Dancing like it is 2019: Beyond the Box Score

Senior guard Caroline Strande led the Bulldogs with 24 points, five rebounds and five assists. Photo by Grace Hensley

DAVID JACOBS | STAFF REPORTER | drjacobs@butler.edu 

For the first time since the 2018-19 season, the women’s basketball team got a taste of postseason action as they defeated the Bowling Green Falcons 75-63 on March 21. 

After two consecutive losses to Marquette and Providence that ended Butler’s regular season at 14-16, the Dawgs were fortunate enough to get an invite to the Women’s National Invitation Tournament. 

Propelled by a flurry of three-point shots from graduate wing Rachel Kent and first-year guards Riley Makalusky and Karsyn Norman, the Bulldogs got out to a quick 14-2 lead to start the game. 

After the quick spurt, it was senior guard Caroline Strande that paced the Dawgs to victory with 24 points, five rebounds and five assists

“I thought it was one of her most impressive games,” head coach Austin Parkinson said. “For scoring 24 points, she let the game come to her. She was under control, made some really nice passes and we really did not have a tough time scoring. A lot of it was because of the way she played.” 

First-year fever 

Combining for 26 points, the first-year trio of Makalusky, Norman and forward Cristen Carter had one of their best collective games. 

“I thought they have been outstanding,” Parkinson said. “Norman ended up with nine points, four assists and three steals, and Makalusky even though she missed some shots from three, she played with an aggressiveness that was quality as well. The key tonight was really the balance to the minutes; everybody contributed.” 


Forcing 18 turnovers and collecting seven steals, it was one of the best defensive performances of the year for the Dawgs. 

“The biggest key to the game, we said we wanted to guard and not let [Morgan Sharps] get shots off,” Parkinson said. “She got four shots and only had three points. When she plays well, they play well, and when she does not, they struggle.” 

Outside of shutting down Sharps, it was a challenge set by Parkinson to limit the amount of three pointers given up. 

“The last couple games of the regular season we did a poor job guarding the three point line,” Parkinson said. “[We gave up] nineteen threes over the last two games, so tonight we only gave up two.” 

Looking ahead 

After inheriting a team that won four games in two years, Parkinson and his squad have now won a postseason tournament game and do not plan on stopping anytime soon. 

“To be where we were when we inherited the program in year two getting a post-season win, and it is the way we did it,” Parkinson said. “We played really good basketball and we have a nice group of players that we think will come back and this just gives them experience.” 

The Bulldogs will be back in action against Purdue on Monday, March 25 back home at Hinkle Fieldhouse. 

“We are excited to keep playing,” Parkinson said. “It [will be] nice to have a Big Ten opponent in here. They will be well rested, but we will be excited to play.” 


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