Bulldogs Take Win Streak To Milwaukee

2011-12 Butler Women's Basketball

Butler (12-13, 8-6) at Milwaukee (7-18, 3-11)
Thursday, Feb. 23 - 8 p.m. ET
Milwaukee, Wis. - Klotsche Center
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The Starting 5 - Butler's Top Storylines

1. Standings Update: With its win over UIC last weekend, Butler pulled into a tie in the loss column for fourth place in the Horizon League standings. The Flames are 9-6 and the Dawgs are 8-6. Those two teams are likely to meet in the Horizon League quarterfinal Wednesday, March 7. Whichever team captures the No. 4 seed will host that game, and the winner will advance to the semifinals at the highest remaining seed.

2. Player of the Week: Sarah Hamm was named Horizon League Player of the Week after leading BU to wins over Loyola and UIC. The 6-2 sophomore averaged 19.0 points, 7.5 rebounds and 2.5 blocks in the two victories. She had 20 points in a rout over Loyola and 18 in last Saturday's win vs. UIC. She is the second Bulldog to win that award this season, as Jenna Cobb was honored back on Feb. 6.

3. Getting Defensive: Butler picked up its two wins last week by locking down defensively. Led by Jenna Cobb, the Bulldogs made 23 steals and held Loyola to 28 percent shooting in a 72-46 win last Thursday. Cobb set a school record and tied a league record with 12 steals. Last Saturday, Butler continued to apply pressure and forced UIC into 29 percent shooting in a 51-48 BU win. The Flames committed 25 turnovers in that game, with Butler tallying 12 steals.

4. Last Road Trip: BU's trip to Wisconsin, traditionally one of the season's toughest swings, is the team's final road trip of the regular season. The Bulldogs will return home for the final weekend of the season, hosting Detroit and Wright State. The recent schedule has been slightly favorable for Butler, which will have played five of its last seven at home heading into the league tournament. 

5. Young Bulldogs: Butler has had young teams in the past, but no team has had young players on the floor for more minutes than this year's BU squad. Through the first 25 games of the season, freshmen and sophomores are accounting for 69.3% of the team's total minutes. The Dawgs start freshman Hannah Douglas along with sophomores Jenna Cobb and Sarah Hamm. Two other freshmen, Haley Howard and Amanda Raker, have also started at times this season. Only one senior and one junior play significant minutes.


Butler vs. UWM:
Butler and Milwaukee will be meeting for the 39th time Thursday evening. The series between the two schools is tied 19-19. Butler has won four of the last five games, including a sweep in 2010. Beth Couture is 10-11 against Milwaukee.

Previous Meeting: Sarah Hamm had 30 points and 11 rebounds to lead BU to a 76-63 win over Milwaukee back on Jan. 28. Jenna Cobb added 16 points and six assists. Butler shot a season-high .510 in the victory. 

Buzzer-Beater At UWM In 2010: Two years ago, Butler won at Milwaukee on a last-second jumper by Claire Freeman. BU won that game 71-70. Devin Brierly was the only current Bulldogs to play in that game.

League Steals Record: Jenna Cobb's 12 steals vs. Loyola last Thursday tied the Horizon League single-game record and broke a 25-year-old school record. Cobb broke the previous school record of 11 that was shared by three players. Melissa Kilgore was the last Bulldog to grab 11 steals, and that was in 1987. Cobb tied Julie Wojta of Green Bay, who had 12 steals earlier this season.

Women Of Steal: Led by Jenna Cobb, Butler totaled 35 steals last weekend. After grabbing 23 vs. Loyola, BU had 12 steals vs. UIC. Cobb finished the weekend with 15 steals and Mandy McDivitt had six.   

More Hamm Please: Sarah Hamm has emerged as Butler's offensive go-to player. The 6-2 sophomore is averaging 16.8 points and 7.7 rebounds over the last six games. Hamm totaled a career-high 30 points on 11-for-19 shooting against Milwaukee, a week after scoring 23 points at UIC on Jan. 19. She added a 17-point, 11-rebound double-double at Cleveland State on Feb. 2 and had 20 points on Thursday vs. Loyola. She has 13 games this season with at least 12 points. 

'Devin-itely' Better: Devin Brierly, the only senior playing significant minutes this season, entered this season averaging 4.4 points per game for her career. She has been asked to lead and score this year, averaging 11.4 points per game. She has five 20-point games, including a recent stretch of three in a row. A career .334 shooter from 3-point range, Brierly is shooting .366 this season.

Hamm Shooting The 3: Sarah Hamm, a 6-2 center, can do more than score inside. Hamm is shooting .372 from 3-point range this season. Currently, she is a .400 shooter from beyond the arc in league games. She made two 3s against Milwaukee on Jan. 28. 

