Indianapolis, Ind. - Lade Akande led all scorers with 19 points and nine rebounds, Melanie Thornton added a career-best 13 points and the Bulldogs (6-1) shot a season-high 49.2 percent from the field in upending visiting Oakland City (3-4) on Monday night, 77-46, at Hinkle Fieldhouse.
The Lady Oaks kept the game relatively close throughout the first half despite strong shooting by the Bulldogs, but the second period was all Butler as it used an 11-0 run early in the stanza to pull away.
The two teams battled through nip-and-tuck play in the first 10 minutes, with the Bulldogs only holding a two-point edge at 16-14 with 9:46 to go in the period. Back-to-back lay-ups by Candyce Brown, however, built the Butler lead to six before consecutive jumpers by Thornton, Akande and Candace Jones put the Bulldogs ahead 26-14.
Oakland City would cut the lead to seven at the break and trim the deficit to five at 34-29 barely a minute into the second period, but an ensuing 11-0 Butler run, keyed by a pair of field goals by Akande and treys from Brittany Bowen and Tara Miller, to take a 45-29 lead.
A 9-0 trek by the Lady Oaks brought the difference to seven with 14 minutes to go, but the Bulldogs would out-score OCU 32-8 the rest of the way.
Butler held a commanding 50-18 point edge in the paint and a 15-2 margin in fast-break points while taking advantage of 31 OCU turnovers.
Akande led the team in scoring for the sixth time in seven games, going 9-of-15 from the field, while registering nine rebounds for the third-straight contest. Thornton added 13 points on 6-for-7 shooting and a season-best eight boards, while Bowen finished in double-figures with 10 points.
Chloe Hamilton proved to be one of the biggest scoring threats down the stretch, going 2-for-4 from the field and 5-for-5 from the line in the final eight minutes to post a career-best nine points.
The Bulldogs' 6-1 start is the program's best record through seven games since the 1994-95 season.
Butler returns to action on Thursday (Dec. 6) when it welcomes Evansville to Hinkle Fieldhouse beginning at 7:00 p.m.