Feb. 19, 2005
Despite a career-high 22 points from sophomore Ellen Hamilton and 11 three-pointers, Butler dropped a 72-67 decision to visiting UIC Saturday afternoon at Hinkle Fieldhouse. The Flames scored eight of the game's final 11 points, hitting free throws and getting key offensive rebounds down the stretch to take the win. UIC now stands at 13-13 (10-5 Horizon League), while Butler falls to 12-13 (6-8).
Hamilton's 22 points came on 6-of-15 shooting, including 4-of-10 from three-point range. She hit all six of her free throws and added two assists in 35 minutes of play. The game comes on the heels of her 17-point performance in Thursday's win over Loyola.
"Ellen has really put together two good games in a row," said coach Beth Couture. "She came into today's game focused on playing better than she did against UIC last week in Chicago and she kept us in this game. In the end, it comes down to the little things, which are taking care of the ball and getting rebounds and we didn't do those things down the stretch and paid for it."
Fourteen of Hamilton's points came in the first half as she single-handedly rallied the Bulldogs after UIC's LaShonda Grant took control of the game with 21 first-half points. Butler scored the game's first nine points and led 21-14 when Grant sparked a 17-0 Flames run that turned the seven-point deficit into a 31-21 lead with 4:29 remaining in the first half. Hamilton scored seven points in the last four-plus minutes of the half to pull the Bulldogs within five at 39-34.
A Cassie Freeman lay-up with 16:42 to play in the game tied the contest at 41 and the teams traded baskets throughout much of the second half. A Hamilton trey with 2:38 to play tied the score at 64, the seventh tie of the game. From that point, the Flames hit six-of-nine free throws and pulled down two key offensive rebounds that led to four points.
Grant led all scorers with 31 points, as the Bulldogs limited her to just two field goals in the final 20 minutes. She missed only one of her 10 attempts and went 8-of-11 from the charity stripe. Forward Dejeanette Flournoy had 15 points and 11 rebounds for UIC, which shot 47 percent from the field.
Sophomore Jackie Closser had 14 points and seven assists. Senior Cortney Urquhart had a team-high eight rebounds to go along with 12 points, while classmate Maria Marchesano chipped in 11. Butler shot 41 percent from the floor, including an 11-of-27 performance from behind the arc. The Flames held a 37-32 edge on the glass and forced the Bulldogs into 20 turnovers.
The Bulldogs return to action Thursday at Cleveland State with a 7 p.m. tip. Butler then returns to Hinkle Fieldhouse Saturday, Feb. 26 for the regular season finale and Senior Day festivities. Saturday's game can be heard live on www.butlersports.com.