Feb. 26, 2004
Senior Nancy Bowden literally stole the game from Cleveland State single-handedly Thursday night, ripping off the Vikings for a career-high eight steals in Butler's 70-63 win at Hinkle Fieldhouse. The captain added 12 points and 12 assists, leaving the floor with 1:49 to play and her team leading 70-53. Cleveland State would add a few late baskets to make the final score much closer than the game actually was. With the win, the Bulldogs improve to 8-7 in league play and 12-14 overall. The Vikings fall to 12-14 (9-6).
Junior Cortney Urquhart led the Bulldogs with 17 points on 6-of-7 shooting from the floor, while Angel Mason had her second consecutive double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds. Sophomore Jessica Monaco chipped in 10 points.
A three-pointer by Monaco with 13:09 remaining in the first half gave the Bulldogs a 10-8 lead and they would never trail again. The lead increased to as many as 13 in the first half before the teams went to the locker rooms with Butler leading 33-23.
In a play that was indicative of the whole night, Bowden played the passing lane and stole the ball with just under 19 minutes remaining in the game, leading a fast break that would result in a Mason layup off a Bowden behind-the-back pass and a trip to the line. Butler never trailed by single digits after the 13-minute mark until the Vikings' reserves went on a 10-0 run over the last 1:38 of the game.
The Bulldogs forced Cleveland State into 20 turnovers, including eight by league "Player of the Year" candidate Ashley Schrock. Butler converted those turnovers into 29 points, as all four of Bowden's field goals came on fast break layups resulting from steals.
Butler shot 26-of-52 from the field for 50 percent, including 5-of-13 from three-point range. The only struggles for the home team came at the free throw line (13-24) and allowing the Vikings 12 offensive rebounds. CSU would go on to win the battle of the boards, 37-32.
Shannon Sword led the Vikings with 16 points, including 12 in the first half. Schrock, who posted 24 points and was a rebound shy of a triple-double in the Vikings' 80-61 win Feb. 7 in Cleveland, was limited to six points on 1-of-5 shooting.
Because of Detroit's win over Youngstown State and Loyola's loss at Wright State Thursday, coupled with the Bulldogs' win, Butler is guaranteed the fifth seed in next week's Horizon League tournament. Regardless of Saturday's results, the Bulldogs will travel to Cleveland to meet these very same Vikings a week from tonight (March 4).
The Bulldogs conclude their regular season Saturday when Loyola comes to the Fieldhouse. Butler will be looking to avenge their 88-85 overtime loss in Chicago last weekend. The team's six seniors will be honored prior to the game and team trading cards will be given out to the first 1,000 fans. The tip against the Ramblers is set for 2 p.m. and will be broadcast live on www.butlersports.com.