League Unbeaten Bulldogs Host Cleveland State
2010-11 Butler Women's Basketball
Bulldogs Take 3-0 Record Into Cleveland State Game
The Butler women’s basketball team, currently 3-0 in the Horizon League, will host Cleveland State Thursday, Jan. 13 at 7 p.m. The Bulldogs have won three straight and are coming off a 2-0 road swing through Wright State and Detroit. Cleveland State is 2-2 in league play and was last year’s league tournament champion.
Butler-CSU Series: Butler is 22-12 all-time vs. Cleveland State, including a 12-3 mark against the Vikings in Hinkle Fieldhouse. Recent years have been very even, with the two teams splitting the last eight games going back to 2008. Beth Couture is 13-6 against Cleveland State.
Couture Is No. 1: Beth Couture, with 137 victories at Butler, owns the most women’s basketball wins in Butler history. Couture last season passed Linda Mason (1976-84), who won 124 games. The record-breaking victory came at UIC on March 4 of last season.
...And She’s Chasing 400: Beth Couture owns 395 career wins in her head coaching career. Only 48 other coaches in all of NCAA basketball have 400 career victories. Couture entered the season 49th among active coaches in wins.
Senior Surge: During the holiday break, Beth Couture challenged her seniors to step up on and off the court. If last weekend is any indication, the group has responded. In addition to Bowen’s 19.0 points and 8.5 rebounds last weekend, Chloe Hamilton averaged 15.0 points and 11.0 rebounds and Alyssa Pittman added 15.5 points while making 8 of 15 3-pointers.
BU vs. Ohio Opponents: Butler is 21-10 since 2007 against opponents from the state of Ohio. That in cludes a 4-4 mark against Cleveland State, and a 16-6 record against Horizon League teams from Ohio.
1,000 Point Scorers: In Butler’s win over IUPUI in November, Brittany Bowen became the 21st player in Butler history to score 1,000 career points. The 5-10 senior reached the mark with a lay-up at the 16:05 mark of the first half. Bowen now has 1,166 points as a Bulldog. Additionally, Alyssa Pittman crossed the 1,000-point mark last season. She scored 715 points in her two years at Eastern Michigan and now has 1,175 for her career.
Bowen Is Scoring: Brittany Bowen, who is averaging 18.9 points and 9.0 rebounds in Horizon League play, is fifth in the league averaging 16.2 points this season. In addition to scoring 30 against Indiana State on Dec. 4, the 5-10 senior has two outings with 26 points this season, coming against Saint Louis and Wake Forest. She also has posted two 25-point performances prior to this season.
Sharpshooter: Brittany Bowen is arguably one of the best shooters in the Horizon League. The 5-10 senior is the league leader in 3-point percentage (.480) and has currently made 8 of her last 14 treys. She is the only player in the HL in the top 5 in field goal percentage (3rd), 3-point percentage (1st) and free throw percentage (3rd).
Bowen Nationally: In the most recent NCAA stats, Brittany Bowen rates 39th in the nation in free throw percentage (.860). She also stands tied for 69th in the country in field goal shooting (.500). Had she had enough attempts, Bowen would stand fourth in the nation in 3-point percentage (.480).
National Team Rankings: The Bulldogs stand 71st in the nation in assists per game (14.9). BU is also 63rd in the country in free throw percentage (.719). BU is also 79th in rebounding margin (+3.8) and 96th in both scoring and assist:turnover ratio.
New Year’s Resolution = Defense: After BU’s 12-game non-conference slate, the Bulldogs stood last in the HL in points allowed and field goal percentage defense. Since the new year, Butler has tightened up on defense, leading the league in scoring defense (57.7) in conference games. Butler is also second in field goal percentage defense against league opponents (.365). In its first two league games, Butler held Valpo (.321) and Wright State (.359) to the season’s two lowest shooting percentages.
Chloe Solid At The ‘4’: Chloe Hamilton is having her best season, averaging 12.7 points and 6.5 rebounds per game. The 5-10 senior tallied a career-high 21 points vs. Coastal Carolina and she’s coming off a weekend where she had 19 points at WSU and a double-double at Detroit. Hamilton has been a consistent scorer, notching double figures in 11 of Butler’s 15 games. She’s also been efficient, ranking second in the conference with a .560 shooting percentage.
...Hamilton Nationally: Chloe Hamilton currently stands 21st in the nation with a .560 field goal percentage. Horizon League leader Molly Fox (Wright State) is ranked third in the country (.632).
