Nov. 28, 2003
The Bulldogs captured their first win of the season Friday with an impressive 79-73 win over Tennessee-Chattanooga in the first round of the Sonesta-Coconut Grove Thanksgiving Classic in Miami, Fla. Senior Nancy Bowden led the Bulldogs with 16 points, sealing the win with a series of free throws. The Bulldogs improve to 1-3 on the young season, while the Lady Mocs fall to 2-2.
Bowden's output came on four-of-seven shooting from the field and the guard hit all seven of her free throw attempts. The preseason "All-Horizon League" selection also led the Bulldogs with six assists. Bowden held the Mocs' Heather McDivitt in check as well, as the Chattanooga guard went one-of-four from the floor and committed four turnovers.
Freshman Ashley Brenden provided a spark off the bench, connecting on six-of-seven shots for 12 points. The Lady Mocs had no answer for the Bloomington, Minn., native as her post moves confused the Chattanooga interior players. Senior Lisa Pryor added 10 points and five assists for Butler. Pryor hit a three-pointer and had a jump shot off an offensive rebound in the span of 45 seconds at the 9:34 mark to give the Bulldogs a 54-52 advantage. The Bulldogs would never trail again.
"I'm extremely proud of our effort for 40 minutes tonight," said coach Beth Couture. "Our composure down the stretch was outstanding, and of course Nancy was a big part of that.
"This was a great team performance. We had players come through for us tonight that we're not used to getting a lot of offensive production out of. It's just great to see this level of play and emotion out of our team."
Chattanooga jumped out to a nine-point advantage less than four minutes into the game as Miranda Warfield sparked the Lady Mocs' offense early. But the Bulldogs rebounded to pull within two at 36-34 at the half. The Bulldogs had ten players score in the first half (11 players scored in the game) as Couture had to go to her bench early because of foul trouble.
Katie Galloway led five Lady Mocs in double figures with 17 points. Katasha Brown added 14 points, while Tiffany Patton posted 11 points and eight rebounds in the loss. Chattanooga defeated Conference USA opponent, Louisville, Tuesday night and entered Friday's match-up unbeaten.
The Bulldogs advance to Saturday's championship game against Wisconsin (1-1). The Badgers defeated Hampton in Friday's first round. The game tips at 5 p.m.