46 percent overall and 9-of-18 from behind the arc, but hit just two of 10 long-range attempts in the second half.

Half of Detroit's 14 first-half field goals came from behind the arc, as the Titans took a 35-24 advantage after 20 minutes of play. Fifteen of those Titan first-half points came from Katie Solner, who went a perfect 6-of-6 in the opening frame. Butler shot a respectable 45 percent from the field and Detroit was 7-of-8 from three-point range, but the teams combined for 23 first-half turnovers to keep the score low.

Solner led the Titans with 21 points. Lindsey Pasquinzo added 14 points.

Butler improves to 11-2 when scoring at least 70 points. The Bulldogs played the final 26 minutes without senior co-captain Stephanie Boeke, who went down going after a loose ball. Candyce Brown filled in with five points and career-highs of five rebounds and 28 minutes.

The Bulldogs return to the friendly confines of Hinkle Fieldhouse Saturday (Feb. 11), hosting UW-Milwaukee at 2 p.m. It's the first game in Indianapolis for the Bulldogs in two weeks and is a rematch of the overtime thriller that Butler won in Wisconsin New Year's Eve. Live video of the contest will be available on both www.butlersports.com and www.horizonleague.com.