Strong Second Half Highlights Butler's Season Opener at Purdue
Nov. 18, 2005
Ellen Hamilton connected on five three-pointers, including four in the second half, as visiting Butler out-scored No. 19/24 Purdue by one in the second half Friday at Mackey Arena in West Lafayette, Ind. Purdue ran out to an early advantage and despite the near-even second half, the Boilermakers took an 85-59 win. It was the season opener for both teams.
Sixteen of Hamilton's came in the second half when the Bulldogs shot 50 percent from the field. Jackie Closser had 10 points. Senior Stephanie Boeke had a team-high eight rebounds for the Bulldogs, including five of the team's 18 offensive boards.
Freshman Jodi Howell and Aya Traore led Purdue with 14 points apiece. They were two of five Boilermakers in double figures. Purdue shot 59 percent for the game and had a 16-5 advantage at the free throw line. The Bulldogs hit 10-of-18 from behind the arc, but struggled at the charity stripe, connecting on only 5-of-14 attempts.
"I thought we came out timid tonight and really took awhile to get some momentum," said Butler coach Beth Couture. "We have some good things to take from the second half. Of course we're never happy with a loss, but we accomplished some things tonight."
Purdue used a 38-9 run beginning three minutes into the contest to turn a two-point lead into a 29-point advantage with four minutes to go in the opening half. However, Butler returned from the locker room with a new-found determination and fought the Boilermakers all second half, not allowing Purdue coach Kristy Curry to empty her bench.
The Bulldogs continue the season-opening, six-game road swing with a trip west to play in the Hilton Concord Thanksgiving Classic in Moraga, Calif. St. Mary's College hosts the four-team tournament. Butler opens with a Friday game against Central Florida with the tip set for 5 p.m. (PST, 8 p.m. Indianapolis). The Bulldogs will play either Princeton or the host Gaels the following night. Butler opens the 2005-06 home schedule Saturday, Dec. 10, hosting Ball State in Hinkle Fieldhouse.