Feb. 21, 2009
Valparaiso, Ind. - Three players finished in double figures and the Bulldogs shot an impressive 42 percent from the field, but host Valparaiso trumped the Butler effort by hitting 52 percent - including 61 percent in the opening period - en route to a 75-65 decision on Saturday (Feb. 21) afternoon at the Athletics-Recreation Center.
The loss sends the Bulldogs to 16-9 on the season and 11-3 in Horizon League play, while Valparaiso improves to 14-11 overall and 8-5 in conference.
Valpo ran out to a quick advantage in the opening period, jumping to a 10-2 lead in the first three minutes and maintained an eight-point edge at 12-4 just a minute later.
Burns would help bring the Bulldogs right back into the contest, hitting back-to-back three-pointers to bring Butler to within four at 14-10.
A pair of free throws by both Bowen and Burns helped cut the deficit to two before a jumper by Bowen brought the bout back to even at 18-18 with 11:09 on the clock. Moments later, Candace Jones drained a three-pointer to give the Bulldogs a 21-18 advantage - their first lead since the opening minute.
A 16-5 Valpo run over the next six minutes, however, put the Crusaders back in front by eight at 34-26. Butler would cut the difference back to four on buckets by Burns and Akande, but Valparaiso closed the half on an 8-2 surge to give them a 10-point advantage at the break.
Butler tried its best to catch up in the second half, as the Bulldogs cut the Crusader margin down to as few as five points, but Valparaiso would answer just about every Butler rally attempt with a run of their own before holding on in the final minutes.
The Bulldogs held a 34-29 edge on rebounds, including a 15-7 margin on the offensive glass that led to a 13-4 advantage on second chance scoring, but used an impressive 20-for-25 (80 percent) effort from the line and 32-26 lead in points in the paint to aid their offense.
Butler returns to action on Thursday (Feb. 26) when it hosts Milwaukee beginning at 5:00 p.m. in Hinkle Fieldhouse.