2010-11 Butler Women's
Butler (14-8, 8-2) vs. Wright State (13-8, 6-4)
Help BU Women's Basketball Fight Breast Cancer
The Butler women's basketball team will host Wright State afternoon in the program's WBCA Pink Zone game for breast cancer awareness. The Bulldogs are currently 8-2 in league play and in second place.
The Starting 5 - Butler's Top Storylines
1. Couture's Cause: Today is a special day for Butler women's basketball and head coach Beth Couture. The Bulldogs' head coach was diagnosed with breast cancer in the spring of 2009 and rushed through treatments to make it on the sidelines for the start of last season. 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.
2. St. Vincent Women Of Hope: Beth Couture is serving as honorary chairwoman for 2011 St. Vincent Woman of Hope, a group supporting the Bulldogs today. 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.
3. Chloe Near .600: Chloe Hamilton entered the week shooting .607 after her 17-for-19 shooting last week against Green Bay and Milwaukee. Currently, her .591 field goal percentage ranks eighth in the nation, and she's one of only eight players shooting 59 percent or better. Hamilton was 11 for 11 last Thursday night against Green Bay. She followed that with a 6-for-8 outing against Milwaukee last Saturday.
4. Players Of The Week: Chloe Hamilton was tabbed Horizon League Player of the Week on Jan. 24 for her efforts at Loyola and UIC. Hamilton fought off early foul trouble for 16 points in BU's win at Loyola on Jan. 20, then went for a dominating career-high 27 points at UIC on Jan. 22. It was Hamilton's first weekly honor, and the second for Butler this season. Brittany Bowen was selected as player of the week on Jan. 10 after averaging 19.0 points per game at Wright State and Detroit.
5. Back In Poll Position: Butler was ranked No. 22 in CollegeInsider.com's first mid-major poll. After a few early losses, the Bulldogs fell from the rankings. The Bulldogs have jumped back into the rankings after winning eight of nine, coming in at No. 25. Green Bay is No. 1. Another BU opponent, Bowling Green, ranks at No. 6.
Butler-WSU Series: Butler leads the all-time series with Wright State 27-15, including wins in the last six meetings. WSU's last win vs. Butler was Feb. 21, 2008 at Hinkle Fieldhouse. Beth Couture is 11-7 against the Raiders.
...Last Time vs. Wright State: Brittany Bowen had and Chloe Hamilton each scored 19 points and Alyssa Pittman added 13 in BU's 70-58 win at Wright State back on Jan. 6. The Bulldogs led for the final 26:41 of the game and only trailed 3-2 in the opening minute.
2010 Pink Zone: Last year's WBCA Pink Zone game at Hinkle Fieldhouse was a success. The event drew 1,662 fans, the second highest single-game attendance in BU women's basketball history. The Bulldogs would use that energy to pull out a 72-66 win over Cleveland State.
Sweet 16: Chloe Hamilton recently just finished a stretch of 16 consecutive made shots, a streak that covered three games. She converted her last attempt on Jan. 22 at UIC, then shot 11 for 11 against Green Bay. Hamilton made her first four shots against Milwaukee before missing. The single-game school record was a 13-for-13 outing by Alexis Proffitt against Milwaukee in 1997.
400: Butler's win against Milwaukee last Saturday was victory No. 400 for Beth Couture. The 9th-year Bulldog coach owns 142 victories at Butler, the most women's basketball wins in Butler history. Only 48 other coaches in all of NCAA basketball have 400 career victories.
More On 11 For 11: Chloe Hamilton's 11-for-11 shooting night was the third time in school history a Bulldog player took eight shots or more and made them all. In addition to Alexis Proffitt's 13 for 13 (2/6/97), Kelly Kuhn went 8 for 8 against Wright State (2/20/99).
