Titans Hold Off Butler, 57-52, Clinch #2 Seed In The Horizon League Championship
INDIANAPOLIS — Junior Yar Shayok (Ottawa, ON/Hillcrest) scored 10 of her 14 points in the second half and the Titans held off a late charge by Butler as Detroit went into Hinkle Fieldhouse and pulled out a win for the second-straight season, 57-52, on Thursday night.
The win moved Detroit to 17-12 on the year and 13-4 in the Horizon League and with Wright State losing at Valparaiso, UDM has clinched the #2 seed in the upcoming Horizon League Championship. The victory also marks the second time in head coach Autumn Rademacher’s four years that the Titans have reached 17 wins.
The loss drops Butler to 12-16, 8-9 in the HL and gives the Titans their first regular-season sweep of the Bulldogs since the 2003-04 campaign.
Freshman Shareta Brown (Pontiac, MI/Grand Blanc) led the way with 16 points and nine rebounds. Shayok posted 14 points and seven boards, while sophomore Senee Shearer (Detroit, MI/Pershing) added 16 points.
UDM was down by one, 26-25, early in the second stanza when the red, white and blue took the lead for good on a free throw from senior Jalesa Jones (Detroit, MI/Pershing) and a 3-pointer from Shearer. Butler hit a basket to make it a two-point game on its next possession, but back-to-back buckets by Brown ran the Titan lead to five and they extended their advantage to as many as eight, 43-35, midway through the period.
The Bulldogs would not go away though scoring six straight to get within two, 43-41, with 8:28 left, but Shearer’s third trifecta of the game gave the Titans a two-possession lead. The Titans fended off the Bulldogs the rest of the way as Butler could not get any closer then four until a give-me layup with five seconds remaining made the score 55-52. Butler fouled on the inbounds pass and Shearer calmly stepped to the line and hit a pair of free throws to prevent any miracle BU shot to tie the game.
Senior Lauren Allen (Rochester Hills, MI/Rochester) tied her season high for the fourth time with five assists, while collecting seven rebounds and coming away with three steals. Jones finished with four points, four assists and three boards.
The Titans held the Bulldogs to just 29.3% shooting, including a 3-of-18 effort from three-point territory. Detroit ended the night hitting 45.7% from the field, including 55% in the second half sinking 11 of its 20 shots.
Detroit came out a bit sluggish on the offensive front with three turnovers in the first three minutes of play, but the defense came to play holding Butler to just 2-of-18 shooting with four turnovers. In fact, the Bulldogs missed 10-straight shots and went over eight minutes without scoring as the Titans took a 13-4 lead at the 7:51 mark in the first.
UDM was a little better from the field hitting five of its first 14 shots, with Brown and Shayok doing the damage down low combining for 10 points and six boards in that span.
Butler came alive offensively with a 12-2 run to jump out in front, 16-15, and again at 18-17, before a trey by Shearer gave the Titans a 20-18 lead with 3:17 left in the first. The lead would change hands twice more in the final three minutes as Butler scored five straight to take a 23-20 advantage and the Titans answered with five of their own to go into the break up by two, 25-23.
Detroit will end the regular season on Saturday as the Titans head to Valparaiso. Fans, please remember that game time has now been changed to a 1:05 p.m. (EST) start. The Titans will then have a home game in the Horizon League Championship quarterfinals next Wednesday, and will play the winner of the 7-10 match-up that is scheduled for Monday.
Detroit is now 33-27 all-time against Butler… Last season, UDM downed Butler on the road, 55-51, in the regular season…Jones started her 97-straight game and the 117th of her career, passing head coach Autumn Rademacher for the second most in school history, trailing only Cheryl Williams’ 121 (1978-82)…Brown came into the game eighth in the country with a 55.9 field goal percentage and that will only go up as she was 6-of-8 from the field…Audrey Matteson had a pretty strong cheering section at the game with about 15 members of her family and friends making the 90-minute drive from Monticello, IN…Allen was one away from tying her season high with eight boards…Shayok played a season-high 35 minutes…Shayok entered the game averaging 9.6 points and 10.7 rebounds in seven games versus the Bulldogs…Jones is now tied with Carrie Banks for 19th place on the Titan all-time scoring list with 893 points…