March 1, 2008

Lester, Akande And Treys Lead Bulldogs Past Cleveland State, 77-55

Cleveland, Ohio - Susan Lester and Lade Akande combined for 51 points and 26 rebounds and the Bulldogs tied a season-high with 10 three-pointers as Butler (19-9, 9-8 Horizon League) cruised to a 77-55 victory over host Cleveland State on Saturday (March 1) afternoon at the Wolstein Center.

Lester tallied a career-best 29 points and added 13 rebounds for her eighth double-double of the year, and Akande followed with 22 points and a season-best 13 rebounds for her fourth double-double.

The Bulldogs were clicking on all cylinders on the offensive end in the game, hitting a season-high 53.8 percent from the field (28-for-52) while holding the host Vikings (15-12, 9-7 Horizon) to just 34.6 percent (18-for-52).

Lester and Akande led the Bulldogs to a lightning quick 19-5 lead in the first nine minutes, as the sophomore forward tallied 11 points on a lay-up and three treys while the junior center hit three lay-ins for six.

Meanwhile, the Butler defense held the Vikings to just 14.3 percent shooting from the field (2-for-14) during that span, with Kailey Klein netting all five of the team's points.

CSU would battle back, cutting the Butler lead to as few as six at 30-24 with just over a minute to go in the half before the Bulldogs headed into the locker room with a 32-25 advantage.

The treys continued to fall for Butler right out of the break, as Candace Jones drained a pair from beyond the arc before Lester followed with two of her own to push the Bulldogs in front by 11 at 44-33.

Cleveland State rallied back to trim the difference to 46-40, but a 12-2 run midway through the period put the Bulldogs back in front by double figures at 58-42 before an 11-1 stint to close the game gave Butler its final 22-point margin.

Lester went 10-for-15 from the field, including a career-best five treys, while adding a 4-for-4 mark from the free throw line. Akande added a carbon-copy 10-for-15 effort from the field and chipped in two blocks and three steals.

Jones finished with eight points on 3-of-7 shooting with two treys and a team-best four assists, while Tara Miller went 2-for-2 from long range for six points.

Butler returns to action on Saturday (March 8) when it hosts Valparaiso beginning at 12:00 noon. Prior to the game, the Bulldogs will honor their two seniors - Candace Bain and Cassie Freeman.