Dec. 31, 2005
Freshman Lade Akande's two free throws with five seconds remaining in overtime gave the Bulldogs an 80-79 win over UW-Milwaukee Saturday at the Klotsche Center in Wisconsin. The two free throws capped a 28-point performance for the freshman. The Bulldogs, who improve to 6-5 overall and 2-0 in Horizon League action, squandered an 18-point second-half lead before prevailing. The Panthers fall to 5-7 (1-1).
"This is a great win for us," said Butler head coach Beth Couture. "We got out to a big lead and definitely needed it with Milwaukee showing a lot of heart with that comeback. Lade played a great game for us and we made plays that we had to in overtime."
Butler opened the second half by scoring 12 of the first 14 points to take a 46-34 advantage with 14:03 to play in regulation. After UWM cut into the lead, Butler responded with a 12-0 spurt to take an 18-point advantage at 64-46 with 6:53 to play. But the Bulldogs went scoreless over the next four minutes as the Panthers closed regulation on a 21-3 run to knot the game at 67 after 40 minutes.
A Molly O'Brien putback with four seconds to play in regulation tied the game at 67. Junior Jackie Closser then dribbled to the Butler side of the court, but her runner from just outside the arc caught the front of the rim and was no good.
Butler got two big buckets from Stephanie Boeke in the opening minutes of overtime, including one off a Closser behind-the-back pass in transition, but trailed by one after Traci Edwards had a putback off a missed free throw with 14 seconds to play. Akande was fouled on the ensuing possession and nailed the two clutch free throws.
Akande had 28 points to lead all scorers, adding nine rebounds and two blocks. Ellen Hamilton had 17 points, including a three-pointer in the extra period that erased a three-point UWM lead. Closser had 16 points to go along with a career-high nine assists and six rebounds. Boeke added eight points and eight boards.
Edwards led Milwaukee with 24 points and 14 boards, including eight on the offensive end. Meredith Onson added 15 points.
Butler shot 43 percent for the game, including 5-of-7 in overtime. Each team hit 15 free throws, but Milwaukee needed 26 attempts to do that compared to just 18 for Butler. The Bulldogs limited Milwaukee to just 2-of-11 shooting from behind the arc, while knocking down seven treys on the offensive end.
Butler ends an eight-game losing streak to the Panthers in Milwaukee, dating back to a 61-44 Butler win Jan. 11, 1997.
After falling behind, 22-14, midway through the first half, the Bulldogs began to pound the ball inside to Akande, who shot 7-of-11 from the field in the first half for 15 of her final output. Butler regained the lead, 30-25, after a 9-0 run with just under five minutes to play in the half. The Bulldogs entered the locker room with a 34-32 advantage.
Butler takes a step out of Horizon League action Wednesday (Jan. 4) to face cross-town rival IUPUI on the Jaguars' homecourt in downtown Indianapolis. The 7 p.m. tip can be heard live on www.butlersports.com.