Bulldogs Take Win Streak To Chicago

Bulldogs Take Win Streak To Chicago

2010-11 Butler Women's Basketball

Butler (11-6, 5-0) at Loyola (8-8, 2-3)
Thursday, Jan. 20 - 8 p.m. ET
Gentile Center - Chicago, Ill.
Live Stats   |   Live Video
Coach Couture Interview  |   Game Notes


Unbeaten Bulldogs Take Win Streak To Chicago

The Butler women’s basketball team, riding a 5-game winning streak and unbeaten Horizon League record, will travel to Loyola Thursday night at 8 p.m. ET. The Bulldogs are coming off a pair of home wins coming against Cleveland State and Youngstown State.

Butler-Loyola Series: Butler is 39-17 all-time vs. Loyola, including a 13-13 mark against the Ramblers in Chicago. The Bulldogs have won four straight meetings and seven of the last eight games against LUC. Beth Couture is 12-4 vs. Loyola.

Couture Is No. 1: Beth Couture, with 139 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 397 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. 

In League Play: Butler is near the top in most of the league-only statistical categories. The Bulldogs are the HL’s top offensive team in league play (72.8) and are second in scoring defense (61.4). Butler leads the league in field goal shooting (.477), 3-point shootin (.400) and rebounding margin (+9.8).

Senior Surge: During the holiday break, Beth Couture challenged her seniors to step up on and off the court. The group has responded with increased production. Brittany Bowen is averaging 15.5 points and 6.8 rebounds over the last four games. Chloe Hamilton and Alyssa Pittman are both scoring 14.0 points per game with Hamilton also averaging 10.5 boards. Azjah Bass (4.7 ppg) has also had her best games recently.

Shooting To Remember: Butler’s 88-69 win over Youngstown State was an offensive performance for the ages. The Dawgs shot .615 from the floor (32-for-52), which was the team’s best effort since a .625 shooting night against Wright State in 1998. It was the best single-game shooting performance under head coach Beth Couture.

...And From The 3: Led by Alyssa Pittman’s six 3-pointers, BU sank 14 of 23 (.609) from beyond the arc. The 14 treys was tied for second and one shy of the school record set in 2007.

Bowen Is Scoring: Brittany Bowen, who is averaging 16.0 points and 7.4 rebounds in Horizon League play, is sixth in the league averaging 15.7 points this season. In addition to scoring 30 against Indiana State on Dec. 4, the 5-10 senior has six outings with 19 points or more this season. 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 (.444) and she is the only player in the HL in the top 5 in field goal percentage (5th), 3-point percentage (1st) and free throw percentage (3rd). 

Bowen Nationally: In the most recent NCAA stats, Brittany Bowen rates 37th in the nation in free throw percentage (.859). She also stands tied for 70th in the country in field goal shooting (.495). Had she had enough attempts, Bowen would stand 13th in the nation in 3-point percentage (.462).

 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 in conference games. Butler is also second in scoring defense against league opponents (61.4). In its first two league games, Butler held Valpo (.321) and Wright State (.359) to the season’s two lowest shooting percentages.

Cobb Has Her Best Game: Jenna Cobb had the best game of her young Butler career against Cleveland State last week. The freshman scored 11 points on 4-for-7 shooting and sank a pair of 3-pointers. She also made two acrobatic lay-ups in addition to three assists and two steals. Her previous scoring high was six points.

Bowen Named HL Player of the Week: Brittany Bowen was named Horizon League Women’s Basketball Player of the Week on Jan. 10 after averaging 19.0 points and 8.5 rebounds in wins at Wright State and Detroit. She had 19 points and nine rebounds in BU’s win at Wright State on Jan. 6, and followed that with 19 points and eight boards at Detroit. It was the first time the 5-10 senior has captured the league’s weekly award.

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 1,190 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 1,200 for her career.

Chloe Solid At The ‘4’: Chloe Hamilton is having her best season, averaging 12.8 points and 6.9 rebounds per game. The 5-10 senior is just shy of a double-double average in league play (13.6 points, 9.8 rebounds). She had a career-high 14-rebound effort at Detroit on Jan. 8 and had 17 points and 12 rebounds vs. Cleveland State. Hamilton, who tallied a career-high 21 points vs. Coastal Carolina in December, has been a consistent scorer, notching double figures in 12 of Butler’s 17 games. She’s also been efficient, ranking second in the conference with a .571 shooting percentage.

...Hamilton Nationally: In the most recent NCAA stats, Chloe Hamilton stood 14th in the nation with a .571 field goal percentage. Horizon League leader Molly Fox (Wright State) is ranked third in the country (.646).

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 Post 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, Becca Bornhorst has had her workload increase. Bornhorst, a 6-1 sophomore, has started the last five games and averaging 8.5 points over the last four games. She scored a season-high 13 on 6-for-7 shooting vs. Youngstown State.

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 54-21 (.720) in league play since 2007. 

After Halftime, Try Again: After 17 games, it seems Beth Couture’s halftime speeches make the Bulldogs shoot better. Butler is shooting .453 from the floor after halftime, compared to just .406 in the first 20 minutes. As a result, Butler is scoring 29.3 points per game in the first half compared to 38.5 points in the second half. BU’s scoring margin in the first halves of games is -1.2, compared to +3.7 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’s voting panel.

Devin Does The Little Things: Devin Brierly averages 5.4 points per game, sixth on the team. But her value is best measured outside of scoring. Brierly is an athletic wing who is counted on for defense and rebounding. She also is a heady player with the ball, sporting a 32:19 assist-to-turnover ratio. She is also shooting 26 for 31 (.829) at the free throw line, showing that she can be counted on to make key free throws  at the ends of games.

Up Next: Following Thursday’s game at Loyola, the Bulldogs will stay in Chicago for a Saturday game at UIC. Butler has won its last three games in Chicago against the Flames.