The Starting 5 - Butler's Top Storylines
1. Hot Shooting: Butler has won its last two games largely due to its hot shooting. The Bulldogs shot a season-high .628 (27-43) to win at Saint Louis. BU only had two offensive rebounds that game, largely because there weren't many opportunities. Three days earlier, the Bulldogs posted a .451 shooting percentage vs. St. Bonaventure. Over the past two games, Butler is 15-for-30 from 3-point range, including a 10-for-20 mark against SBU.
2. Hannah's Best Game: Hannah Douglas scored a season-best 20 points in Butler's win at Saint Louis. Douglas was 6-for-7 from the floor and made all three of her 3-pointers. Her previous season high was 13, which she had scored four times this season. Her career high came last season, when she scored 31 against Wright State.
3. 'Do-It-All' Daress: Daress McClung, who scored 22 points at Saint Louis, has filled the stat sheet almost on a nightly basis. The 6-0 junior ranks third in the A-10 in points (16.8) and blocks (2.5) while standing fourth in rebounds (9.3) and steals (2.5). She also appears among the league's top 10 in field goal and free throw percentage. She owns seven outings with 4+ blocks and seven games with 4+ steals. McClung has scored 20 points or more eight times this year and owns nine of Butler's 11 double-doubles this season.
4. Block Party: The Bulldogs are leading the A-10 and currently rank fifth in the country in blocked shots with 6.0 swats per game. Nine times this season the Bulldogs have rejected at least eight shots in a game. BU swatted a season-best 12 shots against Illinois State and also had 11 blocks vs. Valparaiso and La Salle. In addition to Daress McClung ranking third in the A-10 in blocks (2.5), Liz Stratman averages 2.7 swats per game and is on pace to be ranked nationally when she has played in enough games. Stratman had four blocks or more five different times this season.
5. Nice To Meet You: Richmond is one of nine first-time opponents (7 in the A-10) on this year's schedule. Butler is 3-5 this year against first-time opponents. BU's first-time opponents this year are: Fairfield, Portland State, Charlotte, St. Joseph's, UMass, VCU, George Washington, St. Bonaventure and Richmond. The majority of the new opponents are a result of BU's move to the A-10.
Butler vs. Richmond: Saturday marks the first meeting between Butler and Richmond in women's basketball.
Pair Of 20s: Daress McClung (22 points) and Hannah Douglas (20) led Butler in scoring at Saint Louis. It was the first time this season two BU players have scored 20 points in the same game. It was the first time since Devin Brierly and Sarah Hamm combined for 41 at Loyola last February.
Player of the Week Twice: Daress McClung has been picked as Atlantic 10 Women's Basketball Player of the Week twice this season. Her first honor came Dec. 17 after she had 15 points and 13 rebounds in a win at Northern Kentucky. The 6-0 forward picked up another notice on Jan. 7 after posting 26.5 points and 15.0 rebounds in BU's wins at Cleveland State and UIC. She posted 22 points and 18 rebounds at CSU then totaled 31 points and 12 rebounds to lead BU to an 84-61 win in Chicago.
Daress' Big Games: Daress McClung, BU's leader in scoring, rebounding, steals and blocks, has put together some monster games this season. She owns eight outings with 20+ points, and 12 games with at least 19 points. McClung, who owns nine double-doubles this season, has scored in double figures 21 times this season.
Taylor's 10: Taylor Schippers had 10 assists at Saint Louis, her second game with 10 assists this season. She also passed 10 helpers at UIC in January. Schippers is seventh in the A-10 with 4.2 assists per game.
A-10 Defense: Butler has done an excellent job defending A-10 opponents after 10 games. The Bulldogs are second in the conference in field goal percentage defense in league play, holding teams to .355 shooting. Butler has held five opponents (Xavier, VCU, UMass, St. Joe's and Charlotte) to worse that 33 percent shooting. VCU, La Salle, Rhode Island and St. Bonaventure each failed to score 50 points against Butler.
More On Shooting: BU built a 37-28 lead at halftime at SLU thanks to .696 shooting. It shot .550 in the second half and hung on to win 67-62. Daress McClung was 11-for-12 from the floor and Hannah Douglas was 6-for-7.
Sharing The Ball: Butler is averaging 20.0 assists over the last two games. BU was credited with 21 assists on its 27 field goals at Saint Louis. Against St. Bonaventure, the Dawgs passed 19 assists. Butler is third in the A-10 with 14.6 assists per game.
Correcting Weaknesses: Butler has all season been near the bottom of the A-10 in rebounding and 3-point shooting. Both of those areas appeared improved in BU's win over St. Bonaventure. Butler knocked down 10-for-20 from 3-point range and had a +7 rebounding margin against the Bonnies. The Bulldogs allowed just eight offensive rebounds, a season low.
