The Butler women’s basketball team dropped two games in a row first the first time since late December, falling to No. 13 DePaul and Marquette on the road and dropping from second to third in the Big East standings.
The Bulldogs entered the past week having won nine of their last 10 games and sitting behind only DePaul in the conference standings. But the team faced a major test in the form of perhaps its toughest road games of the season, against two of the top teams in the league.
Feb. 14: 89-60 loss at DePaul
Butler squared off against the Blue Demons in Chicago looking to split the season series after DePaul defeated the Bulldogs 80-65 at Hinkle Fieldhouse roughly a month prior. Three players reached double figures for the Bulldogs, led by redshirt-senior forward Katherine Strong with 15 points.
Senior guard Kristen Spolyar registered a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds, while junior guard Upe Atosu finished with 10 points and five boards.
But the Bulldogs’ defense, which was allowed the third-fewest points of any Big East team this year, surrendered a season-worst 89 points to DePaul. The Blue Demons had five players score eight or more points, led by 23 points from sophomore guard Sonya Morris.
DePaul outscored Butler in every quarter, tallied 29 points off of 20 Bulldogs’ turnovers, and won at home by 29 points.
Feb. 16: 76-54 loss at Marquette
The Bulldogs then traveled to Milwaukee aiming to sweep the season series against the Golden Eagles. Behind 30 points from Spolyar, Butler defeated Marquette at home on Jan. 17 for its fourth Big East victory.
In Wisconsin, the Golden Eagles took control from the start, and the Bulldogs were never able to recover. Marquette outshot Butler from the field 66% to 27% in the first quarter, outscoring the Bulldogs 25-9. Butler nearly kept pace with Marquette for the next two frames, but never managed to make up any ground, falling by 22 points.
Spolyar led the team with 16 points while Strong scored 14. Seven other Butler players scored, but none registered more than six points.
Turnovers were once again a significant issue. The Golden Eagles scored 16 points off 19 Butler turnovers.
Up next: Feb. 21 vs. Creighton, Feb. 23 vs. Providence
The Bulldogs return to Hinkle Fieldhouse for two games this upcoming weekend. The Creighton Bluejays take on Butler on Feb. 21, while the Providence Friars square off against the Bulldogs on Feb. 23. Creighton is 8-6 in conference play and 16-9 overall. Providence is 11-15 on the season and just 2-12 in Big East action. Butler defeated both teams on the road in late January.