Butler Takes On Former League Foe UIC
2012-13 Butler Women's Basketball
The Starting 5 - Butler's Top Storylines
1. League Reunion: Butler, one week away from playing its Atlantic 10 opener, will be going back in time this weekend. The Bulldogs' contest at UIC reunites the two schools who were league opponents from 1994-2012. The Bulldogs and Flames have played 48 times dating back to 1984, with BU leading the series 28-20.
2. All 3 Transfers Together: Two transfers, Daress McClung and Taylor Schippers, have been Butler's top two players this season. They recently got more help in the form of another transfer, Liz Stratman. McClung, a 6-0 forward, came to BU from Cincinnati and is leading BU with 15.7 points and 10.1 rebounds. Schippers, a 5-8 point guard from Oklahoma State, leads BU in scoring and assists. Stratman, a 6-2 transfer from Xavier who is averaging 11.8 points and 4.0 blocks per game. The trio combined for 38 points, 35 rebounds, eight assists and six blocks against Cleveland State.
3. Daress Playing 'D': In addition to being Butler's leading scorer and rebounder, Daress McClung has put up some impressive blocks and steals numbers this season. McClung leads the A-10 in blocks with 2.7 per game and owns eight outings with 3+ blocks. She has at least three swats in each of the last five games. Her steals numbers are almost as good, ranking sixth in the A-10 at 2.4 per game. She has five games with 3+ steals.
4. Block Party: The Bulldogs are leading the A-10 in blocked shots with 6.6 swats per game. Seven times this season the Bulldogs have rejected at least eight shots in a game. BU swatted a season-best 12 shots against Illinois State last week. BU also had 11 blocks vs. Valparaiso back in November. Over the last four games, Butler has blocked 36 shots (9.0 per game). Nationally, BU ranks 4th in the country in blocks. Daress McClung leads the conference and stands 16th in the nation with 2.7 blocks per game. Liz Stratman averages 4.0 blocks per game and is on pace to be ranked when she's played in enough games.
5. Windy City: The Bulldogs have won nine of their last 11 contests in Chicago. Before losing its last two games there, BU had won four straight at UIC Pavilion. Beth Couture owns a 13-9 record when coaching in the Windy City.
(Former) League Sweep: A win on Saturday at UIC would give Butler a 3-0 mark against Horizon League schools. The Bulldogs defeated Valparaiso 69-55 in November and then earned Thursday's 56-54 win at Cleveland State.
More On McClung: Daress McClung's total of 18 rebounds is the most a player has had since Beth Couture has been coach at Butler. The time a BU player grabbed 19 rebounds in a game came in 1984.
For Starters: Through the first 14 games this season, Beth Couture has used the same starting lineup. That's the longest stretch of using the same lineup to start a season in her 11 years at Butler. Last season, Butler used nine different starting lineup combinations.
Butler In The HL: Before leaving for the A-10, Butler was consistently the Horizon League's second-best program. The Dawgs were 49-23 in league play over their last four seasons in the HL, finishing second in the standings three times.
Big Ten Win: Butler's 59-56 win over Indiana on Dec. 9 was BU's first win over a Big Ten opponent for Beth Couture and the first since 1998. That season, BU defeated Michigan State and Illinois. Daress McClung led the Bulldogs with 21 points and 12 boards against the Hoosiers. BU led by 22 at one point and had a 40-25 lead before hanging on in the final minute.
Board Work: Butler has hovered near the bottom of the A-10 rankings in most rebounding stats this season, but BU pounded Cleveland State on the glass on Thursday. BU outrebounded CSU 56-33, including a 19-6 edge in offensive boards. The differential led to a 16-2 Butler advantage in second-chance points.
December Record: Butler shook off a slow November to go 4-2 in the final month of 2012. It was BU's best December record since 2009, when it was 5-1. The Bulldogs were 3-4 in December last season.
No Experience Needed: In a survey done during the offseason, Butler was listed as the 16th least-experienced team in the nation. The players on BU's roster average 1.077 years of college experience, tied with Nicholls State for 16th.
Steering The 'Schip': Taylor Schippers is Butler's starting point guard and is second on the team in scoring. She has scored at least 11 points in 13 games, including a career-best 27 points at St. Mary's over Thanksgiving. Schippers ranks fifth in the A-10 with 15.6 points per game. She is fifth in the conference in FT shooting (.808) and seventh in minutes (34.7).
Schippers Named All-Tourney: Taylor Schippers was picked for the all-tourney team at St. Mary's after Thanksgiving. The 5-8 guard averaged 21.5 points and 3.0 assists per game during the two games in California. Her weekend included a career-high 27-point effort against St. Mary's, then she scored 16 vs. Portland State.
In The National Rankings: In addition to being fourth in the country in blocks (6.6), BU stands 48th in turnovers (15.2), 64th in free throw percentage (.725) and 86th in assist-turnover ratio (0.85). Daress McClung is in the top 50 nationally in rebounding (43rd), blocks (16th) and doubles-doubles (26th).
Vikings And Flames: The Dawgs have had to play Cleveland State and UIC consecutively five times dating back to 1994. In those 10 games, Butler went 8-2. Four times BU played CSU and UIC in a row and won both games.
Charity Work: Butler is converting 72.5 percent of its free throw attempts, ranking third in the Atlantic 10 Conference. The Bulldogs currently rank 64th in the nation in free throw percentage as well. Butler has shot at least 75 percent at the foul line in seven of this season's games, highlighted by a 14-for-15 (.933) effort vs. Valparaiso. Individually, BU is led at the charity stripe by Taylor Schippers (.829) and Hannah Douglas (.775).
Going Inside: Butler shot a season-low eight 3-pointers against IUPUI while getting to the foul line a season-high 31 times. BU then shot 27 free throws against Indiana State. The Bulldogs have shown a better effort going inside, especially with the recent addition of Liz Stratman.
Indiana Sweep: Butler will have bragging rights within Indiana borders for the next year. BU went 5-0 against Indiana schools, with wins over Indiana, Valparaiso, Indiana State, Ball State and IUPUI. It marks the second time Butler has swept Indiana schools under Beth Couture. In 2009-10, BU went 6-0 against in-state opponents.
Atlantic 10 Player of the Week: Daress McClung has been selected Atlantic 10 Women's Basketball Player of the Week. She had an all-around excellent performance in Butler's 66-56 win at Northern Kentucky. McClung totaled 15 points, 13 rebounds and six assists. It was her fifth double-double of the season. The redshirt junior also added six blocked shots and four steals in the Butler victory.
Hannah Consistent: Hannah Douglas has been a consistent scorer. The sophomore has scored between 9 and 13 points nine times this season. Douglas' career high of 31 points came last year against Wright State. Her emergence slashing to the basket gives BU a dependable perimeter scorer.
Up Next: The Bulldogs will compete in Atlantic 10 play for the first time when they host nationally-ranked Dayton Saturday, Jan. 12 at noon.