UIC Slips Past Bulldogs, 76-70
Feb. 10, 2007
Chicago - Four players scored in double-figures and Butler led throughout the majority of the game, but host UIC rallied in the final minutes to come away with a 76-70 decision on Saturday (Feb. 10) night at UIC Pavilion.
Turnovers and fouls proved to be costly for the Bulldogs, as the Flames turned 21 Butler miscues into 28 points and added 20 more points from the free-throw line.
The Bulldogs were the first to play comeback, as the Flames jumped ahead 9-3 to open the contest before Butler came roaring back. A pair of threes by Jackie Closser brought the Bulldogs to within two at 13-11 before Lade Akande and Candace Jones exploded for 14 of the team's next 16 points to give Butler a 27-20 advantage.
A three by Closser just seconds later gave the Bulldogs their biggest lead of the night at 30-23 with 4:15 to go in the half. UIC slowed the Butler offense for the remainder of the period but the Bulldogs maintained a four-point edge heading into the break.
A sluggish start to the second half by Butler helped the Flames cruise out to a six-point margin at 43-37 just over five minutes into the period, but the Bulldogs used a 12-2 run, keyed on four points from Jones and a clutch trey from Closser, to go back ahead by four.
Butler pushed ahead by as much as six in the next eight minutes, as Mel Thornton aided the cause with six points in the stretch, but a three-pointer by LaShonda Grant at the three-minute mark put the Flames back in front at 68-67, a lead UIC would not relinquish.
Akande paced the Bulldogs in scoring for the second night in a row, scoring 19 points on 8-of-15 shooting from the field, including 13 points in the first half. Closser finished with 17 on 4-of-8 shooting from three, while Jones added 16 points on 6-of-8 shooting from the field.
Thornton finished with a career-best 10 points on a perfect 3-for-3 clip from the field and a 4-of-7 mark from the free throw line in a career-best 29 minutes of play. Susan Lester finished with a team-best seven rebounds, while Akande and Thornton each tallied six.
Jessie Miller led UIC with 24 points on 8-of-11 shooting, while Grant finished with 18 on a 5-of-8 count.
Butler will have a week of preparation before hosting Detroit on Saturday (Feb. 17) beginning at 8:00 p.m. at Hinkle Fieldhouse.