INDIANAPOLIS - Senior Devin Brierly scored 14 points and freshman Haley Howard added 12 as the Butler women's basketball team pulled out a 58-50 win over IUPUI Wednesday afternoon. The game was close throughout and featured 11 ties and 15 lead changes.
A tie game at halftime, Butler grinded out the victory down the stretch.
"In the second half, our kids really stepped up," Couture said. "Once the physical part of the game wasn't an issue, we settled down and were able to run our stuff. I thought we were more in-tune with the game plan in the second half."
IUPUI's Kerah Nelson had 18 points, but was held to just four in the second half. She also had nine rebounds. Clara Mitchell added 13 points and nine rebounds for the Jaguars (4-8).
After a Brierly lay-up but the Dawgs ahead 48-46 with 5:53 left in the game, Butler was able to stay a step ahead. Both sides were fast and furious down the stretch, picking up full court and playing pressure defense. Soon, a jumper and two foul shots by Howard extended the lead to 54-48 with 1:28 to go. IUPUI then started to foul, and Butler iced the game with free throws.
Butler's final margin of victory was the game's largest point differential. IUPUI led 23-17 at one point in the first half. The game went back-and-forth, as shooting and rebounding were nearly identical. Butler did force 19 turnovers and convert those into 24 points.
"I was proud of how are team handled their pressure," Couture said. "We had 14 steals and they had seven. They were supposed to be the team that took the ball away. But we handled their pressure and were also the aggressors on defense."
Freshman Hannah Douglas chipped in a solid all-around game with five points, seven rebounds and three steals. Post players Becca Bornhorst and Amanda Raker also contributed. Eight Bulldog players played and all scored at least five points. Each BU player played at least 19 minutes.
Butler (4-7) is done with non-league play and will play at Detroit Thursday, Dec. 29 at 7 p.m. ET.