February 5, 2005

Frontcourt Dominates as Bulldogs Down Cleveland State, 78-57, Saturday

Feb. 5, 2005

Box Score

Butler dominated Cleveland State in the paint Saturday at Hinkle Fieldhouse, scoring a 78-57 win, as Cortney Urquhart and Ashley Brenden combined for 35 points in the post. A team that usually relies on its outside shooting, the Bulldogs consistently pounded the ball into the post, coming away with a 46-18 advantage in points in the paint. With the win, Butler improves to 10-11 (4-6 Horizon League), while CSU falls to 3-18 (2-8).

Urquhart had a game-high 18 points on 8-of-12 shooting. The senior added six rebounds in just 23 minutes of play. Brenden went for a career-high 17 points and team-high eight rebounds, making six of her nine attempts. Despite a 3-of-17 performance from behind the three-point line, the team's lowest three-point output since December 11, the Bulldogs shot 45 percent for the game.

"I think this is the most complete game we've played since very early in our schedule," said coach Beth Couture. "The way we scored in the paint and off turnovers was something we'll need to continue to do if we're going to make a run in league play. We had a lot of different people step up today and that's encouraging."

Sophomore Jackie Closser had 16 points and six assists, including a pair of free throws with 9:04 to go in the first half. Those two points put the advantage at 10 for the first time at 21-11 and the Vikings would never bring it back to single digits. The Bulldogs took a 40-30 lead into the intermission after CSU scored the final five points of the first half. Butler scored the first seven points of the second half and the rout was on.

Sophomore Ellen Hamilton had career-highs in both assists (seven) and rebounds (six), finding Urquhart and Brenden time and time again. Freshmen Ashley Conner and Candace Bain had career-highs with seven and five points, respectively. Ten players scored for the Bulldogs, who also had 10 players see double-digit minutes.

Lost in the offensive explosion was the solid job defensively the Bulldogs did on the Vikings. Entering the game second in the league in points allowed, the Bulldogs forced CSU into 18 turnovers and 30-percent (19-64) shooting. Maria Rickards led the visitors with 16 points. Junior Erin Martin entered the game as the Vikings' leading scorer, but missed her first 12 shots en route to a 1-14, six-point performance. The Vikings did have a slight 42-41 edge in rebounding.

Butler committed a season-low 10 turnovers and hit 21-of-28 free throws. Butler turned the Vikings' 18 turnovers into 21 points and never trailed in the contest. Saturday's win was the second straight for the Bulldogs and keeps Butler firmly in fifth place in the standings with six games remaining.

Saturday was Butler Athletics' "Shoot for a Cure: Honoring the fight against breast cancer" game. The department donated a portion of ticket sales to the I.W.I.N. (Indiana Women in Need) Foundation, which helps women undergoing cancer treatment with daily tasks, such as childcare and food preparation. Coaches from both teams also wore tennis shoes, as men's and women's coaches from across the country did to raise awareness for the Coaches vs. Cancer program. The Horizon League's "Game of the Week," the game will be aired on a taped delay basis Saturday at 4 p.m. on FSN Ohio and Sunday morning at 2 a.m. on FSN Midwest.

The Bulldogs return to action Wednesday in Chicago, matching up with UIC for the first time. Celebrating "Women in Sports Day," the tip is set for noon (CST) so that local teenagers can attend with their schools. The contest starts a three-game road swing for the Bulldogs, who don't return to Hinkle Fieldhouse until Saturday, Feb. 19 to face those same UIC Flames. All games can be heard live on www.butlersports.com.