March 1, 2007
Indianapolis, Ind. - Freshman Susan Lester notched her sixth double-double of the season, sophomore Lade Akande came one rebound shy of her third and the Bulldogs (13-14, 10-5 Horizon League) used a dominant edge on the glass in holding off Youngstown State (7-19, 5-10 HL) in a 59-45 victory in Hinkle Fieldhouse on Thursday (March 1).
The win gives the Bulldogs their 10th Horizon League victory of the season, the most for a Butler team during head coach Beth Couture's five seasons. The victory also secures third place in the league standings, giving the Bulldogs their highest regular season finish since the 1998-99 campaign.
Butler never trailed in a game that featured sluggish offense on both sides, despite 40.8 percent shooting from the field by the Bulldogs. A meager 28.3 percent accuracy by the Penguins proved to be too much of a pitfall to overcome, as YSU was held to an opponent season-low 45 points.
The Bulldogs raced out to a 7-0 lead to begin the contest and maintained no less than a five-point margin throughout the final 15 minutes of the first half. Butler controlled the boards in the opening stanza, out-rebounding the Penguins 34-to-13, which helped them to an 11-to-0 advantage in second-chance points and a 16-to-4 margin at points in the paint.
Leading 29-19 at the break, the Bulldogs used a 14-5 run in the first eight minutes of the second half to push ahead by their largest margin of the night at 43-24.
The Penguins, however, continued to hang around, closing the gap to nine with just over two minutes remaining, but the offensive surge would be too little too late.
Lester gave the Bulldogs their most impressive rebounding display of the season, pulling down a career-high and season-best 14 boards while adding 13 points for her team-leading sixth double-double of the year.
Akande, on the other hand, was untouchable on the offensive end, scoring her game-high 21 points on 9-of-13 shooting from the field while adding nine rebounds.
Jackie Closser also finished in double-figures with 13 points and a team-high four assists.
Meanwhile, not a single Penguins player tallied double-digit point totals, as Ta-myra Davis and Heather Karner led the squad with eight each.
Free throw shooting proved to be unkind to both squads in the game, as Butler converted only 50 percent (15-of-30) to the Penguins 41.2 (7-of-17).
The Bulldogs conclude the regular season on Saturday (March 3) when they host Cleveland State beginning at 2:00 p.m. at Hinkle Fieldhouse. Prior to the game, Butler will recognize seniors Jackie Closser, Carla Gheorghe and Ellen Hamilton for their dedication to the program during their careers.