Challenging 2006-07 Schedule Has Bulldogs Aiming For The Top

Challenging 2006-07 Schedule Has Bulldogs Aiming For The Top
2006-07 Women's Basketball Schedule

Aug. 8, 2006

Indianapolis, Ind. - A Thanksgiving trip to Alaska, a Sunday home game against Purdue and an always challenging Horizon League slate highlight the 2006-07 Butler women's basketball schedule, which was released by head coach Beth Couture on Tuesday (August 8).

Butler will host 12 regular season contests at Hinkle Fieldhouse, including eight against Horizon League foes and three versus in-state rivals. The challenging campaign will also pit the Bulldogs against six teams that advanced to postseason play in 2006.

After an exhibition home game against the Hoosier Lady Stars on Oct. 31, the Bulldogs open the regular season in Champaign, Ill. on Nov. 12 against the Fighting Illini, who advanced to the Women's National Invitation Tournament (WNIT) last season.

The Bulldogs open the home slate against Bradley on Nov. 17 before hopping a plane to Anchorage, Alaska for the two-day Carrs/Safeway Great Alaska Shootout. Butler faces UC-Riverside, which advanced to the NCAA Tournament a season ago, on Nov. 21 before taking on either Alaska-Anchorage or Air Force on Nov. 22.

Following a stop in Athens, Ohio on Nov. 26 for a contest with Ohio University, the Bulldogs return home to host cross-town rival IUPUI on Nov. 29. The Hoosier Classic comes to Hinkle on Dec. 2, as Butler battles Ball State while Valparaiso takes on Indiana State. The annual event will be hosted by Butler for the first time since 2002.

After road game at Evansville (Dec. 6), the Bulldogs will take on Purdue on Dec. 10 in their final home contest until the New Year. The Boilermakers advanced to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Championship last season.

Things don't get much easier for the team the following week, as Butler heads to Louisville - another NCAA Tournament participant - on Dec. 18 to begin a five-game road trip that spans three weeks. Butler then faces Tennessee State on Dec. 20 before opening the Horizon League slate with three-straight road games.

"We have a very competitive non-conference slate," Couture said. "We open up with some tough competition on the road with Illinois and Louisville. Purdue is going to be a big game at home. We also are going to renew some in-state rivalries with Ball State, Evansville and IUPUI.

The conference schedule begins in Cleveland, as the Bulldogs face the Vikings at the Wolstein Center on Dec. 28 before turning east to Youngstown State on Dec. 30. The road trip concludes in Dayton against Wright State on Jan. 6.

The Horizon League home schedule opens with a Chicago feel, as UIC comes to Hinkle Fieldhouse on Jan. 11 before Loyola arrives on Jan. 13. After trips to Detroit and non-conference in-state rival IPFW, the Bulldogs host UW-Green Bay, a WNIT participant last season, on Jan.25 and Horizon League Champion UW-Milwaukee on Jan. 27.

February opens up with a home contest against Wright State (Feb. 3) before the Bulldogs head north to Chicago for games at Loyola (Feb. 8) and UIC (Feb. 10). The team returns to Hinkle on Feb. 17 to host Detroit and then hits the road for the final time in the regular season for games at UW-Milwaukee (Feb. 22) and UW-Green Bay (Feb. 24).

The season concludes at home with games against Youngstown State on March 1 and Cleveland State on March 3. The contest against the Vikings will also serve as Senior Day, with seniors Jackie Closser, Ellen Hamilton and Carla Gheorghe being honored in pre-game ceremonies.

The Horizon League Championships begin with the No. 9 seed taking on the No. 8 seed on March 5, quarterfinals on March 7, semifinals on March 9 and championship game on March 11.

"The Horizon League has become more and more competitive each year I have been here," Couture added, "and I expect this season to be no different. The non-conference schedule is going to be crucial to our preparation for the conference season."

Butler advanced to the semifinals of the Horizon League Championship last season, going 15-14 overall and 9-7 in league play. The eight returning Bulldogs accounted for 94.5 percent of the team's scoring, 83.7 percent of its rebounding, 83.6 percent of its assists and 100 percent of its three-pointers made.