CLEVELAND - Cleveland State shot a season-best 53.4 percent and had four players in double figures to defeat the Butler women's basketball team, 81-68, Thursday evening at the Wolstein Center. It was the first time a BU opponent has shot 50 percent this season.
CSU shot 31-for-58 from the floor and out-rebounded Butler by a 41-27 margin. The Vikings had 24 assists on their 31 field goals.
Senior Melanie Thornton had 17 points on 7-for-7 shooting to lead Butler. Junior Alyssa Pittman added 17 points and junior Brittany Bowen had 16.
Kailey Klein had 19 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists for Cleveland State. Shawnita Garland had 17 points and Angel Roque added 14 off the bench.
Down by 18 at the half, Butler went on a quick 8-0 run to pull within 10. The two teams traded buckets until a pair of free throws by Pittman cut CSU's lead to 53-47 with 14:28 remaining. Cleveland State would answer with an 8-0 run to go back ahead 61-47. A 3-pointer by Angel Roque would increase the lead to 66-53.
Cleveland State would hit a couple more 3s and break Butler's press for lay-ups to extend the lead and provide the final margin.
Cleveland State (8-8, 3-2 HL) shot 57 percent in the first half to build a 43-25 lead. CSU led 20-17 with 8:23 remaining in the first half but ripped off a 13-1 run to extend the lead to 33-18. A jumper by junior Azjah Bass with 2:00 left brought the Dogs to within 37-25, but Cleveland State scored the last six points of the half.
Butler (9-6, 2-2 HL) continues its swing through Northeast Ohio Saturday afternoon with a 2 p.m. contest at Youngstown State.