Indianapolis, Ind. - Susan Lester notched her second double-double of the year, Lade Akande tallied her third 20-plus point game of the season and the Bulldogs took advantage of 27 Tennessee State miscues to claim a 72-62 victory on Sunday (Dec. 16) at Hinkle Fieldhouse.
Tennessee State shot 50 percent from the field, including 5-of-10 from three-point, but the Bulldogs converted 27 Tiger turnovers into 22 points to help power the offense. Butler, meanwhile, only allowed 10 points off 13 miscues while shooting 42.6 percent from the field.
The Bulldogs jumped out to an early lead in the game before Tennessee State trimmed a seven-point Butler advantage to just one with 7:10 to go in the first period. The Bulldogs, however, would ride an 11-2 run, keyed by a pair of jumpers by Melanie Thornton and a three-pointer by Azjah Bass, to go up by 10 with just over three minutes left in the half.
The Tigers responded with three treys in the final minutes, cutting the deficit to four at 37-33 heading into the locker room.
The Tigers kept things close in the early part of the second half and trailed by only three at 17:32 before Akande took control of the game, scoring 11 of the Bulldogs' 13 points over the next five minutes to help Butler pull out to a 13-point advantage at 55-42.
TSU attempted to climb back into the contest, cutting the deficit to eight at 59-51 with 6:05 to go, but the Butler advantage would be too much to overcome.
Lester finished with 14 points and a season-high 13 rebounds, while Akande led all scorers with 23 points, including 18 in the second half, to tie her season-best total.
After being forced into 10 turnovers in the first period, the Bulldogs allowed only three in the second while finishing with 22 assists in the game. Candace Jones led the squad with seven dimes and only one turnover, while Tara Miller dished four assists to one turnover.
Butler returns to action on Thursday (Dec. 20) when they host IPFW beginning at 12:00 noon.