INDIANAPOLIS - Senior Melanie Thornton had 16 points and 10 rebounds to lead a balanced Butler attack as the BU women's basketball team defeated Cleveland State, 72-66, Saturday afternoon at Hinkle Fieldhouse. The game was BU's WBCA Pink Zone breast cancer awareness game, played in front of a season-high crowd of 1,662.
Thornton, who also had a double-double on Thursday vs. Youngstown State, finished 6-for-10 from the floor and made all four of her free throws. She added two blocks and two steals.
Junior Brittany Bowen added 15 points - 12 in the first half - on 5-for-6 shooting. Junior Alyssa Pittman added 13 points and junior Terra Burns had 12 points, nine assists and zero turnovers.
Cleveland State (12-12, 7-6 HL) was led by Kailey Klein's 29 points and nine rebounds.
Butler (16-7, 9-3 HL) scored the final 11 points of the game as CSU didn't score in the final 4:38. BU trailed 66-64 with 4:05 left when Burns made a driving lay-up and then found Thornton for a bucket to give the Bulldogs a 68-66 lead. Butler finished the Vikings off with four free throws in the final 1:53.
"The last four minutes, I have to tip my hat to our players," head coach Beth Couture said. "I could tell they were going to go out and win that game. They gave all the effort they needed to. It was a game of runs, and it turned out we had the last run."
The Bulldogs, now 10-1 at Hinkle Fieldhouse this season, keep pace with Green Bay for second place in the Horizon League standings at 9-3.
Butler made 20 of its 29 free throws and committed just 10 turnovers. Thornton, Lester and Bowen each went 4-for-4 at the free throw line.
The Bulldogs, trailing 30-27, got five points from Pittman and four from Bowen in a 9-2 run that gave BU a 36-32 halftime lead.
Butler travels to league leader Detroit Thursday, Feb. 18. BU has already defeated the Titans this season, beating them 65-44 on Jan. 23.
NOTES: The crowd of 1,662 was the second-highest single-game attendance in Butler women's basketball game history...The Bulldogs extended their current win streak to four games, while remaining perfect in the month of February (3-0)...Butler split the season series with Cleveland State, each team winning on their home court...Melanie Thornton recorded her seventh double-double of the season scoring 16 points and pulling down 10 rebounds. She also had 16 points and 10 rebounds on Thursday vs. YSU...Terra Burns recorded a career-high nine assists to go along with 12 points...Butler improved to 10-1 at in Hinkle Fieldhouse.