December 20, 2012

Butler's Rejection Preserves Two-Point Victory in Vegas

Goucher's First Three-Game Winning Streak Since 2007-08

LAS VEGAS, Nev. — Even though Latifah Butler (Annapolis, Md./Annapolis) had already compiled game-high totals of 30 points and 13 rebounds for Goucher, the Gophers weren't able to celebrate their 62-60 victory over Adrian today at the 2012 Vegas Hoopla until the freshman forward blocked a potential game-tying shot with less than two seconds remaining.

Butler's final two points came from a pair of free throws she made with 1:29 left to play that staked the Gophers (4-5) to a 62-56 lead. The Bulldogs, however, made it a one-possession game when Casey Fougerousse landed a 3-point field goal on their next possession and then tacked on a free throw by LaQwana Dockery with :47 showing on the clock to close to within 62-60.

Adrian got the ball back one last time after a shot clock violation by Goucher, but Butler rejected the shot taken by Lauren Rhoads that would have sent the game into overtime had it gone in.

The two-point victory over the Bulldogs (3-6) provided the Gophers with their first three-game winning streak since they defeated Hood, Trinity (D.C.) and Christopher Newport during the early stages of the 2007-08 season.

Butler was 11-for-15 from the field and 8-of-14 at the free-throw line on the way to becoming the first freshman for Goucher to score at least 30 points in a game since Shadae Swan turned in a 31-point effort against Gallaudet back in 2005.

The Gophers tallied the first six points of today's game and that proved to be the biggest lead either team enjoyed during the first half, which ended with the Bulldogs ahead by two, 32-30.

Adrian opened up as much as a seven-point cushion in the second period, but that's when Goucher went on a 14-2 run that put them back on top, 46-41, with 12:41 left to play.

Dockery's 3-pointer with 5:29 remaining created a 52-52 tie, but three possessions later, the Gophers took the lead for good on a layup by Butler.

Sharnell Huff (Bowie, Md./Bowie) contributed 15 points to the victory.

The leading scorer for Adrian was Rhoads, who finished with 17 points.