First-year forward Riley Makalusky had 23 points off the bench. Photo courtesy of Butler Athletics.
DAVID JACOBS | SPORTS REPORTER | firstname.lastname@example.org
After two grind-it-out wins against Detroit Mercy and Austin Peay, the women’s basketball team secured a much needed 54 point victory after dominating newly promoted Division II Roosevelt University early on Nov. 20 in the first ever match up between the two schools.
Led by first-year forward Riley Makalusky with 23 points off the bench, Butler was able to pace themselves ahead of Roosevelt with a 44-9 run to end the first half. The final score was 104-50.
The Dawgs were not perfect. It took them eight minutes to score their first 10 points of the game where they sat at a 10-7 lead until they erupted from behind the arc, hitting nine threes during their impressive first half run. In what has been a point of concern in games past, Butler secured their first positive assist-to-turnover ratio since their season opener against Iowa State.
From the 1:32 mark of the first quarter, Butler dominated and did not look back. The Bulldogs deserve credit for shooting a blistering 58% from the field, 54% from behind the arc and 92% from the charity stripe. However, just as Butler was hitting almost every shot, Roosevelt could not get as many through the hoop. They shot a less-than-desirable 29% from the field and 26% from behind the arc.
Although the prior games were against quality Division 1 opponents, the Dawgs have not been able to hit many shots. Heading into the contest, Butler shot 38.1% from the field, 25.4% from deep and 72% from the free throw line. Against Roosevelt, Butler was able to take advantage of the Lakers’ help-heavy defense to find the open shooters on the perimeter. This exposure resulted in Makalusky and sophomore wing Jordan Meulemans combining for 10 three pointers. Adding to the defensive exposure, the Bulldogs were able to utilize second chance points with 14 offensive rebounds and an overall 49-20 rebound difference — their second consecutive game winning the rebounding battle.
Sharing the wealth
In a dominant win like this one, there will often be players deeper on the depth chart showing what they can do when given an opportunity to get minutes. This game, it was Makalusky with 23 points.
Coming into this game, Makalusky had logged just 10 total minutes and four points. Against Roosevelt, she was red-hot from the perimeter, shooting 7-8 from deep in her 21 minutes off the bench. On top of Makalusky’s emergence, the Dawgs were able to distribute the ball better than they have all season with an impressive 27 assists with just 13 turnovers. First-year guard Karsyn Norman led the team with five assists and senior guard Caroline Strande and junior forward Sydney Jaynes were not far behind with four assists each.
Continuing the hot streak
Despite Roosevelt being a Division II opponent, the Dawgs have now won three games in back-to-back seasons after winning just four games total in the previous two seasons. Head coach Austin Parkinson has continued to prove he is the right man for the job to successfully turn this program around.
The Dawgs will be playing in the Turkey Tip-Off hosted by Pacific University on Nov. 24 and Nov. 25 against Pacific and St. Thomas, respectively, before returning home to take on Bradley on Nov. 29. It will not be easy as Pacific sits at 2-1 and St. Thomas is undefeated, but the Dawgs have a good test ahead to ride this win streak into and potentially come home with five wins under their belt.