March 5, 2009
Youngstown, Ohio - Lade Akande led all scorers with 16 points, Brittany Bowen and Candyce Brown each added 12 and the Bulldogs used a strong second-half surge to overcome a determined Youngstown State squad to post a 61-42 victory at the Beeghly Center on Thursday (March 5) evening.
The win sends Butler to 18-10 on the year and 13-4 in Horizon League play.
Akande powered the Bulldogs through a sluggish opening half in which they combined to shoot just 29 percent from the field while going 0-for-8 from three-point range, as the senior center drained six of Butler's nine field goals to finish with 13 points in the stanza.
The Butler defense, meanwhile, helped out by holding the Penguins to just 25 percent shooting (7-for-28) in the first period while allowing just 17 points - the ninth time the Bulldogs held a foe to 20 or fewer first-half points.
After the two sides battled through three deadlocks in the opening eight minutes, the Bulldogs rode a 9-0 run out to an 18-9 advantage with 7:46 to go in the period. YSU would respond down the stretch, however, holding the Bulldogs to just four points in the final seven minutes while cutting the difference to five heading into the break.
The contest remained tight at the start of the second, as Youngstown State closed to within four points at 27-23 with just over 15 minutes left.
The Butler offense would find its stroke from there, as Brown tallied eight of her 12 points, Bowen added four and Chloe Hamilton chipped in three in a 19-6 run that broke open the close contest and gave the Bulldogs a 46-29 lead with less than 10 minutes to play.
The Penguins would not threaten again, as the Bulldogs would hold no less than a 14-point margin the rest of the way.
Butler finished with an impressive 38-to-10 margin in paint scoring and a 17-0 edge on fast-break points. The Bulldogs also took advantage of 23 Penguin turnovers, cashing them into 24 points, while allowing just 10 miscues of their own.
Akande finished with a 7-of-11 effort from the floor to lead all scorers with 16 points and chipped in six rebounds. Bowen hit 4-of-9 from the floor and 2-of-4 from beyond the arc for her 12, while Brown finished with a 4-of-7 mark from the field and a 2-for-4 effort from long range for a career-best 12 points.
Susan Lester added a team-high eight boards and five assists.
Butler closes out the regular season on Saturday (March 7) when it takes on reigning Horizon League Tournament Champion Cleveland State beginning at 3:00 p.m. at the Wolstein Center.