November 25, 2005

Bulldogs Match Up with Central Florida Friday in Bay Area

Nov. 25, 2005

Notes in PDF Format

THE TIP: The Bulldogs travel west to participate in the Hilton Concord Thanksgiving Classic, hosted by St. Mary's in Moraga, Calif. Butler opens the four-team tournament Friday at 5 p.m (PST, 8 p.m. Indianapolis) against Central Florida and will take on either the host Gaels or Princeton the following night.

THE SERIES: Butler has won two prior match-ups against the Golden Knights. The teams first met March 19, 1982 in the first round of the AIAW National Championships in Oskaloosa, Iowa. Butler won 69-61 and Barb Skinner became the third Bulldog to reach the 1,000-point plateau. The Bulldogs defeated UCF, 94-69, Nov. 21, 1998 in the last meeting between the two schools. Six Bulldogs reached double figures in the win at Hinkle Fieldhouse.

LISTEN LIVE: Josh Rattray returns as the play-by-play voice of the Bulldogs this season and is joined by Cory Schnurbusch in bringing the action of Butler basketball live on www.butlersports.com all season. Butler Athletics will provide the feed free to fans this season and will also have a video stream available for all home contests and Horizon League games.

`EL' YEAH, SHE HAD A BIG NIGHT: Junior Ellen Hamilton hit 7-of-9 shots from the field, including five three-pointers, en route to a game-high 19 points against Purdue Friday in Butler's season opener. Sixteen of Hamilton's 19 points came in the second half.

Hamilton's five three-pointers against Purdue gave her 103 for her career. She became just the seventh Bulldog in school history to eclipse 100 treys.

TALE OF TWO TWENTIES: After shooting just 28 percent and committing 14 turnovers in the first half against Purdue, Butler out-scored the nationally-ranked (No. 19/24) host Boilermakers, 39-38, in the second 20 minutes. Butler hit seven three-pointers and shot 50 percent overall in the second half.

`TREY' BIEN: Led by five from Ellen Hamilton, Butler went 10-of-18 from three-point range Friday at Purdue. Five different Butler players hit treys in the game. The Bulldogs led the Horizon League and finished eighth in the nation last season with an average of 7.3 three-pointers made per game. The 2004-05 squad set a new team mark with 204 treys on the season.

Butler had at least 10 three-pointers in six games last season. The team also shot at least .500 from behind the arc on six occasions.

PASSING THE BOARDS: Butler out-rebounded Purdue, 31-30, Friday, including an 18-11 advantage on the offensive boards. Senior Stephanie Boeke had a game-high eight rebounds off the bench, including five offensive caroms.

PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT: Butler tipped off the 2005-06 season with an exhibition win over the Hoosier Lady Stars Nov. 9. Freshman center Lade Akande led the Bulldogs with 15 points on 7-of-12 shooting. Junior college transfer Carla Gheorghe had 12 points to go along with a team-high eight rebounds. Butler led by as many as 15 in the 71-66 win.

EARLY RECOGNITION: Butler's junior backcourt of Jackie Closser and Ellen Hamilton earned preseason "All-Horizon League" second-team honors. The juniors combined for 22 points a game last season.

BULLDOGS PICKED FIFTH: The Horizon League's head coaches tabbed Butler to finish fifth in the upcoming season, as the preseason poll almost mirrored the final standings from 2004-05. UW-Green Bay was picked to win the league championship.

THE `BAIN' EVENT: Losing the team's two starting post players from last season and throwing two newcomers into the starting line-up on the block this year, the X-factor for the 2005-06 Bulldogs could be sophomore Candace Bain. Despite logging just 73 minutes of action last season, Bain will see significant minutes in the paint this season. She hasn't disappointed so far this season, putting up eight points on 3-of-6 shooting against the Hoosier Lady Stars in exhibition play and tying a career-high with five points against Purdue Friday.

THERE'S NO PLACE LIKE THE ROAD FOR THE HOLIDAYS: Butler has enjoyed recent success over the Thanksgiving holiday. Under coach Beth Couture, the Bulldogs have done some touring and competing in Fresno, Calif.; Miami, Fla.; St. Louis, Mo.; and now San Francisco, Calif. Two seasons ago in Miami, Butler knocked off Chattanooga in the opening round of the four-team tournament. That season, the only two regular season losses suffered by the Lady Mocs came at the hands of Butler and Tennessee. Last season, tournament MVP Ellen Hamilton led the Bulldogs to a Billiken Classic championship, averaging 16.5 points per game as Butler downed Austin Peay and Alabama A&M.

THE VETERANS: Butler's roster features four seniors this season. Nikki Budgake and Stephanie Boeke begin their fourth season under coach Beth Couture, while junior college transfers Gina Grussing and Jessica Smart enter their second and final campaign at Butler. Grussing is returning to action after an ACL tear sidelined her for the final 10 games of the 2004-05 season.

THE NEWCOMERS: Butler adds a talented class of rookies, led by junior college transfer Carla Gheorghe, who earned NJCAA All-American honors at Vincennes (Ind.) University last season. She joins freshmen Lade Akande, Candyce Brown and Candace Jones.

QUICK SHOTS: Senior Stephanie Boeke and junior Jackie Closser will serve as captains for the 2005-06 season...Butler's regular season game at UW-Green Bay has been moved from Saturday, Jan. 21 to Sunday, Jan. 22 to accommodate ESPNU, which will be airing the game live at noon (CST, 1 p.m. Indianapolis)...Butler head coach Beth Couture is one of 31 coaches voting on this season's USA Today/ESPN Top 25 poll. Couture represents the Horizon League on the weekly ballot.

WE'RE GOING STREAKING: The Bulldogs have made at least one three-pointer in 125 straight games, dating back to Feb. 1, 2001.

GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN: Butler begins the season without graduated players Cortney Urquhart, Maria Marchesano and Courtney Lickliter. Urquhart became the 16th member of the 1,000-point club last season, while Marchesano's 142 three-pointers are second in Butler history. Lickliter, who earned two letters after transferring from Lewis University, is completing her degree this semester.

THIS YEAR'S SLATE: In addition to the home-and-home regular season series against all eight Horizon League foes, Butler's 2005-06 schedule includes six in-state foes (Purdue, Indiana State, Ball State, Evansville, IUPUI and IPFW). That's the highest number of Hoosier opponents since the 1989-90 campaign. The non-conference schedule also includes the Thanksgiving tournament in California, Eastern Illinois, Miami (Ohio) and UMBC.

THE BEST THAT EVER PLAYED...HERE: Butler Basketball is asking for fans' help in celebrating the university's Sesquicentennial. In recognizing the school's storied 150 years, a fifteen-player men's team and ten-player women's squad will be honored as the "Teams of the Sesquicentennial." The teams will be chosen by an online vote in partnership with voting panels of former coaches, players and media members. The online ballot for both the men's and the women's teams can be accessed at www.butlersports.com. The women's team will be announced at the Jan. 28 home doubleheader against Wright State.