Butler's Closser and Hamilton Earn Preseason League Honors

Butler's Closser and Hamilton Earn Preseason League Honors

Oct. 12, 2005

Recent team success has translated into some individual accolades for several Butler players. Juniors Jackie Closser and Ellen Hamilton have been recognized with preseason "All-Horizon League" second-team honors, the league office announced today (Oct. 12). The league's head coaches, sports information directors and media also tabbed the Bulldogs to finish fifth among the conference's nine schools in the preseason poll. Defending champion UW-Green Bay was picked to win the 2006 title.

"We're excited about another challenging year of Horizon League competition," said Butler head coach Beth Couture. "It's obvious from the voting that our league is getting stronger from top to bottom and has a lot of parity. It's also great to have two juniors represented on the preseason team. That's a tribute to our team and what we've accomplished as a group. Both Jackie and Ellen are very deserving and will be a large part of our success this season."

Jackie Closser finished in the NCAA top 50 in three statistical categories last season.

Closser, a 5-5 guard from Alexandria, Ind., set a Butler single-season record in 2004-05 with 67 three-pointers, hitting 41 percent of her long-range attempts. She ranked in the top 50 nationally in three-point percentage (26th), three-pointers made (34th) and assists (49th), and tied for second in the Horizon League in three-pointers made. Closser led the team in assists (4.9 apg) and finished third on the team in scoring (10.8 ppg), rebounding (4.1 rpg) and free throw percentage (.800). She was the only Bulldog to start all 28 games and her 1,057 minutes played led the team and is the third-highest mark in Butler history. Her teammates voted Closser the team's Offensive MVP following the campaign.

Hamilton, a 5-10 guard from Greenfield, Ind., led the Horizon League in free throw percentage (.867) last season and finished second on the team in scoring with 11.2 ppg. Her scoring average was 15th in the Horizon League. Hamilton nailed 49 three-pointers for the second consecutive season. She and Closser now appear in Butler's top ten for three-pointers made in a career. She scored in double figures 18 times, including a career-high 22 points against UIC Feb. 19. The junior was named the Tournament MVP at the Billiken Classic in St. Louis, leading the Bulldogs to the title by averaging 16.5 ppg in the team's two contests. Hamilton earned Horizon League "All-Newcomer Team" honors following her freshman campaign.

The Bulldogs finished the 2004-05 season with a record of 14-14, including an 8-8 mark in Horizon League play. The Bulldogs return nine letterwinners and add four talented newcomers to the squad for the upcoming season.

The 2005-06 season tips off Nov. 9 when the Bulldogs host the Hoosier Lady Stars in an exhibition at Hinkle Fieldhouse. Butler opens the regular season Nov. 18 at Purdue with the home opener set for Dec. 10 against Ball State. Horizon League action tips Dec. 29 when Youngstown State visits Indianapolis.

Preseason All-Horizon League First Team
Nicole Soulis, UW-Green Bay (Preseason Player of the Year)
Nichole Drummond, UW-Milwaukee
LaShonda Grant, UIC
Lindsey Pasquinzo, Detroit
Brittney Whiteside, Wright State

Preseason All-Horizon League Second Team
Jackie Closser, Butler
Ellen Hamilton, Butler
Chrissy Dizon, UIC
Erin Martin, Cleveland State
Molly O'Brien, UW-Milwaukee

Horizon League Preseason Poll (25 ballots)
1) UW-Green Bay, 221 points (23 first-place votes)
2) Wright State, 178 points
3) UW-Milwaukee, 167 points (two first-place votes)
4) UIC, 148 points
5) Butler, 134 points
6) Detroit, 97 points
7) Youngstown State, 78 points
8) Cleveland State, 59 points
9) Loyola, 35 points