Defense Rules Again, As Butler Stops Detroit, 71-48

Defense Rules Again, As Butler Stops Detroit, 71-48

Jan. 8, 2009

Box Score

Detroit, Mich. - Four players finished with double-digit scoring figures and the Butler defense held its fourth-straight opponent to 50 or fewer points, as the Bulldogs broke open what had been a closely-contested game in the early going to run away with a 71-48 victory over host Detroit on Thursday (Jan. 8) evening at Calihan Hall.

The win improves Butler to 8-6 on the year and 3-0 in the Horizon League - the program's first 3-0 start to the league season since the 1999-2000 campaign. The Titans, meanwhile, fall to 5-9 on the year and 1-2 in the conference.

Susan Lester led all scorers with 14 points off the bench, while Brittany Bowen (12), Melanie Thornton (11) and Lade Akande (10) each registered double figures in scoring.

Detroit had the hot hand in the opening minutes of the contest, as the Titans scored on their first two possessions to take a quick 5-0 lead. Butler battled back to tie the game at 9-9, but a 7-2 surge by the Titans - capped by a three-pointer by Lauren Allen - pushed them back in front by five at 16-11 with 10:21.

Allen's triple would be the last bit of offense Detroit would see for sometime, however, as the Bulldog defense went on to hold the Titans scoreless for the next 7:26 and to just three points for the remainder of the half. The Butler offense, meanwhile, jumped for 19 points in the final 10 minutes - keyed by seven points from Lester and a pair of threes from Devin Brierly - to head into the locker room with a 30-19 advantage.

A 14-4 run by the Bulldogs out of the break put Butler up by 21 less than five minutes into the period, as Bowen and Thornton led the charge with five points a piece.

The rout was on from there, as the Bulldogs would hold no less than a 21-point advantage through the final 14 minutes of the game.

Butler finished with a convincing margin in just about every statistical category, including shooting percentage (44.3 to 38.3), rebounds (40-24) and assists (18-5). The Bulldogs also took advantage of 22 Titan turnovers by converting them into 17 points and held an 18-7 lead in second chance scoring.

The Butler bench also stepped up once again, finishing with a 34-15 advantage in scoring.

Lester went 6-for-11 from the field to finish with 14 points and added a game-high eight rebounds. Bowen added a 4-for-8 effort from the field, Thornton went 5-of-12 and Akande notched a 5-for-9 performance.

Butler returns to action on Saturday (Jan. 10) when it battles host Wright State beginning at 1:00 p.m. at the Ervin J. Nutter Center.