INDIANAPOLIS - Junior Brittany Bowen had 18 points and 10 rebounds and senior Melanie Thornton narrowly missed a double-double of her own with 12 points and nine boards and Butler defeated Miami (Ohio), 68-60, Saturday afternoon at Hinkle Fieldhouse.
Butler (4-3) shot just 33 percent from the floor for the game, but the Bulldogs showed they could win with defense when the shots aren't falling.
"We missed a lot of lay-ups and close shots," head coach Beth Couture said. "But we defended well and rebounded pretty well and proved we can win with our defense.
"Brittany had another good game offensively and Melanie really controlled the board."
Miami (1-6) also had problems keep Thornton and the Bulldogs off the free throw line. BU shot 39 foul shots, including 16 by Thornton.
After being down 10 early, the Bulldogs put together a 23-2 run over a 9:23 span to take a 29-18 lead late in the first half. Butler extended the lead to 13 on a 3-pointer by Bowen and the Dogs would lead 34-24 at halftime.
Butler cruised for most of the second half and neither team put together any sustained runs. Miami (1-6) was able to cut the BU lead to six on a couple of occasions. A trey by MU's Courtney Osborn pulled the RedHawks to within 63-57 with 3:11 remaining, but the Bulldogs made five free throws down the stretch to put the game away.
Junior Alyssa Pittman added 14 points and made four 3-pointers, one of which came at the end of the shot clock with MU trailing by just six. Freshman Becca Bornhorst had seven points and five rebounds, while junior Terra Burns had six points, six assists and three blocked shots.
Osborn had a game-high 22 points highlighted by 5-for-9 long-range shooting to lead Miami. MU's Maggie Boyer had 10 points, seven assists and five rebounds.
Butler's next game is at Indiana State. The Bulldogs will play Wednesday, Dec. 9 at 6 p.m.