Injury Bug: Butler has had three players who have started a game this season have missed extended periods of time, and another player has recently been hospital-bound due to illness. Senior point guard Terra Burns was injured at Notre Dame and hasn’t played since. She was averaging 8.5 points, 4.7 rebounds and 4.8 assists before getting injured. Freshman center Sarah Hamm, averaging 7.0 points per game, has suffered an ACL tear in her right knee and is out for the year. Becca Bornhorst has missed several games due to injuries this year and Elizabeth Jennings was recently ill.
Young Posts To Be Counted On: Freshman center Sarah Hamm had emerged as an effective interior player before injuring her knee against Valparaiso. The 6-2 rookie was scoring 7.0 points per game. In her absence, two other young post players - Becca Bornhorst and Dragana Grbic - figure to have their workloads increase. Bornhorst, a 6-1 sophomore, has started the last three games and averaged 8.0 points per game last weekend. Grbic, a 6-2 redshirt freshman, scored three points in five minutes at WSU last weekend, one of her most productive games of the season.
Life After Mel: Butler has been charged this season with the task of replacing the 2010 Horizon League Player of the Year in Melanie Thornton. Last year, the 6-1 Thornton averaged 15.7 points and 8.8 rebounds while leading the team in steals and blocks. Thornton had at least 10 points in 25 of her last 27 games, while leading the team in scoring, rebounding, blocks and steals. Thornton had 12 double-doubles and was also named Horizon League Defensive Player of the Year.
Conference Wins Record: In each of the past two seasons, Butler has set a school record with 14 league victories. The Bulldogs have posted back-to-back 14-4 conference seasons and are 51-21 (.708) in league play since 2007.
After Halftime, Try Again: After 15 games, it seems Beth Couture’s halftime speeches make the Bulldogs shoot better. Butler is shooting .444 from the floor after halftime, compared to just .386 in the first 20 minutes. As a result, Butler is scoring 28.1 points per game in the first half compared to 38.0 points in the second half. BU’s scoring margin in the first halves of games is -2.1, compared to +3.1 in the second half.
Couture’s Cause: In April 2009, Beth Couture was diagnosed with breast cancer. She finished treatments and radiation at a fast pace, just in time to return to the sideline for last season’s opener. Couture is now cancer-free and an avid supporter of breast cancer awareness. She walked 38 miles over a two-day span for St. Vincent’s Weekend To End Breast Cancer during the fall.
...St. Vincent Women Of Hope: Beth Couture is serving as honorary chairwoman for 2011 St. Vincent Woman of Hope. Each Woman of Hope participant pledges to raise or give $1,000 annually for the cancer cause of her choice. All funds raised by Woman of Hope benefit cancer programs and services at St.Vincent. A celebration and walk is scheduled for October 1 to honor the participants.
WBCA Pink Zone: Butler will host its annual WBCA Pink Zone game for breast cancer awareness Saturday, Feb. 5 against Wright State. The game will be sponsored by St. Vincent, and fans are encouraged to wear pink. Breast cancer survivors will be admitted free of charge. There will also be free pink ribbons and other breast cancer awareness programming.
BU Among Mid-Majors: The Bulldogs were picked No. 22 in the first Mid-Major Top 25 poll by CollegeInsider.com. BU has since dropped out of the top 25. Green Bay, with wins over three Big Ten teams, has moved to No. 1. Beth Couture and Detroit’s Autumn Rademacher represent the Horizon League on the mid-major poll.
All ‘O’ Board: Playing significant minutes with a small lineup hasn’t stopped Butler from being aggressive on the offensive boards. BU is second in the league with 13.7 offensive rebounds a game. BU leads the conference in offensive rebounding percentage, hauling in 37.7 percent of its missed shots. Butler has grabbed at least 10 offensive rebounds in 13 of 15 games this season, with two outings of 19 offensive boards. The Bulldogs rank second in the HL in rebounding margin at +3.8. Chloe Hamilton (46), Brittany Bowen (39) and Sarah Hamm (23) lead the team in offensive rebounds.
Here’s A Stat To Watch: Neither Butler nor Cleveland State shoot the 3-point shot all that well, with CSU ranking seventh in the HL at .301 and Butler eighth at .291. However, guarding the 3-point shot could become important in Thursday’s game. CSU is second in the conference in 3-point percentage defense (.293), while BU is eighth at .331. Identifying and guarding outside shooters could decide the game.
Up Next: After Thursday’s game against CSU, Butler will host Youngstown State Saturday, Jan. 15 at 2 p.m.