Feb. 12, 2004
Sophomore Jessica Monaco posted a career-high 18 points in her first start of the season, leading the Bulldogs to an 89-81 victory over UIC Thursday at Hinkle Fieldhouse. Butler hit a school-record 14 three-pointers and had four players in double figures as they improved to 5-6 in league play and 9-13 overall. The Flames fall to 10-13 overall and 4-8 in league play.
The Bulldogs and Flames matched each other shot for shot for much of the game, as the teams combined for 25 three-pointers, six shy of the NCAA combined record. There were 14 ties and 14 lead changes.
Sophomore Maria Marchesano's fourth bomb of the game broke a 69-69 tie with 4:25 to play. Two free throws by freshman Jackie Closser capped a 10-0 run with 2:25 remaining to give Butler a decisive lead at 79-69. Butler would hit 10 of its last 11 free throw attempts to seal the victory.
Monaco went 4-of-4, including 3-of-3 from long range, in the first half for 11 points and hit her first two shots in the second stanza. The Saratoga Springs, N.Y., native finished 7-of-10 from the floor and added four rebounds in playing a season-high 27 minutes. Monaco got the start for the injured Dionne Goodwin.
Closser's 19 points led the Bulldogs. Closser went 4-of-8 from behind the three-point line and hit some crucial free throws down the stretch to ice the game. Closser's 7-of-8 performance from the free throw line led the Bulldogs, who overcame their shooting woes from last weekend to hit 21-of-27 (78 percent) from the line.
A Chrissy Dizon three with 4:38 to go in the first half gave the Flames their largest lead at 37-30. But the Bulldogs would counter with a 12-2 run before another Dizon three would send the teams into the locker rooms tied at 42. Butler played the last nine minutes of the first half without senior Nancy Bowden, who picked up her second foul.
Marchesano came off the bench to hit four three-pointers for 12 points. The sophomore did her damage in only six minutes on the court. She added two rebounds and one steal. Junior Cortney Urquhart also had 12 points for the Bulldogs and added a team-high seven rebounds. Angel Mason added nine points, while Bowden had eight points and eight assists.
Dizon led the Flames with 26 points on 10-of-18 shooting. The Flames shot 51 percent from the floor and out-rebounded the Bulldogs, 36-34. Despite 11 treys of their own, UIC could not overcome its 17 turnovers. The Flames entered Thursday's contest just a half-game behind Butler for fifth in the league, but fall 1.5 games behind the Bulldogs with the loss.
The Bulldogs continue their homestand Saturday as they host the Penguins of Youngstown State in a Valentine's Day affair. The tip at Hinkle Fieldhouse is set for 2 p.m. The game will be broadcast live on www.butlersports.com.