Mandy Makes 3s: Mandy McDivitt scored 12 points vs. St. Bonaventure, tying her season high. She buried four 3-pointers on the day. For her career, the junior guard has made 126 field goals, 103 of them 3-pointers. Twice last season, McDivitt made six 3-pointers in a game.
Outshot Charlotte: Butler recorded a .440 field goal percentage and actually made one more field goal in the loss at Charlotte. Defensively, BU held Charlotte to .323 shooting, a season low for the 49ers. It was the first time this season Butler lost when posting a better field goal percentage than its opponent.
Against A-10's Best: Butler has had two of the leading A-10 teams on the ropes on the road. Playing at then-unbeaten St. Joe's, BU led in that game by as many as 12 and held a 46-44 lead with 6:10 to play in the game. SJU would come back to win late. At Charlotte, Butler led 35-26 at one point and had a 49-47 lead with 5:06 left. Charlotte won in the final minutes.
Double-Double Duos: Twice this season BU has had two players with a double-double in the same game. Daress McClung (31 pts, 12 rebs) and Taylor Schippers (10 pts, 10 asts) posted double-doubles at UIC and McClung (20 points, 10 rebs) and Liz Stratman (14 points, 10 rebs) did at UMass.
In The Classroom: Seven BU players earned a 3.30 GPA or better during the fall semester. As a team, the Bulldogs boast a 3.14 cumulative GPA.
Becca Now Active: Becca Bornhorst, originally thought to be out for the season, made her first appearance of the season last week. With injuries leaving Butler with a thin rotation, Bornhorst dressed at Charlotte and then played six minutes vs. St. Bonaventure. Bornhorst has played in 62 career games with 37 starts, averaging 4.7 points and 5.1 rebounds.
Hannah Consistent: Hannah Douglas, who scored 20 points at Saint Louis, has been a consistent scorer, posting between 9 and 13 points 14 times this season. She has scored exactly 13 points four times this season (Valpo, UIC, Xavier, George Washington) and has three outings with 12 points each. Douglas' career high of 31 points came last year against Wright State. Her emergence slashing to the basket and crashing the offensive glass gives BU a dependable perimeter scorer on the wing.
Couture's Cause: When not patrolling the Butler sideline, Beth Couture has spent her time in the battle against breast cancer. 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 is cancer-free and has participated in several awareness events. She walked 38 miles over a two-day span for St. Vincent's Weekend To End Breast Cancer during the fall. She is also 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.
Lexus Driving Offense: Lexus Murry, a freshman point guard, has 46 assists against 34 turnovers. Twice this season, she has had six assists. She has four games with multiple assists and no turnovers.
Schippers Icing Games: If Butler has a late lead, the Bulldogs want the ball to go to Taylor Schippers. The BU point guard is shooting .827 from the foul line (43-of-52) during the last 5:00 of games this season. Also, Daress McClung (.813) and Hannah Douglas (.792) have converted late-situation foul shots. As a team, Butler is shooting .714 at the FT line during the last five minutes. Overall, Schippers stands fourth in the conference with an .800 mark at the foul line.
Keep Shooting: Taylor Schippers bounced back from a 2-for-13 outing at George Washington in a big way. She converted her first seven shots at Charlotte, finishing with 17 points. It was reminiscent of the way Schippers played in November, when she averaged 19.0 points per game over seven contests.
In The National Rankings: In addition to being fourth in the country in blocks (6.0), BU stands among the nation's best in taking care of the ball. Butler ranks 78th in turnovers per game (15.5) and 55th in assist-turnover ratio (0.94). The Bulldogs are also 67th in the country in assists (14.6). Individually, Daress McClung stands 18th in blocks and 66th in rebounding. Taylor Schippers stands 92nd in free throw percentage and assists.
Charity Work: Butler had season highs in free throws made (24) and attempted (35) in its victory at UMass. Part of that was because UMass decided to foul in the final minute when they were down 15, but the Bulldogs had been drawing fouls in order to build that big lead. Butler is 5-0 this season when attempting at least 20 free throws, and 9-2 when making more FTs than its opponents. Losses at St. Joe's and Charlotte could've gone differently if Butler had shot free throws. BU had just two foul shots at Charlotte and four at Saint Joseph's.
Not A Bad Weekend: Beth Couture called Daress McClung's performances against Cleveland State and UIC at the beginning of January the best back-to-back games she's seen as a coach. McClung posted 22 points and 18 boards at Cleveland State and then followed that with her 31-point, 12-board outburst at UIC.
(Former) League Sweep: In its first season out of the Horizon League, Butler posted a 3-0 mark against HL schools. The Bulldogs defeated Valparaiso 69-55 in November and then began January with road wins at Cleveland State (56-54) and UIC (84-61).
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.
Up Next: Temple visits Butler Wednesday, Feb. 27 at 7 p.m. It will be the first meeting between the two schools since 1988.