Clash Of Unbeatens: Bulldogs Host #22/16 Green Bay
2010-11 Butler Women's Basketball
$100 cash drawing for Dawg Pound members
First 100 students receive a t-shirt (courtesy of REACH)
Butler Hosts #22/16 Green Bay With First Place At Stake
The Horizon League lead is on the line Thursday night when the Butler women's basketball team hosts #22/16 Green Bay at Hinkle Fieldhouse. The Bulldogs and Phoenix are both 7-0 in league play. Fans with their men's basketball ticket stub from Sunday get in for $3.
The Starting 5 - Butler's Top Storylines
1. Battle Of Unbeatens: Thursday's Butler-Green Bay clash will pit the league's two remaining unbeatens against each other. The Bulldogs and #22/16 Phoenix are each 7-0 in Horizon League play. The game could turn out to be a key piece to determine who will win the regular season and host the 2011 Horizon League Women's Basketball Championship.
2. Hamilton Is Player Of The Week: Chloe Hamilton was tabbed Horizon League Player of the Week for her efforts last week in Chicago. Hamilton fought off early foul trouble for 16 points in BU's win at Loyola last Thursday, then went for a dominating career-high 27 points at UIC on Saturday. It was Hamilton's first weekly honor, and the second for Butler this season. Brittany Bowen was selected as player of the week two weeks ago.
3. On The Boards: Butler has been dominating the glass recently, having out-rebounded all seven league opponents to date. Led by Brittany Bowen's 14 rebounds, BU was +10 in rebounding against Loyola last Thursday night. Butler was +3 at UIC, even after the Flames grabbed a lot of rebounds late. Back on Jan. 8, Butler out-rebounded Detroit 43-19 in a 72-66 win. The Bulldogs have been +10 or better on the glass six times this season.
4. 3 Straight 20s: Butler has won 20 games in each of the past three seasons, the first time the team has achieved that as a Division I program. The Bulldogs went 20-10 in 2007-08 and followed that with a 20-12 season in 2008-09. Last year's mark of 23-10 was the team's most wins since the 1997-98 Bulldogs went 25-6 under June Olkowski. Butler has gone 63-32 during the three seasons previous to this year.
5. Closing 2010: The Bulldogs finished the 2010 calendar year with a record of 22-12, the most wins in a calendar year since the team won 23 games in 1998. The total of 22 wins is tied for fifth most in school history. The school record for wins in a calendar year is 25, set in 1981. BU went 21-10 in the 2009 calendar year.
Butler-Green Bay Series: Green Bay has been Butler's main nemesis, controlling the series between the two teams. Green Bay has won 28 straight against Butler and leads the all-time series 34-7. Butler's last win against the Phoenix was an 85-80 win in 1999.
Butler vs. Ranked Teams: Thursday's game will be the Bulldogs' 19th game all-time against ranked opponents. BU is 2-16 against ranked opponents, including 0-1 against Green Bay. Strangely, the only time Butler has faced Green Bay while it was ranked was in 2007. Butler's last win against a ranked team came in 1998 against Oregon at a Kansas invitational.
Best League Starts: BU's 7-0 start in league play is tied for second best in school history. Butler was also 7-0 in league play in 2009 before losing at Green Bay. The 1993 Bulldogs started 9-0 en route to a 14-2 season in the MCC (now Horizon League).
Couture Is No. 1: Beth Couture, with 141 victories at Butler, owns the most women's basketball wins in Butler history. Couture last season passed Linda Mason (1976-84), who won 124 games. The record-breaking victory came at UIC on March 4 of last season.
...And She's Chasing 400: Beth Couture owns 399 career wins in her head coaching career. Only 48 other coaches in all of NCAA basketball have 400 career victories. Couture entered the season 49th among active coaches in wins.
Coaching Connection: Butler assistant Alex Webster is certainly familiar with Green Bay. The first-year Butler assistant is a 2007 Green Bay graduate and played three seasons for the Phoenix (2004-07). During her three seasons in Green Bay, Webster played on two NCAA teams and one WNIT team.
