November 17, 2007

Rally Falls Short As No. 23 Purdue Tops Bulldogs, 69-53

West Lafayette, Ind. - Fourteen second-half points by sophomore Susan Lester keyed a late come-from-behind attempt by the Bulldogs, but host No. 23 Purdue shut down the Butler offense in claiming a 69-53 decision at Mackey Arena on Saturday (Nov. 17).

Trailing by 24 at 46-22 with just over 15 minutes to go in the second half, Butler put together a spirited 14-0 run over the ensuing four minutes to cut the deficit to 10 at 46-36. The Bulldogs could get no closer, however, as the Boilermakers reeled off eight-straight points and held no less than a 15-point margin in the final minutes.

A three-pointer by freshman Brittany Bowen just 40 seconds into the game gave the Bulldogs a 3-2 lead. Purdue steadily climbed ahead before riding a 14-0 streak to go up by 19 at 27-8.

Butler showed no signs of quitting, however, scoring eight-straight points on the heels of back-to-back three pointers from junior Tara Miller and senior Cassie Freeman to close to within 11.

A three-point play by FahKara Malone put Purdue back up by 14, but a pair of free throws by senior Candace Bain and jumper by freshman Terra Burns closed the gap to 10 at the break.

After trading field goals to open the second frame, the Boilermakers strung together 14-straight points to jump out to a 46-22 lead five minutes in to the period, but the Bulldogs would come right back with 14-consecutive of their own, with Lester scoring eight of her 14 points during the trek and junior Candyce Brown nailing a jumper to bring the score to 46-36 with 11 minutes to go.

Butler could get no closer, as Purdue hit three of their five three pointers down the stretch to pull away once more.

Purdue held the Bulldogs to just 26.6 percent shooting from the field while hitting 46.6 percent of its shots. The Boilermakers also boasted a 30-12 edge on points in the paint.

Lester led the team with 14 points, going 4-for-13 from the field and 5-of-6 from the free throw line, and added six rebounds. Bowen added 11 points on 4-of-7 shooting while pulling in six boards. Brown and Freeman each tallied eight points and five rebounds, while Bain pulled in six boards of her own.

Butler returns to action on Friday (Nov. 23) when they take on Monmouth in the first game of the University of Miami Thanksgiving Tournament in Coral Gables, Fla., beginning at 5:00 p.m.