November 14, 2008

No. 18/19 Ohio State Rallies Late To Top Butler, 75-56

Nov. 14, 2008

Box Score

Columbus, Ohio - Junior Melanie Thornton registered career-highs with 18 points and seven steals and the Bulldogs held host No. 18/19 Ohio State to just 31 percent shooting in the opening period, but the Buckeyes would find their shooting touch after the break before pulling away late in sending Butler to a 75-56 defeat at Value City Arena on Friday (Nov. 14) evening.

A stingy Butler defense limited the Buckeyes to just nine first-half field goals and contained preseason Big Ten Player of the Year Jantel Lavender to the tune of five points on 2-for-7 shooting en route just a four-point deficit at the break.

A 58 percent shooting effort from OSU in the second period, however, would prove to be too much to overcome in the end.

Neither team could get much going offensively in the early stages, as the Buckeyes held a slim 10-8 margin through the first 10 minutes of play. A 13-3 surge by OSU over the next four minutes, however, pushed the Buckeyes ahead by 12 at 23-11 with less than six minutes to go in the period.

Thornton would come to the rescue down the stretch, scoring eight of the Bulldogs final nine points of the period to help trim the deficit to four heading into the break.

A quick 10-2 run over the first three minutes of the second by Ohio State would put the Bulldogs back in a 12-point hole. Back-to-back jumpers by Candace Jones and Thornton followed by a split pair of free throws by Brittany Bowen cut the difference back to seven, but an 8-2 surge by the Buckeyes put them back in front by double-figures and left the contest out of reach.

Thornton finished two boards shy of a double-double with a career-best 18 points and eight rebounds. She also added a career-best seven picks, all coming in the first half. Jones also tallied double-figures with 11 points.

Butler returns to action on Tuesday (Nov. 18) when it travels to Fort Wayne, Ind., for a 7:00 p.m. contest against IPFW.