Nov. 22, 2006
Anchorage, Alaska - UC Riverside put Butler in an early hole and held off several Bulldog charges down the stretch in securing a 65-53 decision in the opening round of the Carrs/Safeway Great Alaska Shootout on Tuesday (Nov. 21).
The Bulldogs will face Air Force in the third-place game on Wednesday (Nov. 22) beginning at 2:30 p.m. Alaska Time (6:30 p.m. ET).
Butler rallied back from an early 16-9 deficit, using an 11-4 run late in the first stanza to tie the game at 20, but the Highlanders would close out the half on a run of their own and carry a 30-24 lead into the locker room.
UCR came right out of the gates in the second period, pushing out to a 10-point lead at 37-27 before the Bulldogs knotted the contest with 10 unanswered, keyed on a pair of treys from senior guard Ellen Hamilton.
Six-straight points from the Highlanders put UCR back in front at 43-37, but the Bulldogs again responded with five points to cut the deficit to one. The shortcoming would be as close as Butler would get, however, as UC Riverside would lead by no fewer than five in the final eight minutes.
The Highlanders shot 46.2 percent from the field and went 12-of-12 from the line, while the Bulldogs hit only 35.2 percent and went 8-of-17 from the charity stripe.
Hamilton paced the Bulldogs' offense with 17 points, including 5-for-9 from three-point. Senior guard Jackie Closser also finished in double-figures with 13 points, while senior forward Carla Gheorghe added seven.
Brittany Waddell led four Highlanders in double figures with 14 points.