November 12, 2013

First Road Test of the Season Up Next for Women’s Basketball

Game Notes

Twitter - @ButlerWBB

INDIANAPOLIS – The Butler women's basketball team will play on the road for the first time this season as they face the Eastern Michigan Eagles in non-conference action on Wednesday, Nov. 13. Tip-off between the Bulldogs and Eagles is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Convocation Center.

Gameday Information
Date: Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2013 I 7:00 PM
Location: Ypsilanti, Mich. I Convocation Center (8,000)
Series History: Butler leads the all-time series over Eastern Michigan 3-2
Last Meeting: Butler defeated Eastern Michigan 65-59 during the 2012-13 season

About Butler
The Bulldogs are off to a 1-0 start to the 2013-14 season after defeating Cleveland State on opening weekend by the final score of 85-69. Five Bulldogs reached a double figure scoring total against the Vikings as Butler cruised to a 16 point win on 54 percent shooting from the field.

Liz Stratman scored a career-high 19 points on 8-of-10 shooting to lead Butler in the home opener. The junior center also tied her career-high assist total with four against the Vikings. Stratman, Daress McClung and Ijeoma Uchendu attacked Cleveland State from the paint as the Bulldogs scored 36 of their 85 points from close range.

McClung got things going in the second half after battling foul trouble during the first 20 minutes. She ended the game with 10 points, three rebounds and a steal. Uchendu led all bench scorers with 11 points on 4-of-9 shooting and freshman Ashton Feldhaus had a nice debut with seven points.

Taylor Schippers and Mandy McDivitt paced the offensive tempo from the perimeter. McDivitt buried three shots from behind the arc on her way to scoring 14 points and Schippers did her part with 11 points and four assists.

The Bulldogs shot 53 percent from distance (8-for-15) and were also solid from the charity stripe connecting on 19 of their 25 attempts.

Scouting Eastern Michigan
The Eagles recorded a 101-52 win over Madonna in the season opener behind 25 points from freshman Cha Sweeney. The 5-2 guard shot 10-for-17 from the floor, including 3-of-5 from 3-point range. She added four rebounds, three assists and one steal to her stat line in just 25 minutes of playing time.

Three other Eagles joined Sweeney with a double figure scoring total as Haley Moore contributed with 15, Desyree Thomas added 13 and red-shirt junior Olivia Fouty recorded a double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds. EMU's rebounding leader against Madonna was Sara Stone who hauled in 12 boards in 21 minutes of playing time.

Head Coach Tory Verdi enters her second season at the helm of the program after posting an 8-22 record in 2012-13. The Eagles return three starters from last year's team, but many new faces appear on the sideline as Verdi brought in eight newcomers for the current season.

Saturday's starting five against Madonna in the season opener featured a mix of players as two seniors and two freshmen joined a red-shirt junior in the starting lineup. Janay Morton joined Sweeney as a starter in the backcourt along with Thomas who led the team in assists with eight. Two upperclassmen will roam the paint on Wednesday night as Stone and Fouty are set to see plenty of time at the forward positions.

All-Time Series
Butler took a one game lead in the all-time series over Eastern Michigan with a 65-59 win over the Eagles last season. Despite being less than 300 miles apart, these two programs have only met five times with Butler winning three of those meetings.

The first matchup between Butler and Eastern Michigan happened during the 1991-92 season under the guidance of head coach Paulette Stein. Butler recorded a 69-59 win vs. Eastern Michigan in the first-ever meeting and increased the all-time lead to 2-0 with a win at Ypsilanti in the 1992-93 season (89-72).

EMU recorded their first victory over the Bulldogs in 2002-03 as the Eagles recorded a 79-62 win in late December. Their second win of the all-time series came the following year as Butler fell 79-47 at Eastern Michigan.

Bulldog Bits
- Liz Stratman scored a career-high 19 points in the season opener on 8-of-10 shooting.
- Daress McClung was selected to the Preseason All-BIG EAST Team.
- Sophomore Blaire Langlois made her first career start vs. Cleveland State.
- Haley Howard missed the season opener with an injury.
- Butler outscored Cleveland State's bench 28-5.
- Freshman Serena Sandusky scored six points in just five minutes in her debut.
- The Bulldogs have five different players hit a 3-point field goal in the home opener.
- Senior Mandy McDivitt led the team in assists, steals and 3-point shooting vs. CSU.
- Butler shot 54 percent from the floor (29-53) and 53 percent from distance (8-15) against the Vikings on Friday night.

