Dec. 8, 2004
Butler and visiting Miami (Ohio) combined for 15 first half three-pointers Wednesday night at Hinkle Fieldhouse, but it was the RedHawks who rode the torrid shooting to a 73-62 win. Sophomore Ellen Hamilton came off the bench for a career-high 20 points to lead the Butler effort. Miami improves to 5-2 on the season with the win, while the Bulldogs fall to 4-3.
Hamilton's career night came on 7-of-16 shooting, including 6-of-13 from behind the arc. She added three assists in 30 minutes of action. Senior Cortney Urquhart had 17 points and eight rebounds, while Jackie Closser hit three treys en route to 11 points. She added a career-high seven assists.
Fourteen of Hamilton's points came in the first half, as she and Noblesville, Ind., native Cindi Merrill matched each other point for point in the opening 20 minutes. However, Merrill got a little more help from her RedHawk supporting cast in the first frame. Guard Nicki Motto had 11 points in the first half as Miami sprinted out to a 48-34 halftime lead behind 65 percent shooting.
Butler mounted a run in the second half, beginning the second 20 minutes with a 15-4 spurt to pull within three at 52-49 after Hamilton's fifth of six three-pointers. But the RedHawks would counter with an 8-0 run of their own over the next three minutes and the lead would never dip below eight again.
The Bulldogs had 20 assists on 22 field goals, taking care of the ball by committing a season-low 12 turnovers. Butler shot 37 percent in the contest and hit 11-of-30 three-point attempts. Miami shot 56 percent for the game, but hit 9-of-15 treys for 60 percent. The RedHawks also out-rebounded the home team by a 38-29 margin.
Merrill led four RedHawks in double figures with 22 points and ten rebounds. Motto added 18 points on the night. Preseason All-MAC selection Amanda Jackson scored one point, as the Bulldog defense and foul trouble kept her far away from the 13.7 ppg average she brought into the game.
In the "That's my Dawg" favorite player promotion, freshman Cassie Freeman's fans were the largest group in attendance Wednesday night and enjoyed a pizza party following the game. Nearly 400 people were on hand for the game, including a loud student section.
The Bulldogs conclude their quick two-game homestand Saturday when the Panthers of Eastern Illinois invade Hinkle Fieldhouse for a 2 p.m. contest. Butler then takes the week off for final exams before heading to Evansville, Sunday, Dec. 19. Both games will be broadcast live on www.butlersports.com.