Jan. 13, 2007
Indianapolis, Ind. - Butler shot 43.3 percent from the floor while hitting 11 three-pointers and the Bulldogs (6-10, 3-2 Horizon League) fought-off a strong offensive performance by visiting Loyola in claiming a 79-73 victory over the Ramblers on Saturday (Jan. 13) at Hinkle Fieldhouse. Lade Akande registered her second 20-point game of the season, while Jackie Closser and Cassie Freeman each netted four treys.
Loyola (3-13, 2-4 HL) controlled the tempo for the first 10 minutes of play, going out to as much as a six-point advantage at 42-18 with 9:09 remaining in the first period. The Bulldogs came racing back in the next seven minutes with a 17-5 run, led by a valiant offensive effort from Candace Bain, who scored eight points in the rally on three field goals and a pair of free throws.
The Bulldogs would hold off the Rambler attack in the final minutes, keeping a three-point lead heading into the break.
After Loyola closed the gap to one to open the second period, Closser and Freeman came out firing to push the Bulldogs back out to a seven-point advantage with back-to-back three pointers.
Loyola came back to take the lead at 51-49 with just under 14 minutes to play, but Akande made it their last lead of the night, scoring 10 of Butler's next 12 points on four lay-ups and a pair of makes from the free-throw line.
The Ramblers continued to hit shots, but Butler provided an answer nearly every time. After a Marquise Hanser three-pointer cut the Loyola deficit to one at 66-65 with five minutes to play, Closser answered right back on the ensuing possession with a trey of her own. Maggie McCloskey responded on the next Rambler trip with a long triple only to have Ellen Hamilton match the challenge just seconds later.
Clutch defensive rebounds by Freeman and Tara Miller down the stretch preserved the Butler advantage despite Loyola's best efforts to mount a comeback, while a pair of makes from the line by Closser in the final seconds iced the win.
The Ramblers out-shot the Bulldogs from the field, 50.0 percent to 43.3 percent, but Butler used an edge from beyond the arc (11-of-27 to 6-of-19) and at the free-throw line (16-of-21 to 9-of-13) to make up the difference. In addition to the offensive effort, the Bulldogs forced a season-high 11 steals while committing only 12 turnovers in the game.
Akande led all scorers with 22 points in the contest, including 14 in the second half on 6-of-12 shooting. She also registered six rebounds, two blocks and two steals.
Closser finished with a season-high 19 points on 4-of-7 shooting for three and a 7-of-8 mark from the free-throw line. Freeman also registered double-figures with 16 points coming on 5-of-8 shooting with four treys.
Miller made up for a below average night on offense, collecting career-highs with seven rebounds and five steals, while Hamilton notched her six points on a pair of threes and dished a team-high five assists.
Bain made the most of her 10 minutes off the bench, tying her season-high with eight points on 3-of-5 shooting from the field.
Four Ramblers players finished in double-figures, with Hanser pacing the team with 17 points on 7-of-16 shooting.
The Bulldogs continue Horizon League play on the road next week when they head to Detroit on Thursday (Jan. 18) for a 7:00 p.m. showdown with the Titans at Calihan Hall.