Indianapolis, Ind. - Lade Akande and Susan Lester posted double-doubles, Candace Jones finished one rebound shy of a third and the Bulldogs overcame an early first-half deficit to oust a feisty IPFW squad, 70-55, at Hinkle Fieldhouse on Thursday (Dec. 20) afternoon.
With the win, Butler improves to 9-1 on the year, while the Mastodons fall to 4-5.
Butler smothered the IPFW offense, holding the team 15 points below their season average (70.5), and held guard Johnna Lewis-Carlisle, who began the week ranked eighth in the NCAA with 21.5 points per game, to just 12.
The Bulldogs found themselves in an early hole, as the Mastodons used an 8-2 run to push out to an 11-4 lead before building the advantage to nine at 16-7 just over six minutes into the contest.
Butler clamped down on the defensive end over the next seven minutes, holding IPFW to just four points during the span while scoring 18, including five each from Jones and Azjah Bass, to put the Bulldogs in front by five at 25-20.
IPFW reclaimed the lead with six-straight points, but an 8-0 Butler run to close the period gave the Bulldogs a 33-26 lead at the break.
The Mastodons closed the gap to two right out of gates in the second period, but it would be as close as they would get for the rest of the game. Butler limited IPFW to just 10 points over the next 14 minutes while building-up an 18-point advantage thanks to eight points each from Jones and Lester and six from Akande.
The Bulldogs held the Mastodons to just 26.7 percent (20-for-75) shooting from the field, including 19.2 percent (5-for-26) from beyond the arc, while recording a season-high eight blocked shots. Butler was also aided by season-highs with 49 rebounds and 23 free throws made.
Lester led all scorers with 21 points, coming on 6-of-9 shooting from the field and a 7-for-7 clip from the free throw line, and added 10 rebounds and three blocks. Akande went 4-for-11 from the field and a 7-for-10 from the line for 15 points and pulled down 10 boards and a pair of blocks.
Jones added 15 points and nine rebounds, while Bass posted a bench-high 10 points. Cassie Freeman chipped in seven boards.
Following a break for the holidays, the Bulldogs return to action on Saturday, Dec. 29 when they open a three-week, four-game road trip at Ball State beginning at 3:00 p.m.