Led by the sharpshooting of senior guard Terra Burns, the Butler women’s basketball team picked up a narrow 69-68 win over Harvard Sunday.
The win marked the Bulldogs’ first of the season and secured the team third place in the Iowa Tournament following an opening-round loss to tournament champion University of Nevada-Las Vegas.
Burns posted a team-high 17 points and led all players with nine rebounds.
“We definitely had a point to prove,” Burns said. “The night before, we definitely weren’t the team that I knew we could be.”
Butler (1-1) got out of the gate quickly, shooting 52 percent in the first half. Following a lay up by junior guard Elizabeth Jennings near the 12-minute mark, the Bulldogs never trailed.
Freshman forward Haley Howard paced Butler in the first half with 13 points on a perfect 4-for-4 shooting from the field. The Whiteland native finished with 15 points and eight boards.
The Bulldogs carried a 42-36 lead into halftime and continued their strong play into the second half.
A jumper by freshman guard Hannah Douglas opened up a 67-56 lead—Butler’s largest of the game—with about four minutes remaining.
Harvard (0-2) responded with a 12-2 run that saw the Crimson cut their deficit to one.
The Crimson had possession with 12 seconds remaining, trailing by one, but Butler sophomore guard Jenna Cobb stole the ball from junior forward Emma Golen, sealing the win for the Bulldogs and squandering Harvard’s comeback bid.
“It showed our toughness,” coach Beth Couture said. “I felt good about the composure on the floor. They stayed together as a team.”
One day earlier, Butler was unable to overcome a slow start and suffered a 62-39 loss to UNLV.
The Bulldogs struggled offensively in the first half, shooting 6-of-29 from the field en route to a 17-point halftime deficit.
Sophomore guard Mandy McDivitt led the Bulldogs with 11 points.
In the weekend’s games, six of the eight Bulldogs who received significant minutes were underclassmen.
“I think those young kids are very talented,” Couture said. “If they continue to improve every day, I think we could have a lot of fun come league time.”
Butler will be back in action Sunday when it visits Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne (0-3).
On Saturday, the Bulldogs will travel to the Lutheran Children’s Hospital in Fort Wayne, where they will meet and interact with patients.
“We try to do as much as we can helping kids,” Burns said.