Feb. 4, 2006
Freshman Lade Akande's fifth double-double of her young career enabled Butler to take a 71-68 victory over host Cleveland State at the Wolstein Center Saturday afternoon. Akande posted game-highs of 21 points and 11 rebounds with 17 of her scoring output coming in the second half. With the win, Butler improves to 11-10 overall and 6-4 in Horizon League play. CSU falls to 3-18 (1-9).
Butler stretched its lead to as many as 15 three minutes into the second half before CSU mounted its comeback. The Vikings shot 70 percent in the second half and an 8-0 run pulled the home team within four at 50-46 with 10:22 to play. Butler increased the lead to 11 on an Ellen Hamilton three-pointer with 2:56 to play. That was Hamilton's only attempt of the contest. However, four turnovers in the final two minutes allowed CSU to claw back. Five Omega Harrington points in the final nine seconds made the final margin just three points.
"We just had too many turnovers down the stretch," said Butler coach Beth Couture. "With a 10-point lead, we really needed to show more poise, but we made just enough plays to get the win. With how sluggish we played at times today, we'll take this win."
Akande went 9-of-14 from the field and Jackie Closser added 17 points. The Bulldogs shot 48 percent for the game, but hit just 6-of-24 three-point attempts. Butler out-rebounded CSU, 36-22, but committed 21 turnovers to keep the Vikings in the game. Cassie Freeman added eight points, while Candace Bain and Candyce Brown (career-high) each had six. Stephanie Boeke had a game-high seven assists.
Butler used 54-percent first half shooting to take a 36-26 halftime advantage. Closser led the Bulldogs with 13 first-half points. Butler held the advantage in almost every statistical category in the opening 20 minutes, but was hampered by 11 turnovers. Five Closser points highlighted an 11-0 run that turned an eight-all tie into a 19-8 advantage eight minutes into the contest. CSU pulled to within four later in the half before another Butler spurt got the advantage back to double digits.
Freshman Dominique Butler led the Vikings with 20 points, all coming in the second half. The Vikings shot 53 percent for the game, but hit just two three-pointers.
The Bulldogs conclude their three-game road trip Monday evening in Detroit, facing off with the Titans at 7 p.m. (EST). Live audio and video of the contest will be available at both www.butlersports.com and www.horizonleague.com.