Delivering heartbreak in Friartown: Beyond the Box Score

Senior guard Caroline Strande put up 22 points and nine rebounds against Providence. Photo courtesy of Butler Athletics.


After losing eight of their last nine games, Butler was able to get their second consecutive victory with a 55-48 win over Providence on Feb. 14. 

Despite utilizing a hot shooting stroke against St. John’s, it was a strong defensive effort that got the Dawgs the win against the Friars. 

First-year forward Cristen Carter anchored the defense with three blocks and two steals on the night, while senior guard Caroline Strande carried the offensive load with 22 points and nine rebounds. 

Despite shooting 37% from the field and 27% from beyond the arc, here is how the Bulldogs were able to pull out the gritty win. 

Defensive pressure 

Regardless of their own shooting percentages, the high-intensity defense forced the Friars to shoot just 33% from the field and 25% from deep. 

Carter’s three blocked shots set a new season high for her, and is the most any player has had since Sydney Jaynes denied four attempts against Southern Indiana on Dec. 7, 2022. 

Along with the traditional defensive presence with steals, turnovers and missed shots, Butler was able to outrebound the Friars 39-36 while only giving up 13 offensive rebounds. 

In seven of their now 11 wins, the Bulldogs have succeeded in outrebounding their adversary which is crucial when preventing the long runs they have given up all year. 

The importance of a win 

It sounds elementary, but winning a game has such an effect on everyone involved in the program. 

Being able to build confidence with each win helps team chemistry, player development and most importantly team morale. This squad has seen so many winnable games slip away from their grasp, but being able to string together two impressive wins in a row can carry quite the load. 

With three first-year starters, these wins are more important than they seem in regards to the next three years of the program. Being able to play and develop young talent early will translate to many more wins in years to come. 

Looking ahead 

On the heels of this two game heater, the Dawgs will have a second shot at a very talented Villanova squad as they travel to Philadelphia to avenge their 11-point loss from earlier in the year.


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