INDIANAPOLIS - Senior Devin Brierly scored 20 points but Valparaiso shot .521 to defeat the Butler women's basketball team 72-59 Saturday afternoon at Hinkle Fieldhouse. Valpo's Tabitha Gerardot had 26 points and eight rebounds to lead the Crusaders.
Freshman Hannah Douglas scored 14 points for the Bulldogs, who were wearing special pink Nike uniforms for breast cancer awareness. A crowd of 1,429 came to Hinkle to support the cause of the Bulldogs and breast cancer surviving head coach Beth Couture.
Valpo (7-16, 3-9) trailed 30-29 at halftime but 10 quick points in the early minutes of the second half to go up 39-30. Behind Gerardot and some timely shooting, the Crusaders wouldn't trail again.
The Crusaders led 46-34 but Brierly, Douglas and sophomore Mandy McDivitt keyed a 10-2 run that cut Valpo's lead to 48-44. Gerardot scored on the next two possessions to make it 52-44. With Valpo leading 55-50, Gerardot assisted on a 3-pointer by Ieva Jansone and soon Valpo led 60-50.
The Dawgs were still in the game, however, down 62-53 with 5:07 to play. The Dawgs couldn't inch closer, and a putback by Gerardot at the 3:31 mark put Valparaiso ahead 64-53. The Crusaders then iced the game at the foul line and dissected Butler's full-court defense to cap the road win in Hinkle.
Butler played well early and led for most of the first half. BU's largest lead was 13-8 just 7:52 into the contest. Butler committed just 10 turnovers but was doomed by ice-cold shooting in the second half. The Bulldogs shot .273 in the second half and just 1 of its 10 tries from 3-point range.
Brierly finished with 6-for-12 shooting and was 7-for-8 at the foul line. Douglas shot 5-for-13, finishing one point shy of matching her career high. Ashley Timmerman tallied 13 points for Valparaiso while Laura Richards added 12.
Butler (10-13, 6-6) continues at home next weekend against the Horizon League's Chicago schools. Loyola visits Hinkle Thursday, Feb. 16.