Second-Half Rally Not Enough, As Dayton Gets Past Bulldogs, 69-49

Nov. 21, 2008

Box Score

Indianapolis, Ind. - Melanie Thornton continued her torrid start to the season, leading the team with 18 points and eight rebounds, while Lade Akande chipped in 16 points and seven boards, but visiting Dayton shot 48.9 percent from the field as a team while holding Butler to just 29 percent in spoiling the Bulldogs' opener with a 69-49 decision at Hinkle Fieldhouse on Friday (Nov. 21) evening.

The loss drops Butler to 1-2 on the season, while the Flyers improve to 2-2 overall.

A lop-sided first half on the offensive end saw Dayton convert 12-of-23 (52.2 percent) from the field while holding the Bulldogs to just seven field goals at a 21.9 percent efficiency, as the Flyers ran out to a 9-0 lead before expanding the margin to 18 just prior to the break.

Butler rallied midway through the period, cutting the difference to three at 12-9 with less than 10 minutes to go, but an ensuing 9-0 surge by Dayton put the Bulldogs back in a 12-point hole.

The Flyers maintained it significant gap through the early part of the second stanza and led by 15 at 52-37 with 7:43 remaining.

A 6-0 jaunt by Butler, however, would bring the Bulldogs back to within single digits for the first time since the eight minute mark of the first period, as Thornton connected on her first three-pointer of the season before picking a Dayton pass and running it back for an easy lay-up to cut the deficit to 52-46 with less than six minutes to go.

Dayton would answer the call, though, using a 9-0 surge to break the game back open at 61-43 and hold on in the final minutes.

Thornton finished the night with a 6-for-11 effort from the field and 5-for-7 from the line, while her 18 points tied her career-best total which she set in the season opener at Ohio State on Nov. 14. Her eight rebounds, meanwhile, gave her a team-best total for the third time in three games this season.

Akande went 7-for-14 from the floor to finish with 16 points.

Butler will have nearly a week off from competition before taking on Nebraska in the Holiday Inn & Suites Express Midtown Thanksgiving Tournament on Friday (Nov. 28) in Albuquerque, N.M.