Feb. 18, 2006
Freshman Lade Akande posted the sixth double-double of her young career with a game-high 24 points and 11 rebounds Saturday at UIC, but the Flames shot 52 percent and ran away with an 85-66 win. Krystal Hugelier led four players in double figures with 23 points. With the win, UIC improves to 13-12 overall and 9-5 in Horizon League action. Butler falls to 13-12 (8-6) and is now a game behind UIC for the third spot in the league standings after UIC swept the season series.
"I was really proud of our three freshmen tonight," said Butler coach Beth Couture of Akande, Candyce Brown and Candace Jones. "They came out and played well for us. This game came down to some bad mental mistakes. We left shooters when we shouldn't have and let UIC dictate the pace of the game."
Junior Jackie Closser poured in 15 points and six assists for the Bulldogs and classmate Ellen Hamilton added 14. The Bulldogs shot 38 percent from the field, but most of their production came from the free throw line where the team went 24-of-32. Butler out-rebounded the home team, 35-33, but was done in by 20 turnovers.
LaShonda Grant had 15 points and seven assists for UIC. The Flames shot 52 percent from the field, including 8-of-16 from three-point range. The home team had 25 assists to just 12 turnovers.
Down 14 at the break, Butler reeled off the first seven points of the second half to cut the lead to seven at 45-38 after a Hamilton three-pointer two minutes into the second half. UIC responded with a 14-2 run to push the lead to 19 at 59-40 with 13:05 to play. The Bulldogs never could put a dent in the lead after that.
It was all UIC in the first half, as the Flames raced out to a 9-0 advantage and then used 61-percent shooting in the opening 20 minutes to take a 45-31 halftime lead. The home team's lead grew to as many as 18 before Butler closed the gap to 11 at the 3:24 mark after Akande scored in the post. Thirteen of Akande's total came in the first half, keeping the Bulldogs in the game.
The Bulldogs close out the regular season with a pair of home Horizon League contests next week. Butler hosts Cleveland State Thursday at 7 p.m. and UW-Green Bay Saturday in a 2 p.m. Senior Day contest. A win in one of the contests would clinch a quarterfinal game at Hinkle Fieldhouse to open the Horizon League Tournament. Live video of both contests will be available at both www.butlersports.com and www.horizonleague.com.