Panthers Edge Bulldogs, 73-66
MILWAUKEE - A hot-shooting Milwaukee team edged the Butler women's basketball team, 73-66, at UWM's Klotsche Center Thursday night. Senior Alyssa Pittman led the Bulldogs with 25 points, her highest total in her Butler career. Senior Chloe Hamilton added 17 points and eight rebounds.
Foul trouble and a couple of players not on the trip contributed to strange combinations on the floor all night for Butler. Often times, the Dawgs had five guards on the floor. With starting point guard Azjah Bass with four fouls early in the second half, Butler turned to junior Devin Brierly to run the offense.
The loss sends Butler (17-11, 11-5) to a tie in the loss column with Wright State for second place in the Horizon League standings. The Raiders won at Loyola Thursday night and are now 10-5.
Pittman made four 3-pointers and made 7 of 9 at the free throw line. She also had a career-best six steals to go with five assists.
The game was tight from tip to buzzer, with neither team ever leading by 9. The Panthers didn't lead by more than 6 until the final seconds. UWM's Lindsay Laur scored 20 points and Sami Tucker added 17. Milwaukee finished the night with 17-for-17 shooting at the free throw line and eight 3-pointers.
After a 3-point play by Laur put Milwaukee ahead 69-64 with 30 seconds to go, Pittman found Hamilton for a lay-up with 0:19 on the clock. BU was forced to foul, and UWM's Angela Rodriguez made both free throws to make it 71-66. Pittman missed a running, contested 3-pointer on the other end and Butler had to foul again. Two more Panther free throws provided the final margin.
Butler appeared to be in good shape early, leading 11-7 after a 3-pointer by Pittman. The Bulldogs led 17-13 before going on a 3:32 scoring drought that saw Milwaukee tie it at 20-20. The Panthers scored the next eight points to take a 28-20 lead with 5:22 to play in the first half. Butler made a 12-4 run to end the half, culminating in a running lay-up by Brierly with 1.6 seconds on the clock. It was 32-32 at halftime.
Butler will play #16/13 Green Bay Saturday, Feb. 26 at 3 p.m. ET. The Phoenix are unbeaten in league play and are 26-1 overall.