Women’s Basketball Prepares for Marquette

Lexus Murry

Game Notes

Twitter - @ButlerWBB

INDIANAPOLIS – The Butler women's basketball team will be in action this weekend when they travel to Milwaukee, Wis. to face the Marquette Golden Eagles at 5p.m. The two teams are side-by-side in the current BIG EAST standings making this early February matchup an important one.

Gameday Information
Date:
Saturday, Feb. 8, 2014 / 5:00 PM
Location: Milwaukee, Wis. / Al McGuire Center (4,000)
Live Stats:
GoMarquette.com
Series History: Butler leads the all-time series 5-4
Last Meeting: Marquette defeated Butler 61-59 on Dec. 28. 

Scouting Marquette (15-6, 6-4 BIG EAST)
The Golden Eagles are currently one spot above the Bulldogs in the BIG EAST standings with a 6-4 conference record. The team most recently recorded a narrow 62-60 home win over Seton Hall on Feb. 5.

Katherine Plouffe will be in the lineup Saturday after missing the first game against Butler on Dec. 28. Plouffe is one of the top players in the conference averaging 18.1 points and 9.8 rebounds per game. Katie Young, Brooklyn Pumroy and Cristina Bigica will also influence the final outcome this weekend. Young is the second leading scorer on the team (11.5) Pumroy is the floor general leading all Golden Eagles with 110 assists and Bigica is a do-it-all type of player that has started in all 21 contests.

Marquette averages 73.8 points per game and shoots 40 percent from the field. They struggle from behind the 3-point line, shooting just 27.4 percent, but they make up for it by attacking the rim. The Golden Eagles have hit 372 free throws, a total higher than any other team in the conference. Marquette never shy's away from contact as they also come into Saturday afternoon's tilt leading the BIG EAST in rebounding. They are +13.6 in rebound margin, a number that is second-best in the NCAA.

All-Time Series
Butler holds a narrow 5-4 lead over Marquette in the all-time series. The first game between the two programs was played back during the 1985-86 season as Butler squeaked out a one point win, 62-61.

Butler and Marquette played two times a year during the 1989-90 and 1990-91 seasons as members of the MCC. BU swept Marquette during the '89-'90 regular season and also defeated the Golden Eagles in the opening round of the MCC Tournament that year. Marquette split with BU during the '90-'91 season.

These two programs renewed their rivalry one year ago as Marquette beat Butler 73-62 in the 2012-13 season opener. The Golden Eagles most recently defeated Butler 61-59 in the '13-'14 BIG EAST opener. Schippers led BU in a losing effort with 16 points. McClung chipped in with 13.

Last Time Out
Taylor Schippers hit a 3-pointer to bring the game within one point with 1.2 seconds remaining in regulation, but the deficit proved too much to overcome in a 58-55 St. John's victory at Hinkle Fieldhouse on Feb. 5.

Facing a 31-26 deficit coming out of halftime, the Bulldogs went on a 14-6 run to open the second half, taking a three point lead with 12 minutes remaining. Butler and St. John's went blow-for-blow in the final minutes of game in which the lead changed 12 times and the score was tied eight times. The Red Storm iced the victory with a layup from Aliyyah Handford with one minute remaining.

After facing foul trouble in the first half, junior center Liz Stratman (13 points, six rebounds, and four blocks) exploded in the second half, recording nine of her 13 points and all six of her rebounds in the final 20 minutes of the game.

All nine Bulldogs players scored for Butler, led by Stratman and senior forward Daress McClung, who finished with 11 points, four rebounds, three assists, and four blocks. Schippers also added nine points for Butler, including three 3-pointers in the second half.

Bulldog Bits
- All nine active Butler players scored at least one point vs. St. John's
- Butler lost to St. John's by the exact same score in each meeting this year 58-55
- Wednesday's game vs. STJ featured eight ties and 12 lead changes
- Schippers and McDivitt are the only two players in start in all 22 games this year
- Butler recorded a season-low seven turnovers vs. the Red Storm
- Liz Stratman leads the BIG EAST with 50 blocked shots (2.5 per game)
- Stratman moved into a tie for eighth all-time at Butler for most blocked shots in a season
- The Bulldogs have used eight different starting lineups this year
- Eight different players have led Butler in scoring this season
- Mandy McDivitt ranks 5th all-time at Butler with 157 career 3-point field goals

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 Center, Junior from New Palestine, Indiana
#10 Mandy McDivitt, 5-8 Guard, Senior from Connersville, Indiana
#23 Lexus Murry, 5-7 Guard, Sophomore 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.

Block Out
Rebounding is going to be a key component to the game on Saturday as Marquette enters the contest ranked second in the nation with a 13.5 rebound margin. This stat becomes even more important when looking at Butler as the Bulldogs are 0-8 this season when they get outrebounded.

Playing With Plouffe
Marquette didn't have Katherine Plouffe in the lineup the first time these two teams met. The difference will be noticed as Plouffe comes into the weekend second in the BIG EAST in both points and rebounds. The senior is scoring just over 18 ppg and pulls down 9.8 rebounds per contest.

3 Years... 3 Conferences
The Butler Bulldogs were part of the Horizon League for 11 years before making the switch to the Atlantic 10 in 2012-13. The conference change to the A-10 was only the beginning as Butler joined the BIG EAST conference at the start of the 2013-14 season.

Stratman's National Rankings
Liz Stratman leads the BIG EAST Conference and ranks 28th nationally in blocked shots per game (2.5). The junior center is currently second in the conference and 40th in the nation with a 53.8 field goal percentage.

Sweet Sixteen
Butler hit a season-high 16 3-point field goals at Georgetown. The offensive explosion started in the first half when Mandy McDivitt hit five of her season-high six 3-pointers in the opening 20 minutes. Blaire Langlois followed up with five triples while Taylor Schippers and Ashton Feldhaus each added two. Haley Howard was the fifth player to record a three vs. the Hoyas as Butler finished the game 16-for-35 (45%).

BIG EAST Rankings
Taylor Schippers, Daress McClung and Mandy McDivitt join Stratman as Bulldogs who rank in the top ten of BIG EAST statistical categories. Schippers ranks fourth with an 81.2 free throw percentage. McClung is fourth in blocked shots per game (1.2), and ninth in points per game (14.9). McDivitt is ninth in 3-point field goal percentage (35.2) and fourth in minutes played (34.2).

Good Starts
A good start to the game is huge for Butler as the team is only 2-7 when trailing at halftime. Playing on the road doesn't seem to be an issue for the Bulldogs as the team has recorded more BIG EAST wins on the road (3), than at home (2).

3-Point Threat
Butler has made two or more 3-point field goals in every game this season. The group averages six made 3-point field goals per game and their season-low total of two 3-pointers came in the 23 point blowout win over Eastern Washington.

70 Points Or Less
Marquette has only recorded two wins this season when scoring under 70 points. The first came at Butler (61-59) and the second was their last game vs. Seton Hall (62-60). Keeping the score down will be a focus point for Butler as the Bulldogs are 0-6 when allowing 70 points or more in a game, yet they are 6-2 when allowing 60 points or less.

McDivitt for 3!
Senior Mandy McDivitt has moved into fifth place all-time in the Butler women's basketball record book with 157 career 3-point field goals. McDivitt recorded 25 3-point field goals as a freshman, 47 as a sophomore, and 41 as a junior. She most recently hit one 3-point field goal vs. St. John's moving her current season 3-point total to 44.

Up Next
Butler will play at Villanova on Wednesday, Feb. 12. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. The next home game on the schedule will be the following Saturday when the Bulldogs host Georgetown at 2 p.m.