Shorthanded Bulldogs Take Down Jays

Brendan King | Staff Reporter

 

The Butler women’s basketball team (8-10, 3-4) picked up its eighth win of the season Saturday after defeating the Creighton Blue Jays 58-52 at Hinkle Fieldhouse.

Creighton (11-8, 5-2) came into the game as the top team in the Big East Conference with a conference record of 5-1. Sophomore guard Marissa Janning, who averaged 17 points per game this season coming in, was held to eight points by the Butler defense.

“Our basketball team really executed what we wanted to do,” Butler coach Beth Couture said. “They stepped up really well on defense and won the game because of our defensive end. I’m proud of them.”

Two of Butler’s five leading scorers sat out this game. Senior forward Daress McClung and junior forward Ijeoma Uchendu did not play, which required junior center Liz Stratman to step up.

Stratman did just that. She finished with a double-double, recording 16 points, 10 rebounds and three assists.

Six of Stratman’s 16 points came from beyond the arc. Stratman said she felt confident in her 3-point shooting ability during the game.

“(Couture) asked me if I was ready to do our 3-point play and I said, ‘Yes, I’m ready,’” Stratman said. “If I have confidence, I might as well shoot it and hopefully knock it down.”

Sophomore guard Lexus Murray, who started in place of McClung, had a career game against the Blue Jays. Murray recorded a personal-best 12 points and had three assists on the night.

“The coaches and my teammates had a lot of confidence in me,” Murray said. “I was just trying to step up for my team and get a lot of easy shots when they were double-teaming Stratman.”

Butler will look to carry its momentum into its next game against DePaul Saturday.

DePaul has a record of 10-9, including 2-4 in Big East play.

DePaul’s biggest wins of the season have come against conference foes Xavier and Providence.

DePaul’s leading scorer, senior forward Jasmine Penny, averages more than 17 points per game. For Butler to stop her, Couture said the Bulldogs will need to continue the defensive philosophy already being taught.

“The last couple of games have been so close. The last five minutes of the games, we get a little tight, but we got through it,” Couture said. “So now we know that we can get the job done. The team’s motto right now is let’s do it together.”

Couture said the Big East can be wide open and anyone can win the conference.

“We can’t get too wrapped up at looking at records right now,” Couture said. “I want us to take it one game at a time and for us it’s about getting better every day and getting prepared for the tournament. I’ll go to battle with these girls any day.”

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