Probable Starters
#1 Taylor Schippers, 5-8 Guard, Junior from Houston, Texas
#3 Haley Howard, 5-11 Forward, Redshirt-Sophomore from Whiteland, Indiana
#5 Liz Stratman, 6-2 Forward, Junior from New Palestine, Indiana
#10 Mandy McDivitt, 5-8 Guard, Senior from Connersville, Indiana
#21 Daress McClung, 6-0 Guard/Forward, Senior from Indianapolis, Indiana

BIG EAST Preseason Poll
1) DePaul (8) - 79 Points
2) Creighton (2) - 67 Points
3) St. John's - 62 Points
4) Villanova - 56 Points
5) Marquette - 55 Points
6) Georgetown - 36 Points
7) Butler - 31 Points
8) Providence - 25 Points
9) Xavier - 20 Points
10) Seton Hall - 19 Points

Preseason All-BIG EAST Team
Daress McClung, Butler, G/F, Sr., 6-0, Indianapolis, Ind.
Marissa Janning, Creighton, G, So., 5-8, Watertown, Minn.
Sarah Nelson, Creighton, F, Sr., 6-0, Omaha, Neb.
Jasmine Penny, DePaul, F, Sr., 6-1, Logansport, Ind.
Andrea White, Georgetown, F, 6-0, Sr., Lancaster, Va.
Katherine Plouffe, Marquette, F, Sr., 6-3, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Tori Rule, Providence, Jr., G, 5-7, Minneapolis, Minn.
Aliyyah Handford, St. John's, G, So., 5-9, Newark, N.J.
Ka-Deidre Simmons, Seton Hall, G, R-Jr., 5-8, Newark, N.J.
Caroline Coyer, Villanova, G, So., 5-10, Oak Hill, Va.

Neighbors to the North                                                                                               
The Bulldogs don't have any players from the state of Michigan on the roster and ironically the Eagles don't have any players from Indiana. Half of Butler's team hails from the state of Indiana. The team fills out with players from Kentucky, Texas, Ohio, Nigeria, and Israel. EMU only has three players from Michigan on the roster as the team includes players from Ohio, Minnesota, Connecticut, Nebraska, Illinois, and Oregon. 

1,000 Point Club
Senior Daress McClung scored 508 points during her junior season. The standout transfer from Cincinnati has a chance to become just the 22nd player in Butler women's basketball history to reach 1,000 career points. McClung would be the first Bulldog to accomplish the feat in just two years. The last Bulldog to reach 1,000 career points was Brittany Bowen who attended Butler from 2007-11. She ended her career with 1,461 points, the fifth-most in Butler history. McClung's chase to 1,000 is currently at 518.

McDivitt for 3!
Senior Mandy McDivitt has 116 career 3-point field goals placing her 9th all-time in the Butler record book. McDivitt recorded 25 3-point field goals as a freshman, 47 as a sophomore, and 41 as a junior. She made three 3-point field goals in her last game to move past Sarah Hurrle ('97-'99) who hit 114 treys during her BU career.

Couture Eyes Win #200 at Butler
Head Coach Beth Couture has more wins at the helm of the women's basketball program than any other coach in Butler history. Couture passed Linda Mason to become the winningest coach in program history. Mason won 124 games at Butler from 1976-84. Couture, who is in her 12th season with Butler, has 179 wins entering Wednesday night's game. Her overall career record is 437-275 (24 seasons).

Butler in the WNIT
The Bulldogs have participated in the WNIT four times in the past five years. The team advanced into the second round in 2008-09 and also have first round appearances in 2009-10, 2010-11 and most recently in 2012-13.

Home Cookin'
Butler only has four non-conference road games on the schedule in 2013-14. The team will play three of their first four games of the season at Hinkle Fieldhouse with the lone road game coming at Eastern Michigan. The final three road non-conference games of the season are all in the state of Indiana as Butler will travel to face the Hoosiers, Crusaders, and Sycamores before the start of BIG EAST play on Dec. 28.

Viva Las Vegas                                                                                                 
Butler will compete in the 2013 South Point Thanksgiving Shootout in Las Vegas. The Bulldogs will play two games in South Point Arena as they face Utah on Nov. 29 and Eastern Washington on Nov. 30.

Up Next
Butler will return to Hinkle Fieldhouse for a 12 p.m. tip vs. St. Mary's on Saturday, Nov. 16. Fans can get $2 off their ticket with a food donation as the Butler SAAC (Student-Athlete Advisory Committee) has teamed with the NCAA SAAC to support Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana with a food drive.