INDIANAPOLIS - Senior Chloe Hamilton had 17 points and 12 rebounds to lead four Bulldogs in double figures and the Butler women's basketball team downed Cleveland State, 73-65, Thursday evening. Senior Brittany Bowen added 12 points and eight rebounds, helping the Bulldogs stay unbeaten in Horizon League play.
Hamilton shot 6 for 8 from the floor, scoring on an array of drives to the basket and pick-and-rolls. She also has two steals and two assists. Another senior, Azjah Bass, had a season-high 10 points and freshman Jenna Cobb scored a career-high 11 points.
"It was big for us to have Azjah and Jenna score for us," head coach Beth Couture said. "We had missed some outside shots and they came in and were making shots and being aggressive with the ball."
With the win, the Dawgs moved to 4-0 in conference play. Butler and Green Bay are the lone unbeatens in the league. The league was also short-term redemption from last year's loss to CSU in the Horizon League Championship final last March.
"We knew we had to win this game. We were really pumped from the get-go," Hamilton said. "We wanted to do this for our seniors from last year because we still had that gut feeling from last year's championship game."
The Vikings, known for their athleticism and pressure defense, had the tables turned on them Thursday night. Butler only committed 14 turnovers and had a 27-14 points off turnovers advantage. CSU committed 21 miscues on the offensive end.
"I thought Cleveland State is best when in transition, so it was important for us to take care of the ball," Couture said. "They are a pressure team and it was big for us to take care of the ball and also force turnovers."
The Bulldogs, who led 33-29 at halftime, extended their lead to 40-33 off four points by Bass and a 3-pointer by senior Alyssa Pittman. CSU would battle back to tie the game at 50, but the Bulldogs ripped off a 10-0 run to take a 60-50 lead with 6:08 to play.
The two teams traded buckets down the stretch. Cleveland State pulled within 66-63 with 1:42 to go but Hamilton and junior Devin Brierly iced the game with free throws.
CSU's Shalonda Winton had 19 points and 12 rebounds. Janelle Adams added 17 points.
BU (10-6, 4-0 HL) hosts Youngstown State Saturday, Jan. 15 at 2 p.m.