Senior Surge: During the holiday break, Beth Couture challenged her seniors to step up on and off the court. The group has responded with increased production. Chloe Hamilton is averaging a team-best 16.5 points and 9.2 boards while Brittany Bowen is at 1.5 points and 8.0 rebounds. Alyssa Pittman is scoring 14.2 points during that span and is shooting .486 from 3-point range.
For Starters: After using eight different lineups in the season's first 12 games, Butler may have found its starting 5. The current starters have won seven straight games, and with former starters Terra Burns and Sarah Hamm injured, the rotation is now set. The Bulldogs can also still go wtih a smaller, faster lineup with Brittany Bowen at the '4' and Chloe Hamilton at the '5'. Beth Couture has used nine different starting lineups through 19 games, including seven different lineups once.
Chloe's Career Day: Last Saturday at UIC, Butler came out slow and actually trailed at halftime. Beth Couture could be heard on the sideline, encouraging her players to "get in the game." Chloe Hamilton did just that, scoring 17 of her career-high 27 points in the second half to lead Butler to victory. The 5-10 senior shot 12 for 20 and made three free throws while grabbing six rebounds in 39 minutes. Her previous scoring high was 21, set this year against Coastal Carolina.
...Hamilton Nationally: In the most recent NCAA stats, Chloe Hamilton stood 11th in the nation with a .576 field goal percentage. Horizon League leader Molly Fox (Wright State) is ranked third in the country (.641).
Bowen Is Scoring: Brittany Bowen, who is averaging 15.9 points and 8.3 rebounds in Horizon League play, is seventh in the league averaging 15.7 points this season. In addition to scoring 30 against Indiana State on Dec. 4, the 5-10 senior has six outings with 19 points or more this season. She also has posted two 25-point performances prior to this season.
Sharpshooter: Brittany Bowen is arguably one of the best shooters in the Horizon League. The 5-10 senior is the league leader in 3-point percentage (.400) and she is the only player in the HL in the top 7 in field goal percentage (7th), 3-point percentage (1st) and free throw percentage (3rd).
...Bowen Nationally: In the most recent NCAA stats, Brittany Bowen rates 46th in the nation in free throw percentage (.846). Had she had enough attempts, Bowen would stand 51st in the nation in 3-point percentage (.400).
Shooting To Remember: Butler's 88-69 win over Youngstown State was an offensive performance for the ages. The Dawgs shot .615 from the floor (32-for-52), which was the team's best effort since a .625 shooting night against Wright State in 1998. It was the best single-game shooting performance under head coach Beth Couture.
...And From The 3: Led by Alyssa Pittman's six 3-pointers, BU sank 14 of 23 (.609) from beyond the arc. The 14 treys was tied for second and one shy of the school record set in 2007.
New Year's Resolution = Defense: After BU's 12-game non-conference slate, the Bulldogs stood last in the HL in points allowed (69.6) and field goal percentage defense (.453). Since the first of the year, Butler has tightened up on defense, allowing just 61.1 points on .412 shooting. In its first two league games, Butler held Valpo (.321) and Wright State (.359) to the season's two lowest shooting percentages. Butler has not given up 70 points yet in conference play.
Cobb Has Her Best Game: Jenna Cobb had the best game of her young Butler career against Cleveland State two weeks ago. The freshman scored 11 points on 4-for-7 shooting and sank a pair of 3-pointers. She also made two acrobatic lay-ups in addition to three assists and two steals. Her previous scoring high was six points.
Bowen Named HL Player of the Week: Brittany Bowen was named Horizon League Women's Basketball Player of the Week on Jan. 10 after averaging 19.0 points and 8.5 rebounds in wins at Wright State and Detroit. She had 19 points and nine rebounds in BU's win at Wright State on Jan. 6, and followed that with 19 points and eight boards at Detroit. It was the first time the 5-10 senior has captured the league's weekly award.
