Butler Shines Again as Gophers Pull Away Late
Butler Totals Most Points Since '07, Most Rebounds Since '04
PHOENIXVILLE, Pa. — Latifah Butler (Annapolis, Md./Annapolis) had career bests in both points and rebounds in leading the Gophers to a non-conference victory.
Valley Forge Christian (5-4), ranked fifth in the Division II National Christian College Athletic Association rankings, opened up the scoring early with a 2-0 lead.
Butler responded with the first five Goucher (2-5) points to kick off an 8-0 run capped by Sharnell Huff (Bowie, Md./Bowie) three-pointer.
The Patriots used a 9-0 run to get back on top but a fast-paced sequence led to five lead changes in less than three minutes late in the first half.
Adrienne Flowers (Columbia, Md./Pallotti) hit consecutive jumpers to level the score at 21-21, then give the Gophers the lead as part of a 10-0 run. Goucher would never again relinquish the lead.
After heading into the break down 36-26, the Patriots battled to pull within six multiple times in the second half, but could never get closer.
The Gophers held the Patriots to just one basket over the last 5:13 of the game, closing out strong defensively.
Butler shot 13-for-19 from the floor, giving her a career best 29 points. She pulled 16 rebounds as well, including eight on the offensive end, for her sixth straight double-digit rebounding performance.
The freshman forward came within one point of becoming the first Gopher with 30 points in a single game since Shadae Swan in 2007. Swan is also the last Goucher freshman to reach 29 points, netting 31 against Gallaudet in 2005.
The 16 rebounds is the most by a Goucher player since Kate Guggino grabbed 20 against Christopher Newport in 2004. The last freshman to exceed 16 was Kimberly Toliver in 1999.