The Butler women’s basketball team scored a 51-48 home victory over Illinois-Chicago on Saturday.
The game was quite a reversal for the Bulldogs (12-13, 8-6), who fell to the Flames (16-10, 9-6) 77-42 on Jan. 19.
With the victory, Butler has now won five of its last six games.
“For me, I think the game was won by toughness,” coach Beth Couture said. “[At UIC], we did not match their toughness, and I thought we did here.”
The first half of the contest with UIC saw the teams exchange the lead six times before a 3-point basket by Butler sophomore guard Mandy McDivitt put the Bulldogs up 25-23 with 47 seconds left.
The Bulldogs ended the half with 20 rebounds to the Flames’ 19.
“I am just so proud of our girls because I felt like, offensively, we never really got in sync,” Couture said. “We really got after [the Flames] defensively, and I thought that was one of the best defensive efforts we have had.”
Butler opened the second half on a 9-2 run, which was fueled by a 3-point basket from senior guard Devin Brierly and four points from junior forward Becca Bornhorst.
After the game, Bornhorst said the team’s 72-59 loss to Valparaiso on Feb. 11 pushed Butler to work hard to win contests.
“We were so disappointed after losing to Valpo,” Bornhorst said. “We should not have lost to them. It benefited us because you can see we worked harder and we played tougher and we wanted it more.”
UIC eventually closed the gap to 49-48 following a 3-point basket by sophomore guard Kobel with 15 seconds left in the game.
The Bulldogs were able to hold on for the win, though, after Brierly successfully converted two free throw opportunities.
Following the victory over UIC, sophomore center Sarah Hamm was named Horizon League Player of the Week.
Hamm tallied a combined 39 points against UIC and Loyola of Chicago, Butler’s opponent on Thursday at Hinkle Fieldhouse.
The game against the Flames proved to be much tighter than the Bulldogs’ 72-46 victory over the Ramblers (11-15, 6-9).
The Bulldogs recorded 23 steals and were led by sophomore guard Jenna Cobb, whose 12 steals allowed her to break the school record and tie the Horizon League record for most steals in a game.
“It is definitely exciting, but a lot of it was our whole team pressuring the ball and allowing me to get those steals,” Cobb said.
Brierly led the Bulldogs in scoring with 21 points.
The Bulldogs will continue their season at Milwaukee-Wisconsin tomorrow before facing off against No. 11 Green Bay on Saturday.