Butler women’s basketball overcomes first half deficit to defeat Lipscomb

Sophomore guard Kristen Spolyar passes the ball to a teammate. The women’s team is 3-0 for the first time since the 1990-91 season. Photo by Jimmy Lafakis. 

CHRIS BROWN | STAFF REPORTER | cbbrown@butler.edu

The Butler University women’s basketball team overcame a rough first half to defeat Lipscomb University 70-58 at Hinkle Fieldhouse Nov. 17 and improve to 3-0 on the season.

The Bulldogs struggled early on, shooting just 31 percent from the floor and making just one of 13 shots from beyond the arc in the first half. The Bisons converted just 33 percent of their shots, but knocked down six 3-pointers in the first half and took a seven point lead into halftime.

Butler turned the tables on Lipscomb in the third quarter, applying a full-court press and going on a 15-0 run to begin the second half. The Bulldogs outscored the Bisons 27-4 in the third quarter to take the lead and pull away in the contest.

With the victory, the program is off to its first 3-0 start since the 1990-91 season.

Junior center Tori Schickel and redshirt junior guard Whitney Jennings had strong performances for Butler. After missing her first five 3-point attempts in the first half, Jennings tallied 12 points in the second half and finished the game with a team-high 20 points along with eight rebounds and two assists.

Schickel posted a double-double in the victory, tallying 15 points and a season-high 17 rebounds. Nine of those points and 11 of those rebounds came in the second half.

Schickel said that much of her success in the second half was thanks to her teammates.

“Our guards did a really nice job really in the second half of getting me the ball and looking for me when I was open,” Schickel said. “We needed that spark coming into the second half. We struggled a little in the first couple quarters. But coming out of halftime I knew that’s what we needed. It got everybody going and our guards did a nice job of pressuring.”

Head coach Kurt Godlevske said Schickel’s rebounding ability was key to providing extra opportunities for the team.

“I think she just kept battling,” Godlevske said. “You saw in that quarter how many extra possessions that she just got us. She’s a fighter and a warrier. Her involvement makes such a big difference for us.”

Graduate student and guard Iman Lathan was also a key contributor in the victory. Lathan scored 12 points to go along with six rebounds and two assists.

Godlevske said that the team wasn’t aggressive enough defensively in first half, but changed that in the third quarter.

“The other night at Murray State we ended the game I think with 47 deflections,” Godlevske said. “We had seven through two quarters [tonight]. Then in the third quarter we get 16 deflections. That leads to a bunch of transition points. That got us feeling good.”

The Bulldogs will travel to No. 22 University of South Florida for their next game on Nov. 20.


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