Late Run Drops Bulldogs At Indiana State

TERRE HAUTE, IND. -- Host Indiana State used an 11-4 scoring run in the final four minutes of the contest to overtake Butler and post a 49-46 victory at the Hulman Center on Tuesday, Dec. 6.  The late rally foiled a staunch defensive effort by the Bulldogs.

The Bulldogs (1-7) limited Indiana State to 39 points through the first 36 minutes of the contest.  The host Sycamores (5-3) shot just 27% (14-52) for the game and just 23% in the second half.  Indiana State had scored 75 points in a victory over Horizon League foe UIC in its previous game.

"Our defensive effort was great," said head coach Beth Couture after the game.  "We really were in tune with the defense, and we did what we wanted to hold them in check.  But again it was a case of the little mistakes we continue to make."

"We just have to continue to get better," added the Butler coach.

Butler's effort at the defensive end helped the Bulldogs overcome an early eight-point deficit in the game.  The Sycamores jumped to an 11-3 lead seven minutes into the contest and then held the upper hand throughout the first half.  The home team led 27-21 with 1:32 left in the opening period, but a pair of free throws by freshman Haley Howard and a three-point field goal by junior Becca Bornhorst in the final minute cut the halftime margin to 27-26.

The Bulldogs, playing without sophomore Mandy McDivitt who was sidelined with a concussion, erased that margin with their first shot of the second half, a jumper by Howard, and the two teams were never separated by more than four points for the rest of the contest.

Howard put Butler in front 40-38 with a lay-up at 11:10, and the Bulldogs then opened their biggest lead of the contest at 42-38 on freshman Amanda Raker's jump shot four minutes later.  That's how the score remained for nearly four minutes, before Indiana State's Deja Mattox hit a three-point field goal to start the 11-4 closing run.

"We had a few good opportunities to stretch our lead, but we didn't cash in," noted Couture.

Indiana State took the lead for good at 45-44 on a free throw by Mattox.  The Bulldogs closed to within a point at 47-46 on a pair of free throws by Howard with 20 seconds remaining, Mattox closed out the scoring with a pair of free throws at 00:04.  Bornhorst had a three-point field goal attempt to tie the game at the buzzer, but it came up short.

Howard led the Bulldogs with 17 points, and the 5-11 forward added four rebounds, three assists and two steals.  Bornhorst finished with 14 points.

Sophomore Jenna Cobb pulled down 10 rebounds to lead Butler, and she added a team-high three steals.

Mattox led Indiana State with 12 points and 10 rebounds.

The Bulldogs return home to host Ball State on Friday, Dec. 9, at 7 p.m.