Butler to Face Seton Hall on Senior Day

Butler to Face Seton Hall on Senior Day
Mandy McDivitt

Game Notes

Twitter - @ButlerWBB

INDIANAPOLIS – The Butler women's basketball team will host Seton Hall at Hinkle Fieldhouse this Saturday, March 1. The contest will be recognized as Senior Day for Sarah Hamm, Mandy McDivitt and Daress McClung. The final regular season home game of the season is scheduled to tip-off at 2 p.m.

Gameday Information
Saturday, March 1, 2014 / 2:00 PM
Location: Indianapolis, Ind. / Hinkle Fieldhouse (10,000)
Live Stats: ButlerSports.com
Series History: Butler leads the all-time series vs. Seton Hall 1-0
Last Meeting: Butler defeated Seton Hall 75-69 on Jan. 4 

Scouting Seton Hall (16-11, 7-9 BIG EAST)
Seton Hall is a dangerous team that has two of the top scorers in the conference. Tabatha Richardson-Smith is currently second in the BIG EAST with a 17.6 scoring average and teammate Ka-Deidre Simmons is close behind in fourth, averaging 16.3 ppg.

The Pirates have won three of their last five games with victories over Georgetown, Providence and Marquette. They most recently took a 70-50 loss at Creighton on Wednesday night. Seton Hall plays an up-tempo brand of basketball which has them scoring 71 points a night. The Bulldogs would prefer to slow things down as they are 1-7 this season when allowing 70 points or more. Seton Hall is battle tested on the road as they hold a 4-4 record during BIG EAST games while playing as the visitors.

All-Time Series
Butler defeated Seton Hall in the first-ever meeting between the two programs back on Jan. 4. The Bulldogs put together a stellar second half to come back and win by the final score of 75-69. The Bulldogs shot 70 percent from the field in the final 20 minutes of the game to score 51 second half points.

An 11 point halftime deficit was quickly erased by BU as Daress McClung and Taylor Schippers sparked a run that quickly got the Bulldogs within two points at 37-35. Schippers scored 15 of her 17 points on the second half while McClung was the driving force behind the Butler offense all day long as she ended the game with 24 points and seven rebounds.

Butler also received a huge lift from junior center Liz Stratman who ended the game with nine points, 10 rebounds and a career-high eight blocks. She helped BU control the paint as the Bulldogs outrebounded Seton Hall 45-41.

The Bulldogs shot 50 percent from the floor (27-of-53) compared to just 34 percent for the Pirates. The high shooting percentage definitely led to the win as BU turned the ball over 20 times.

Tabatha Richardson-Smith led SHU with 21 points on 8-of-15 shooting. She hit three consecutive 3-point field goals in the first half to give the Pirates a 35-24 halftime lead. Three other players reached a double figure scoring total for Seton Hall. Ka-Deidre Simmons was a high-impact player with 14 points and eight assists.

Last Time Out
Blaire Langlois hit a three-pointer as the shot clock expired with 1:51 remaining to help Butler pull away from visiting Xavier for a 57-52 victory on Tuesday night. The Musketeers pulled out to an early 19-9 lead with 12:13 remaining in the first half, led by forward Maddison Blackwell, who finished with nine points and 14 rebounds. The Bulldogs quickly battled back with a 14-0 run, holding Xavier scoreless for almost eight minutes. Butler led by as many as four points with five minutes remaining in the half, and the two teams battled back and forth to head to halftime tied 30-30.

Butler and Xavier went blow-for-blow for most of the second half, but the Bulldogs took the lead on a basket from senior forward Daress McClung with 3:18 on the clock. Langlois hit a pair of free throws moments before her key three-pointer, and junior guard Taylor Schippers iced the Butler victory at the free throw line. Junior center Liz Stratman led all Bulldogs players with 19 points, nine rebounds, four assists, and five blocks. McClung added 16 points and 11 rebounds for Butler.

Bulldog Bits
- Today is Senior Day for Daress McClung, Mandy McDivitt and Sarah Hamm
- Daress McClung recorded a double-double vs. Xavier with 16 points and 11 boards
- Liz Stratman recorded 19 points, nine blocks, five blocks and four assists vs Xavier
- Butler could clinch a first-round bye in the BIG EAST Tournament with a win today
- Tabatha Richardson-Smith set a team record with 38 points last week vs Marquette
- Butler ranks 113th in the latest RPI poll, just nine spots behind Marquette (104)
- Stratman leads the BIG EAST with 66 blocked shots (2.6 per game)
- Stratman moved to 5th all-time at Butler for most blocked shots in a season (66)
- Mandy McDivitt ranks 5th all-time at Butler with 163 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 Ranking
Liz Stratman leads the BIG EAST Conference and ranks 24th nationally in blocked shots per game (2.6).

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 second with an 83.8 free throw percentage and sixth in 3-point field goal percentage (36.9). McClung is seventh in blocked shots per game (1.1), 9th in scoring (15.2) and 10th in rebounding (6.9). McDivitt is fourth in minutes played (34.1).

Tournament Time
Today's game has huge implications on the BIG EAST Tournament seedings as Butler and Seton Hall are battling for the No. 6 seed and a first-round bye in the 2014 BIG EAST Women's Basketball Tournament. DePaul is currently in the driver's seat atop the conference standings with St. John's and Creighton just a step behind.

Villanova can no longer win the regular season with their BIG EAST record, but they are a lock to finish in the top six. Marquette has 10 league wins keeping them at fifth in the standings just head of Butler at 8-8. If Butler can defeat Seton Hall they will improve to 9-8 in the conference and hold the tiebreaker over Seton Hall by sweeping the season series. The No. 6 seed will earn a first-round bye and face the No. 3 seed on Sunday March 9. The No. 7 seed will play the No. 10 seed on Saturday, March 8.

Senior Day
The Butler athletic department will recognize the 2014 women's basketball senior class of Sarah Hamm, Mandy McDivitt and Daress McClung before the tip and after the game on Saturday. Three-year team manager Brian Weitz will also be recognized for his contributions.

Hit the Glass
Butler will have to block out on Saturday as Seton Hall enters the contest as one of the best offensive rebounding teams in the BIG EAST. The Pirates average 43 rebounds per game compared to Butler's average of 36 rebounds per contest.

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 has 163 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 leads the team with 50 made 3-point field goals this season. 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
The 2013-14 regular season finale for Butler will be played at Creighton on Tuesday, March 4. The bracket for the 2014 BIG EAST Women's Basketball Tournament will be released following the final games played that day. The first round of the tournament will be played on Saturday, March 8 at McGrath-Phillips Arena.