Nov. 26, 2004
Butler's sophomore backcourt of Jackie Closser and Ellen Hamilton led the Bulldogs to a 69-52 win over four-time defending Ohio Valley Conference champion Austin Peay Friday evening in the opening round of the Billiken Classic in St. Louis, Mo. Closser went a perfect 4-of-4 from behind the arc en route to 14 points, while Hamilton matched a career high with 17 points. Butler improves to 2-1 with the win and Austin Peay falls to 1-2.
Hamilton hit six of her 11 attempts from the field, including 3-of-6 from deep. The Greenfield, Ind., native added three rebounds and two assists. Closser posted five rebounds and five assists, playing the entire game until Butler emptied its bench in the final minute. Senior Cortney Urquhart added 13 points and a team-high nine rebounds.
Two Closser bombs were the only Butler field goals nearly 13 minutes into the game before the momentum started to shift at the 7:18 mark of the first half as the teams went to their benches for a media team. The Bulldogs, down 16-7 at that point, went on a 26-6 run to close out the half, pushing the ball in transition and getting seven points from Hamilton in the first minute of the run. The team made seven of its final eight field goals in the half. The Bulldogs went to the locker room with a 33-22 advantage, capitalizing on 11-of-12 free throw shooting.
"I'm really proud of our effort tonight," said coach Beth Couture. "We probably didn't execute as well on either end as we'd like to, but we played hard all night. We had different players step up at different times throughout the game and that is what we are going to have to have to be a tournament team like Austin Peay. This is a big win for us over a team we really respect."
Austin Peay was only able to pull within eight on two occasions in the second half. Every time the Lady Govs mounted any charge, it seemed the Bulldogs countered with a three-pointer. The Bulldogs made nine of 15 attempts from behind the line for a 60 percent mark. Overall the Bulldogs shot 43 percent, while holding Austin Peay to 20-of-60 shooting.
Butler got strong efforts from juniors Stephanie Boeke and Gina Grussing off the bench. The duo combined for 37 minutes of action. Sophomore forward Ashley Brenden posted eight points and six rebounds, coming off a career game Sunday against Lewis.
Junior guard Kera Bergeron led Austin Peay with 18 points, hitting six of 14 shots with every attempt coming from three-point range. Butler forced the Lady Govs into 23 turnovers, helping to overcome a 40-34 Austin Peay rebounding advantage.
The Bulldogs advance to Saturday evening's championship game, taking on Alabama A&M at 8 p.m. (CST). The battle of the Bulldogs follows the consolation game between the Lady Govs and host St. Louis. Josh Rattray and Melinda Quasius will provide live audio on www.butlersports.com.