No Boards Needed: Butler win over UIC was the second time this season BU was out-rebounded yet won. UIC had a 43-39 advantage on the glass but the Dawgs won 51-48. The other victory came on Dec. 17 when BU beat Marian.

Butler vs. UWM: Butler and Milwaukee will be meeting for the 39th time Thursday evening. The series between the two schools is tied 19-19. Butler has won four of the last five games, including a sweep in 2010. Beth Couture is 10-11 against Milwaukee. 

Previous Meeting: Sarah Hamm had 30 points and 11 rebounds to lead BU to a 76-63 win over Milwaukee back on Jab. 28. Jenna Cobb added 16 points and six assists. Butler shot a season-high .510 in the victory.

Buzzer-Beater At UWM In 2010: Two years ago, Butler won at Milwaukee on a last-second jumper by Claire Freeman. BU won that game 71-70. Devin Brierly was the only current Bulldogs to play in that game.

League Steals Record: Jenna Cobb's 12 steals vs. Loyola last Thursday tied the Horizon League single-game record and broke a 25-year-old school record. Cobb broke the previous school record of 11 that was shared by three players. Melissa Kilgore was the last Bulldog to grab 11 steals, and that was in 1987. Cobb tied Julie Wojta of Green Bay, who had 12 steals earlier this season.

Women Of Steal: Led by Jenna Cobb, Butler totaled 35 steals last weekend. After grabbing 23 vs. Loyola, BU had 12 steals vs. UIC. Cobb finished the weekend with 15 steals and Mandy McDivitt had six.    

Hamm Shooting The 3: Sarah Hamm, a 6-2 center, can do more than score inside. Hamm is shooting .372 from 3-point range this season. Currently, she is a .400 shooter from beyond the arc in league games. She made two 3s against Milwaukee on Jan. 28.

No Boards Needed: Butler win over UIC was the second time this season BU was out-rebounded yet won. UIC had a 43-39 advantage on the glass but the Dawgs won 51-48. The other victory came on Dec. 17 when BU beat Marian.

Road Streak: BU has won three straight road games after beginning the season 0-8 on the road. Butler won at Loyola on Jan. 21 and then beat Cleveland State and Youngstown State the first weekend of February.  

Jenna At The '1': Jenna Cobb, a sophomore guard, is known for her tenacity and energy as a player. In January, Beth Couture moved her to the point position and the move has definitely worked. Cobb scored a career-high 21 points at Cleveland State on Feb. 2. The sophomore Ohio native is averaging 10.0 points, 5.4 rebounds and 4.2 steals per game over the last five contests. 

Rare Double-Double: Jenna Cobb had 11 points and a school-record 12 steals vs. Loyola, pulling off a rare points-steals double-double. The last BU player to have a double-double that wasn't points-rebounds or points-assists was Kelly Kuhn in 2000. Kuhn actually had a triple-double that night, posting 20 points and 10 blocks to go with 18 rebounds.

Becca Doubling Up: Becca Bornhorst has posted two double-doubles in recent weeks, the first two of her career. She had 10 points and 10 rebounds in the first game against Milwaukee and had 10 points and 12 rebounds vs. UIC. Beth Couture called Bornhorst's outing against the Flames her "toughest in a Butler uniform." 

Rolling On 20s: Last week's game vs. LUC was the first time in nearly a year that two players scored 20+ points in the same game. Devin Brierly scored 21 points and Sarah Hamm added 20 against the Ramblers. That was the first time two Dawgs have scored 20 since Alyssa Pittman and Chloe Hamilton each tallied 22 points against Cleveland State in the 2011 Horizon League tournament semifinal.

Wins vs. Losses: Offense has been the difference between winning and losing this season. In its 12 wins, Butler scores 65.7 points and shoots .418 from the floor. In its 13 losses, BU drops to 52.2 points on .337 shooting. Sarah Hamm averages a team-high 13.7 points and Devin Brierly scores 12.9 points in Butler wins. No Bulldog player averages 10 points in the team's losses.

Board Work: Butler's win over Loyola was its best offensive rebounding performance this season. The Bulldogs pulled down 28 offensive rebounds, the most this season. The previous offensive rebound total was 21, also against LUC. Jenna Cobb, BU's point guard, led with six offensive boards. BU was +17 on the offensive glass against the Ramblers, also a season best. The Bulldogs' board work resulted in 22 second-chance points.

