Bulldogs Host Milwaukee Saturday Afternoon
2010-11 Butler Women's Basketball
Butler Hosts Milwaukee
The Butler women’s basketball team hosts Milwaukee Saturday afternoon at Hinkle Fieldhouse. The Bulldogs will try to rebound from their first league loss, a 66-62 setback to #22/16 Green Bay. Milwaukee enters having won four of its last five games.
The Starting 5 - Butler’s Top Storylines
1. 8-1 At The League Turn: With a win Saturday over Milwaukee, Butler can improve to 8-1 for the first time since the Horizon League added Valpo for an 18-game schedule in 2008. The Bulldogs were 7-2 at the halfway point in 2009 and 6-3 last year. Butler trails league leader Green Bay by one game after Thursday’s 66-62 loss to the Phoenix.
2. 11-for-11 Shooting: Chloe Hamilton is now shooting better than 60 percent this season (.601) after her 11 for 11 performance Thursday night against Green Bay. Hamilton converted on 10 shots in the paint and a baseline jumper in addition to 4-for-5 shooting at the foul line to total 26 points. The school record was a 13-for-13 outing by Alexis Proffitt against Milwaukee in 1997.
3. 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.
4. On The Boards: Butler has been dominating the glass recently, having out-rebounded all eight league opponents to date. The Bulldogs are a league-best +8.0 in rebounding margin in Horizon League games. Butler limited Green Bay to just five offensive rebounds to control the glass Thursday night. 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.
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-Milwaukee Series: Milwaukee leads the all-time series, 18-17, thanks to a 10-1 stretch against Butler from 2000-05. Since then, Butler is 7-5 against UWM. The Bulldogs have won six of the last nine against the Panthers and Beth Couture is 8-10 vs. Milwaukee in her career.
Last Year vs. UWM: BU won both games against UWM last year, and the two wins were complete opposites of each other. Last January 30, Claire Freeman hit a jumper with 0.6 seconds left to lift the Dawgs to a 71-70 win at Milwaukee. Four weeks later, the Panthers came to Hinkle and the Bulldogs blew them out 59-41.
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.
More On 11 For 11: Chloe Hamilton’s 11-for-11 shooting night was the third time in school history a Bulldog player took eight shots or more and made them all. In addition to Alexis Proffitt’s 13 for 13 (2/6/97), Kelly Kuhn went 8 for 8 against Wright State (2/20/99).
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 17.9 points and 9.3 boards over the last seven games. Brittany Bowen is scoring 15.7 points and Alyssa Pittman is averaging 13.4 points during that span. The three have combined to shoot .500 from the floor over the last seven games.
...Azjah’s Spark: Another senior, Azjah Bass, gave great minutes Thursday night against Green Bay. She had three points and two rebounds in 16 minutes and had a big 3-point play with 10 minutes left in the game that cut Green Bay’s lead to 44-40. Her energy on defense and her ball handling were keys to Butler’s near comeback.
A 4th Straight 20: Butler needs seven more wins to reach 20 victories for the fourth season in a row. That would be a first for BU as a Division I program, and second time in school history. The Bulldogs had four 20-win seasons in a row from 1978-82. This group 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.
Home Sweet Hinkle: Butler is 6-2 at home this season after posting a 12-2 mark last season. The Bulldogs are 37-13 (.740) at Hinkle since the beginning of the 2007-08 season.
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 of its last eight 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 20 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. After her 11 for 11 night, she is shooting .601. Horizon League leader Molly Fox (Wright State) is ranked third in the country (.641).
All-Decade In High School: The Lansing State Journal recently published an all-decade team for the 2000s for the Lansing, Mich., area. Chloe Hamilton, Holt High School’s all-time leading scorer, was among the players mentioned. Additionally, UWM’s Sami Tucker was also mentioned.
Getting Closer: While its true that Green Bay has beaten Butler 29 consecutive times dating back to 1999, Thursday night’s result was the tightest contest between the two teams. Three times (twice in 2009) Green Bay has beaten Butler by just five points. Thursday’s final was 66-62.
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.
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. 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.
...Now Let’s Remember It: Since Butler lit up Hinkle Fieldhouse against YSU on Jan. 15, the Bulldogs have gone a bit cold from beyond the arc. Butler is shooting .182 (8 for 44) from 3-point range over the last three games. The team is, however, shooting .800 at the free throw line during that span.
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 61.8 points on .423 shooting. Butler has not yielded 70 points yet in conference play.
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 22nd player in a Butler uniform 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 1,238 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 also has 1,238 for her career.
Injury Bug: Butler’s 7-1 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 eight games and is averaging 5.4 points and 5.3 boards while shooting .350 from 3-point range during that span. She scored a season-high 13 on 6-for-7 shooting vs. Youngstown State on Jan. 15.
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 on pace for a third such mark at this point in league play.
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 5.2 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 takes care of the ball, sporting a 1.46 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: Butler hosts Detroit and Wright State next weekend. The Bulldogs defated both teams earlier this month on the road.