Last Second Basket Lifts Butler Over Dukes in WNIT 59-58

March 19, 2009


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PITTSBURGH - Candace Jones' layup with 2.2 seconds remaining lifted Butler over Duquesne 59-58 in the opening round of the WNIT.

Lade Akande scored a game-high 26 and added a game-best 12 rebounds for the Bulldogs (20-11) who advance to take on Marquette on Monday night. Brittany Bowen also recorded a double-double of 10 point and 10 boards.

Kristi Little scored 24 points in her final career game.

The game started off slow, with both teams missing their first four shots. Little’s layup plus one got the Dukes on the board first and started an early 14-4 run.

Butler responded with three straight baskets including a 3-pointer from Susan Lester to cut the lead to four points at the 11:54 mark. The game would go back-and-forth until an Akande layup with 3:44 remaining narrowed the gap to one point, 24-23.

Duquesne went on a 10-0 run over the next two minutes to give them their largest lead of the game at 11 points with 1:46 to go. Lester’s 3-pointer closed out the first half scoring, with DU leading 34-26.

The Bulldogs came out of halftime scoring 10 of the next 12 points as Jones’ 3-pointer at 15:29 tied the game at 36-36 with 14:29 left in regulation.

With Duquesne trailing 48-46 with 6:11 remaining, Little stole the ball from Jones on back-to-back possessions and converted her layups to give the Dukes a 50-48 advantage.

The game would see five more ties, the last coming with 43 seconds left on an Akande foul shot.

On the ensuing possession, Little was fouled and made the back half of her foul shots giving Duquesne a 58-57 lead with 14 seconds to play. Jones’ layup with 2.2 seconds to go put the Bulldogs ahead for good as a desperation 3-pointer by Kelly Britcher did not fall.

“I couldn’t have been more proud of Kristi for her effort,” said head coach Suzie McConnell-Serio. “She’s been out there all year long making plays for us.”

Little finished 6-of-12 from the floor and tied her career-high by making 12 foul shots.

“They executed their defensive game plan very well and limited our second chance points. We struggled getting production in our inside game as well,” added McConnell-Serio. Butler outscored Duquesne 32-20 in the paint and had 19 second chance points to DU’s four.

The Dukes end their record-setting season with a mark of 20-12.




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