Women’s basketball: Butler wins exhibition games

Butler women’s basketball begins its regular season by traveling to the Al McGuire Center in Milwaukee to take on Marquette Saturday.

The two teams last met in the 2009 Women’s National Invitation Tournament. The Golden Eagles prevailed 58-49 in a second-round game played in Milwaukee.

The Bulldogs will also play at Ball State Tuesday night. Butler defeated the Cardinals 55-43 last season in a December contest at Hinkle Fieldhouse.

“The first two road games will give us a chance to see where we stand as a team, and we all are excited about that opportunity,” junior forward Daress McClung said. “I am feeling confident in how hard we’ve worked as a team and am looking forward to testing what we’ve practiced against great competition.”

Butler wrapped up its first win of the year against Kentucky Wesleyan, defeating the Panthers 68-53 in an exhibition matchup last Friday.

McClung led in scoring with 18 points. Freshman forward Katie Brewer snagged 13 rebounds for the Bulldogs.

“It’s nice to finally play against someone else other than ourselves all the time,” sophomore guard Taylor Schippers said. “Exhibition games are (used) to see what rotations work best and for us to get all our nerves out before going into regular-season play.”

Neither team took control of the game in the first half and they headed into the locker room tied 31-31.

“At halftime in the locker room, coach was calm and just said we need to play with more energy now that the nerves are out, we need to go out there and put them away,” Schippers said. “Our defense and energy in the second half is what let us pull away from the Panthers.”

The Bulldogs’ pressure held the Panthers scoreless for the first seven minutes of the second half and let Butler extend its lead.

Butler’s defense forced 17 Kentucky Wesleyan turnovers.

The Panthers shot 18 percent from the field in the second half after shooting 40 percent in the first half.

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