Graduate wing Rachel Kent scored 13 points in Butler’s win over St. John’s. Photo Courtesy of Butler Athletics.
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The Dawgs had to battle back from deficits at multiple points throughout the game, but ultimately were able to pull out the 64-59 victory over the Red Storm.
Head coach Austin Parkinson was proud of the resilience his team showed.
“We just battled late,” Parkinson said. “The kids made some strong plays and kept fighting.”
The win is the Bulldogs’ second in conference play, and lifts them to a 10-13 overall record.
Senior guard Caroline Strande has been Butler’s standout performer all season, leading the team in points, rebounds and assists.
Against the Red Storm, she put up team-highs with 18 points and nine rebounds, while also dishing out four assists.
The Dawgs needed every aspect of her performance to push past St. John’s.
“She stepped up tonight,” Parkinson said. “She made some big plays and then she wanted the ball late in the game. That’s what you want in a player like her.”
Three-point shooting made all the difference in the Bulldogs’ win. Butler shot a blazing 11-24 from deep on the night, while holding the Red Storm to just 2-14 on long balls.
Parkinson’s squad got reinforcements in the form of Meulemans’ return to the rotation. She had not played since Jan. 21 against Providence due to an undisclosed injury.
Her return gives Butler a valuable shooting lift, as she has shot 44.9% from deep on the season. Meulemans scored six points in 25 minutes of play against St. John’s.
Lilly Stoddard also got minutes for the Dawgs. The sophomore forward scored two points in five minutes, and gave Butler some much needed interior defense against the Johnnies’ persistent paint scoring attack.
“I thought Lilly Stoddard’s defense really changed the complexion of the game,” Parkinson said. “She did a great job of being tall and big at the rim without fouling.”
Having finished up a three-game home stand, Butler will now hit the road for a matchup with Providence on Feb. 14. The Friars are 11-13, and sixth in the Big East.