1,200 Point Scorers: In Butler's win over IUPUI in November, Brittany Bowen became the 21st player in Butler history to score 1,000 career points. The 5-10 senior reached the mark with a lay-up at the 16:05 mark of the first half. Bowen now has 1,221 points as a Bulldog. Additionally, Alyssa Pittman crossed the 1,000-point mark last season. She scored 715 points in her two years at Eastern Michigan and now has 1,229 for her career.
Injury Bug: Butler's 7-0 Horizon League start has been amazing when you consider how hard the Bulldogs were hit by injuries. BU is without two starters, senior point guard Terra Burns (8.5 ppg, 4.8 apg) and freshman center Sarah Hamm (7.0 ppg). Burns was injured at Notre Dame and hasn't played since, while Hamm suffered an ACL tear in her right knee against Valparaiso and is out for the year.
Young Post Coming Through: Sarah Hamm had emerged as an effective interior player before injuring her knee against Valparaiso. The 6-2 rookie was scoring 7.0 points per game. In her absence, Becca Bornhorst has had her workload increase. Bornhorst, a 6-1 sophomore, has started the last seven games and is averaging 5.6 points and 5.0 boards while shooting .353 from 3-point range during that span. She scored a season-high 13 on 6-for-7 shooting vs. Youngstown State last weekend.
Conference Wins Record: In each of the past two seasons, Butler has set a school record with 14 league victories. The Bulldogs have posted back-to-back 14-4 conference seasons and are 56-21 (.727) in league play since 2007.
After Halftime, Try Again: After 19 games, it seems Beth Couture's halftime speeches make the Bulldogs shoot better. Butler is shooting .475 from the floor after halftime, compared to just .426 in the first 20 minutes. As a result, Butler is scoring 30.9 points per game in the first half compared to 39.7 points in the second half. BU's scoring margin in the first halves of games is +2.6, compared to +6.8 in the second half.
Couture's Cause: In April 2009, Beth Couture was diagnosed with breast cancer. She finished treatments and radiation at a fast pace, just in time to return to the sideline for last season's opener. Couture is now cancer-free and an avid supporter of breast cancer awareness. She walked 38 miles over a two-day span for St. Vincent's Weekend To End Breast Cancer during the fall.
...St. Vincent Women Of Hope: Beth Couture is serving as honorary chairwoman for 2011 St. Vincent Woman of Hope. Each Woman of Hope participant pledges to raise or give $1,000 annually for the cancer cause of her choice. All funds raised by Woman of Hope benefit cancer programs and services at St.Vincent. A celebration and walk is scheduled for October 1 to honor the participants.
WBCA Pink Zone: Butler will host its annual WBCA Pink Zone game for breast cancer awareness Saturday, Feb. 5 against Wright State. The game will be sponsored by St. Vincent, and fans are encouraged to wear pink. Breast cancer survivors will be admitted free of charge. There will also be free pink ribbons and other breast cancer awareness programming.
BU Among Mid-Majors: The Bulldogs were picked No. 22 in the first Mid-Major Top 25 poll by CollegeInsider.com and currently stands 26th in the poll. Green Bay, ranked 16th nationally, is the top-ranked in the nation. Beth Couture and Detroit's Autumn Rademacher represent the Horizon League on the mid-major poll's voting panel.
Devin Does The Little Things: Devin Brierly averages 5.4 points per game, fifth among active players on the team. But her value is best measured outside of scoring. Brierly is an athletic, versatile wing who is counted on for perimeter defense and passing. She also is a heady player with the ball, sporting a 1.55 assist-to-turnover ratio. She is also shooting 34 for 39 (.872) at the free throw line, showing that she can be counted on to make key free throws at the ends of games.
Up Next: Following Thursday's first-place clash, the Bulldogs host Milwaukee Saturday afternoon. Butler swept the season from UWM last year after dropping two of three against the Panthers in 2008-09.