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NKU women fall to Butler

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (WKRC) -- Ijeoma Uchendu and Taylor Schippers combined for 30 points and 17 rebounds to lead the Butler University women's basketball team to a 53-47 victory over Northern Kentucky University at Hinkle Fieldhouse in non-conference action on Sunday afternoon.

Uchendu set career highs with 14 points and 14 rebounds and collected three blocked shots, while Schippers added 16 points, three rebounds and three steals for Butler (5-5).

Kelley Wiegman scored a career-high 14 points on 4-for-7 shooting from the floor to lead NKU (4-5), and she grabbed five rebounds and added two steals.

"Kelley played really, really well for us," NKU head coach Dawn Plitzuweit said.  "Down the stretch, she was a kid that got to the rim for us and made a lot of good things happen.  I thought she did a great job defensively and played very, very hard.  She is going to continue to get better as time goes on."

Both teams struggled to get into an offensive rhythm in the first half, but NKU used a 12-2 run, capped by a 3-pointer by Kayla Thacker at the buzzer, over the final 2:46 of the half to turn a 21-15 deficit into a 27-23 lead at the break.

The Norse shot just 26.7 percent from the floor, while the Bulldogs went 8-for-22 (.364) in the opening stanza but turned the ball over 13 times to just seven turnovers by NKU.

Butler opened the second half with a 10-3 run to regain the lead at 33-30 with 11:48 remaining in the game, but NKU answered and tied the game for the ninth time at 37-all with 8:12 left.  The Norse stretched their lead to seven (45-38), the largest lead of the game, less than four minutes later.

The Bulldogs, however, responded with a 10-0 run to take a 48-45 advantage with 1:28 left to play.  Schippers drained a 3-point field goal as NKU was called for a foul away from the ball, and Uchendu connected on both free throws to end Butler's spurt.

The Bulldogs would extend their lead to 51-45 with 21 seconds remaining on free throws by Mandy McDivitt.  Thacker would cut the lead to four (51-47) with a layup 10 seconds later, but McDivitt would answer with two more free throws to hold on to the win for Butler.

"I thought our kids played extremely hard, and the tough part was that it wasn't our defense that let us down," Plitzuweit said.  "Our kids really worked their tails off defensively, pressured the ball, and did a great job on the glass."

The taller Bulldogs finished with a slight 40-37 edge in rebounds and blocked eight Norse shots on the day.

McDivitt finished with nine points for the Bulldogs, including a perfect 6-for-6 from the free throw line.  Daress McClung, who entered the game averaging 16 points, was limited to just five against the Norse.

Thacker finished with 10 points, four rebounds and two steals, and Christine Roush added nine points and five rebounds for NKU.  Butler held Melody Doss, who entered the game leading the Atlantic Sun Conference by averaging 21 points per game, to just two points on the day.

Morgan Blair and Kelsey Key both recorded their first collegiate points on free throws and finished with two points each for the Norse.

Butler now owns a 2-1 record in the all-time series between the two schools and has won the last two meetings.

Image and information courtesy NKU Athletics




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