COLUMBIA, S.C. - Host South Carolina went on a big run early in the second half to pull away from the Butler women's basketball team, 67-54, Tuesday night. Senior Brittany Bowen scored 23 points to lead the Bulldogs.
Butler experienced difficulty scoring in the second half, making just two baskets in the period's first 11:05. South Carolina's quickness made it difficult for Butler to get into its offense. USC out-scored BU 24-10 over a 12-minute span to break the game open.
No other Bulldog player scored in double figures. Freshman Sarah Hamm scored eight points and sophomore Claire Freeman led BU with eight rebounds while adding six points. South Carolina (6-5) was led by Ieasia Walker's 17 points, nine rebounds and four steals. Charenee Stephens added 14 points.
Butler didn't go quietly, however. The Bulldogs, playing full-court defense the entire second half, opted to foul during the final 3 minutes to extend the game. USC came into the game shooting just 60 percent at the foul line. South Carolina answered by making 17 of 24 at the line to ice the game.
Butler started slow, trailing 20-6 before getting back into the game. With the Gamecocks leading 22-14, Butler missed a lay-up and USC answered with five straight points to make it 27-14. Butler would finish the half on a 9-2 run to trail just 29-23 at halftime.
Rebounding was essentially even, with USC gaining a 37-34 edge. One telling number was South Carolina's 36-22 edge in scoring in the paint. Butler shot 35.8 percent, but did have 14 assists on 19 field goals.
Butler (6-5) will host mid-major power Bowling Green Wednesday, Dec. 29 at 7 p.m. at Hinkle Fieldhouse.