February 21, 2014

Bulldogs Prepare for DePaul on Saturday

Game Notes

Twitter - @ButlerWBB

INDIANAPOLIS – The Bulldogs will travel to Chicago this weekend to face the 20-6 DePaul Blue Demons at McGrath-Phillips Arena. The sixth overall meeting between the two programs will tip-off at 8 p.m.

Gameday Information
Date:
Saturday, Feb. 22, 2014 / 8:00 PM
Location: Chicago, Ill. / McGrath-Phillips Arena (3,000)
Live Stats:
DePaulBlueDemons.com
Series History: DePaul leads the all-time series 5-0
Last Meeting: DePaul defeated Butler 85-64 on Jan. 25 

Scouting DePaul (20-6, 11-3 BIG EAST)
The Blue Demons reached the 20-win plateau for the seventh consecutive season last weekend, but the team is coming off an upset loss to Marquette as the Golden Eagles protected their home court to earn an 80-74 win on Tuesday.

Marquette erased a 10-point halftime deficit to earn the win. They trailed 35-25 after the opening 20 minutes, but responded by scoring 55 second half points to earn the victory. DePaul was limited to just 74 points, nearly 10 points lower than their season average.

The loss kept DePaul in second place of the BIG EAST standings, but they remain just one game back as St. John's also lost on Tuesday to Georgetown in the biggest upset of the season.

DePaul leads the conference in many statistical categories including scoring offense (83.9), scoring margin (+12.0), field goal percentage (44.9), 3-point field goal percentage (35.1), assists (20.3), steals (12.0) and turnover margin (+5.8).

The Blue Demons have a strong starting unit with four of the five players averaging a double figure scoring total. Jasmine Penny is the top scorer on the team, Brittany Hrynko plays as the floor general and Megan Rogowski is a sharpshooter who has 81 made 3-point field goals on the year. Penny averages 16.3 points per game and Hrynko leads the team in assists with 147 on the year.

Penny leads the BIG EAST with a 58.4 field goal percentage and Hrynko leads all players in assists averaging 5.7 assists per game. Hrynko is a dual threat as she also leads the conference in steals averaging 2.5 per game.

All-Time Series
The Blue Demons lead the all-time series over the Bulldogs 5-0. Butler and DePaul were each members of the North Star Conference from 1984-85 to 1985-86. First-year coach Russ Sarfaty paced the sideline for Butler in the first-ever matchup which went to DePaul 61-56. That contest would be the closest of the four original meetings as DePaul recorded a 96-46 victory against BU in the '84-'85 season finale. The '85-'86 season series was another sweep for DePaul (W, 86-45 / W, 87-42).

Earlier this season, the Blue Demons came to Hinkle Fieldhouse to record an 85-64 win over BU. Five players reached a double figure scoring total for DePaul as the Blue Demons jumped out to a 55-28 halftime lead. Daress McClung, Haley Howard and Lexus Murry were the top performers for Butler as each player ended the game with 12 points.

Last Time Out
Senior guard Mandy McDivitt connected on her fourth 3-pointer of the second half with 56 seconds remaining, bringing the Bulldog lead to six and securing a 67-59 victory over the visiting Georgetown Hoyas in a BIG EAST matchup at Hinkle Fieldhouse on Feb. 15.

Going blow-for-blow for most of the second half, the Bulldogs pulled away with five minutes remaining on a layup from senior forward Daress McClung, bringing the lead to 53-46. McClung and junior center Liz Stratman both picked up their fourth fouls on back-to-back plays with just under five minutes remaining in regulation, allowing the Hoyas to bring the game with three points with 1:42 on the clock. McDivitt hit the dagger with 56 seconds left, giving the Bulldogs a lead the Hoyas would never overcome.

After struggling from 3-point range in the first half, the Bulldogs shot 5-9 (56%) from deep in the second half. McDivitt sank all four of her 3-point attempts in the second period, finishing with 12 points and two assists. 

The Bulldogs got out to a hot start in the first half, leading 13-5 with 13 minutes remaining in the period. Georgetown, led by forward Andrea White (18 points, nine rebounds), responded with a 15-0 run, holding Butler without a basket for eight minutes. The two teams battled in the final five minutes of the period, heading into halftime tied 26-26.

Senior forward Daress McClung led the Bulldogs in scoring, finishing the game with 20 points and six rebounds. McClung continues to inch closer to the 1,000 career point mark, bringing her total to 954 points with four games remaining.

Stratman had 13 points, 11 rebounds, three blocks, and three steals on 4-9 shooting. Sophomore guard Lexus Murry added ten points, five rebounds, and three assists for the Bulldogs.

Bulldog Bits
- Butler and DePaul were members of the North Star Conference from 1984-86
- DePaul has two players from Indiana in Jasmine Penny and Kelsey Reynolds
- Butler ranks 117th in the latest RPI poll, just seven spots behind Marquette (110)
- DePaul is receiving votes in both the AP and the Coaches Top 25 Poll (Feb. 14)
- Daress McClung leads the team in points (15.2) and rebounds (6.6)
- Lexus Murry is averaging 9.8 pts, 4.2 rebs and 4.0 assists during February
- DePaul has reached 20 wins or more in seven consecutive seasons
- Liz Stratman leads the BIG EAST with 58 blocked shots (2.5 per game)
- Stratman moved to sixth all-time at Butler for most blocked shots in a season (58)
- Mandy McDivitt ranks 5th all-time at Butler with 162 career 3-point field goals

Probable Starters
#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
#21 Daress McClung, 6-0 Forward, Senior from Indianapolis, 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.

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 25th nationally in blocked shots per game (2.5). The junior center is currently third in the conference and 47th in the nation with a 51.4 field goal percentage.

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 third with an 82.8 free throw percentage and fourth in 3-point field goal percentage (36.2). McClung is fourth in blocked shots per game (1.1), ninth in scoring (15.2) and 11th in rebounding (6.6). McDivitt is seventh in 3-point field percentage (35.5) and third in minutes played (34.4).

Turnover Battle
Taking care of the basketball will be an important task for Butler when they face DePaul on Saturday. In the first meeting of the season, DePaul forced Butler into 18 turnovers which led to 35 points. The Bulldogs have been better with the ball in recent weeks averaging just 10 turnovers per game in their last six contests.

Slow It Down
Butler is 1-6 on the year when their opponent scores 70 points or more. Team defense will have to be played at the highest level in order for the Bulldogs to slow down the offensive attack of DePaul who leads the BIG EAST in scoring averaging 83.9 points per game.

Couture in Conference
Since taking over the women's basketball program, (2002-03) Head Coach Beth Couture has only had one losing record during conference play. The Bulldogs went 6-23 overall during the 2002-03 season, posting a conference record of 3-13. From that point forward, Couture has finished above .500 on eight occasions and at .500 two times.

McDivitt for 3!
Senior Mandy McDivitt now has 162 made 3-point field goals in her career placing her fifth overall in the Butler women's basketball record book. McDivitt has a chance to climb into the top three in the category as Brittany Bowen (07-11) currently sits in fourth with 164 career 3-pointers and Debbie Benziger (95-98) is ranked third with 167 triples. McDivitt most recently hit four 3-point fields vs. Georgetown, moving her season total to 49. She was able to reach this plateau by hitting 25 3-point field goals as a freshman, 47 as a sophomore, and 41 as a junior.

Up Next
Butler will host the Xavier Musketeers on Tuesday, Feb. 25. The game will carry a "Fog Out" theme with Butler wearing grey jerseys. The first 100 students will receive grey t-shirts and pizza. Tip-off at Hinkle Fieldhouse is set for 7 p.m.