The Butler women’s basketball team came into this weekend two games behind Green Bay for the lead in the Horizon League. With a chance to take control of the league, the women faltered twice, against Detroit and Wright State.
Despite leading by as many as six in the first half and ending the first half tied at 25, Detroit proved to be more than the Butler women could handle in the second half.
The Bulldogs, who are now 8-3 in Horizon League play, make their living on the glass. Against Detroit however, they were out-rebounded 32 to 25 and managed only two offensive rebounds.
Senior starters Chloe Hamilton and Brittany Bowen lead the Bulldogs with 11 points each, but it was another poor night from behind the three point line.
In last week’s game against nationally ranked Green Bay, the Bulldogs made only 2 of 15 three point attempts. Thursday night against Detroit wasn’t much better, with them shooting only 2 for 11.
Detroit was led by Cherridy Thornton and Yar Shayok. Thornton led the team with 14 points. Shayok was just short of a double-double, with 12 points and nine rebounds.
The Bulldogs set themselves up for a key matchup with the Wright State women with second place in the Horizon League on the line.
After being down by as many as 15 in the first half, they turned it on in the second half and had a chance to win at the end, but lost by a final score of 70 to 68.
“We didn’t play 40 minutes, we only played about eight. That won’t win you any basketball games,” head coach Beth Couture said.
Two free throws by Chloe Hamilton tied it at 68 with 12 second left in regulation. Wright State then took a 30 second timeout and set up a play to try and win it.
WSU point guard LaShawna Thomas broke through the Butler press, which was very effective at the end of the game, and attempted a layup that bounced off the rim with six seconds left.
Ta-myra Davis was able to haul down two offensive rebounds in the last five seconds and then netted the winning layup with less than a second left.
The Bulldogs only had a few tenths of a second to work with, but it was almost enough, as freshman Mandy McDivitt had her last second three-pointer hit off the back of the rim.
The Bulldogs had four players score at least ten points, but senior Chloe Hamilton lead them all with 15 and eight rebounds.
“When we have our backs against the wall, we can perform,” Hamilton said. “I just wish we didn’t have our backs against the wall all the time.”
The loss to Wright State closed out a four game homestand by the Bulldogs, they went 1-3. They travel to Youngstown State on Thursday, Feb 10. YSU is at the bottom of the Horizon League, but Couture and Hamilton still expect a close game.
“Anyone can win in our conference”, Hamilton said. “We have to be prepared for every team’s best shot.”