Offensive Behavior: For a team that has struggled scoring for most of the season, Butler has recently posted four good offensive outings over the last. The team's offensive improvement began vs. Milwaukee, when Butler had season highs in points (76), field goal percentage (.510) and field goals made (26) on Jan. 28. They followed that with 68 points on .431 shooting at CSU on Feb. 2 and then made 12 3-pointers and shot 45 percent from the floor at YSU. Thursday night vs. Loyola, Butler scored 72 points, its second-highest against a D-I opponent this season.

Mandy Makes 3s: Mandy McDivitt, who is second on the team with 37 made 3-pointers, is Butler's long-range shooter off the bench. Twice this season, McDivitt has gone off for six made 3-pointers. She nailed 6 of her 13 attempts at Valparaiso on Jan. 14 and then made 6 of 10 at Youngstown State on Feb. 4. Of her 69 career field goals, 62 have been 3-pointers.

Block Party: Sarah Hamm currently leads the Horizon League with 1.8 blocks per game. The 6-2 Hamm blocked three shots vs. Loyola, her second straight game with three blocks. Hamm has 13 stuff over the past five games and 19 blocks over the last seven. She has eight games with 3+ blocks.

Doubling Up: After 19 games, no player on Butler had posted a double-double this year. Over the last six games, there have been five double-doubles turned in by Butler. Against Milwaukee on Jan. 28, both Sarah Hamm and Becca Bornhorst turned in a double-double. Hamm added another double-double at Cleveland State just five days later and Jenna Cobb had a double-double vs. Loyola. Becca Bornhorst posted another double-digit game vs. UIC.

Near Triple-Double: Becca Bornhorst posted her first career double-double against UWM on Jan. 28, and she nearly made it a triple-double. In addition to 10 points and 10 rebounds, Bornhorst dished eight assists on the day. She also hit two 3-pointers in the first half that set the tone for Butler's victory. 

Couture's Cause: With February being a big month for breast cancer awareness and Beth Couture has spent her time in the battle against the disease. Couture, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in the spring of 2009, rushed through treatments to make it on the sidelines for the start of the 2009-10 season. Couture has been cancer-free for more than a year and has participated in several awareness events. She is the honorary chairwoman for St. Vincent Women of Hope, a breast cancer awareness group. Each Woman of Hope participant pledges to raise or give $1,000 annually for the cancer cause of her choice. 

A Dozen Treys: Butler buried 12 shots from beyond the arc at Youngstown State on Feb. 4, a season high for the team. BU finished 12-for-27 against YSU, with Mandy McDivitt and Devin Brierly combining to shoot 9-for-18. It was the most 3-pointers for Butler since Feb. 17 of last season when the Dawgs made 12 treys against UIC at Hinkle Fieldhouse.

Haley Should Be First: Haley Howard, Butler's leading scorer, was briefly the national leader in free throw percentage. Howard is 37-for-40 at the foul line, good for 92.5 percent. Her percentage would rank first in the nation if she had enough attempts. Howard, a forward from Whiteland, Ind., made the first 23 free throws of her college career before missing against Marian on Dec. 17.

Calling For Backup: Butler will have a lot of help next season when it adds transfer post players Darress McClung and Liz Stratman. McClung, a 6-0 forward from Indianapolis, has practiced with the team this season and will be eligible next fall. She played two seasons at Cincinnati before coming to Butler. Stratman, a 6-3 freshman from New Palestine, Ind., was a four-year starter for high school girl's powerhouse Heritage Christian, where she won two state championships. Stratman played 12 games at Xavier, averaging 3.2 points and 4.4 rebounds per game. Those two transfers will be added to BU's four-player 2012 recruiting class.

90% At The Free Throw Line: Butler knocked down 19 of its 21 foul shots back on Jan. 28 vs. Milwaukee, good for 90.5 percent. It was BU's best free throw shooting night of the season and the first time Butler has made 90 percent at the foul line in a game since it made 16-for-17 (.941) against Cleveland State in the league tourney semifinal last season.

Pro Dawgs: Two recent Butler players signed pro contracts overseas during the summer. Brittany Bowen, an All-Horizon League player last year who graduated May, signed with a club in Denmark. Just days later, 2010 graduate Susan Lester signed to play professionally in Turkey. 

Butler Background: Amanda Raker and Liz Stratman, who will be sophomores next season, have the pedigree for success at Butler. Raker's father, Gary, played two seasons of basketball at BU from 1978-80 after playing two years at Oklahoma. Gary Raker, a 1975 Indiana All-Star, averaged 11.8 points per game over 52 games at Butler. Stratman's father played offensive line for Butler football for two seasons.

Up Next: After Thursday's game at Milwaukee, Butler will face 12th-ranked Green Bay Saturday, Feb. 25 at 3 p.m. ET.