YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio - The Butler women's basketball team turned a 14-point halftime lead into a second-half rout, winning at Youngstown State, 74-48, Saturday afternoon. Senior Melanie Thornton had 19 points and nine rebounds to lead Butler, which had 12 different players in the scoring column.
Junior Chloe Hamilton scored 12 points and grabbed six rebounds, while junior Terra Burns added 11 points including 10 in the first half.
Youngstown State (0-17, 0-6 HL) committed 25 turnovers and made 19 field goals. Brandi Brown led YSU with 12 points and 12 boards.
The Bulldogs (10-6, 3-2 HL) smothered YSU in the first 20 minutes. BU forced 17 Youngstown State turnovers - including three shot clock violations - in the first half and held the Penguins to their lowest scoring total for a half this season. Youngstown State didn't score for the final 6:33 of the first half as Butler took a 28-14 lead.
BU continued to pressure the Penguins into turnovers. YSU's 22nd miscue of the afternoon resulted in a fastbreak lay-up by Thornton to give Butler a 47-28 lead with 12 minutes left.
Another lay-up and a mid-range jumper by Thornton extended the lead to 60-36 with 6:30 remaining. The Bulldogs added another 9-0 run at that point to lead 69-36. Amie Kabara's 3-point play with 52 seconds left gave BU a 74-45 advantage.
Senior Susan Lester had eight points and junior Brittany Bowen had seven. All 13 Bulldogs in uniform played. The Bulldogs shot a season-best 53.7 percent from the floor, but did not make a 3-pointer, finishing 0-for-3.
Butler's next game is Thursday, Jan. 21 at home vs. Wright
NOTES: Melanie Thornton is averaging 19.6 points and 7.4 rebounds in Horizon League play...Butler's 53.7 percent shooting was a season-best. It was the third time this season BU has shot at least 50 percent...Butler had 17 steals, one short of the team's season high of 18 against Evansville...Amie Kabara's 3-point play in the final minute was her first points of her Butler career...The Bulldogs have won eight straight and 14 of the last 15 against Youngstown State. Beth Couture is 14-3 against YSU...Butler is 19-10 against teams from Ohio over the last three seasons.