Redshirt junior forward Olivia Fouty’s game expanded as she made four three-point shots to lead Eastern Michigan University to a win over Butler University 81-76 in overtime at the Convocation Center.
Fouty scored 20 and shot 6-of-10 from the field and took her game to a whole new level on this night with her outside shooting.
“Over (the) last six months, Olivia has improved her game,” EMU head coach Tory Verdi said. “She has expanded her game to the three-point mark. The fact that we got 20 and 10 from her tonight is something special. She is a tough kid and I am just so proud of what she is doing at this time.”
Freshman guard Janay Morton scored a career-high 23 points on 7-of-19 shooting to go along with five rebounds in 35 minutes.
Verdi talked about how Morton showed signs of aggression as they game progressed.
“For (Janay) to do that against (Butler) is pretty impressive,” Verdi said. “As the game wore on, she decided to take the ball to the basket and be a little more aggressive. It was exciting to see.”
In 36 minutes, senior guard Desyree Thomas chipped in with 12 points on 4-of-8 shooting.
For Butler, junior center Liz Stratman and senior guard/forward Daress McClung each recorded double-doubles.
Stratman recorded 23 on 10-of-18 shooting and 16 rebounds in 40 minutes, while McClung scored 22 on 9-of-17 to go along with 11 boards.
After EMU trailed 4-0 to start the game, redshirt junior forward Olivia Fouty responded by scoring the team’s first five points.
The rest of the first half was a back and forth affair as both teams exchanged the lead on five different occasions as no team led by double digits.
The Eagles went into the locker room with a 36-33 advantage on the Bulldogs.
In the second half, EMU held a stranglehold on the lead until a three-point make from junior guard Taylor Schippers at the 10:48 mark to give Butler a 50-49 advantage.
The Eagles responded with an 8-0 run which featured a three-pointer from freshman guard Haley Moore and basket from Morton on a foul and made the free throw.
The Bulldogs would not go away as they went on a 14-4 run to retake the lead at 64-61 with 3:17 left in regulation.
After both teams exchanged baskets to even the game at 69, the Bulldogs would have a chance to win it at the buzzer, but both shot attempts from Stratman were unsuccessful as the game went into overtime.
In the extra session, both teams continued to exchange baskets until a fast break layup off a defensive rebound from Fouty put the Eagles up 78-76 and never looked back as they scored three more off of free throws to clinch the win.
The game attendance was 289.
The Eagles are back in action on Nov. 17 when they travel to Cleveland, OH to take on the Cleveland State University Vikings at the Wolstein Center.
Cleveland State’s only of game of the season was a 85-69 loss to Butler on Nov. 8, 85-69.
Junior guard Kiersten Green led all CSU scorers with 28 on 7-of-14 shooting.
“It is going to be a tough basketball game,” Verdi said.
“Obviously, Cleveland State lost to Butler, but it doesn’t mean that we are going to go down there and beat them. I am sure they will give us our best shot and now (we) have to go on the road and show how tough we are on the road.”
Game time starts at 2 p.m. and can be heard on WEMU 89.1 FM.
Follow Eugene Evans on Twitter @GenoSportsguy.