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. Chloe Hamilton is averaging a team-best 16.5 points and 8.6 boards over the last eight games. Brittany Bowen is scoring 13.9 points and Alyssa Pittman is averaging 12.8 points during that span. The three have combined to shoot .478 from the floor over the last eight games.
...Azjah's Spark: Another senior, Azjah Bass, has also been playing her best basketball of the season lately. She had three points and two rebounds in 16 minutes and had a big 3-point play in the second half against Green Bay, then she added four points against Milwaukee. Bass topped that Thursday with nine points in 21 minutes vs. Detroit.
Need To Stop Thomas: Saturday's result may hinge on how well the Bulldogs defend WSU's LaShawna Thomas. The senior guard leads the league with 6.5 assists and is second in scoring at 18.0 points per game. In the first meeting this year, Thomas had 16 points, but it took her 20 shots to get there. She finished 6 for 20.
BU vs. Ohio Opponents: Butler is 23-10 since 2007 against opponents from the state of Ohio. That includes a 7-3 mark against WSU and a 19-6 record against Horizon League teams from Ohio.
On The Boards: Butler out-rebounded its first eight league opponents before losing the boards battle in each of the last two games. The Bulldogs are +4.5 in rebounding margin in Horizon League games, good for second in the conference. Butler limited Green Bay to just five offensive rebounds to control the glass last Thursday night, but Milwaukee controlled the glass last Saturday. The Bulldogs have been +10 or better on the glass six times this season.
...Not Against Detroit: Detroit did Thursday night what Butler had been doing in recent weeks: controlling the glass.UDM was +7 in rebounding and held BU to just two offensive rebounds, the lowest total of the season. The Bulldogs did not score any second-chance points.
A 4th Straight 20: Butler needs six more wins to reach 20 victories for the fourth season in a row. That would be a first for BU as a Division I program, and second time in school history. The Bulldogs had four 20-win seasons in a row from 1978-82. This group went 20-10 in 2007-08 and followed that with a 20-12 season in 2008-09. Last year's mark of 23-10 was the team's most wins since the 1997-98 Bulldogs went 25-6 under June Olkowski.
Closing 2010: The Bulldogs finished the 2010 calendar year with a record of 22-12, the most wins in a calendar year since the team won 23 games in 1998. The total of 22 wins is tied for fifth most in school history. The school record for wins in a calendar year is 25, set in 1981. BU went 21-10 in the 2009 calendar year.
Home Sweet Hinkle: Butler is 7-3 at home this season after posting a 12-2 mark last season. The Bulldogs are 38-14 (.731) at Hinkle since the beginning of the 2007-08 season.
Thursday's Drought: Much of Indianapolis looks like a glacier, and the pace of Thursday night's game was similarly slow. The Bulldogs attempted just 43 field goal attempts and made just two 3-pointers in the loss to Detroit. Many possessions came down to the final seconds of the shot clock, leading to fewer scoring chances for Butler.
For Starters: After using eight different lineups in the season's first 12 games, Butler may have found its starting 5. The current starters have won eight of its 10 games together, and with former starters Terra Burns and Sarah Hamm injured, the rotation is now set. The Bulldogs can also still go wtih a smaller, faster lineup with Brittany Bowen at the '4' and Chloe Hamilton at the '5'. Beth Couture has used nine different starting lineups through 22 games, including seven different lineups once.
Chloe's Career Day: In Butler's 66-61 win at UIC, Butler came out slow and actually trailed at halftime. Beth Couture could be heard on the sideline, encouraging her players to "get in the game." Chloe Hamilton did just that, scoring 17 of her career-high 27 points in the second half to lead Butler to victory. The 5-10 senior shot 12 for 20 and made three free throws while grabbing six rebounds in 39 minutes.
Bowen Is Scoring: Brittany Bowen, who is averaging 14.8 points and 6.9 rebounds in Horizon League play, is seventh in the league averaging 15.2 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 (including one against Wright State). She also has posted two 25-point performances prior to this season.
Bulldogs Nationally: In addition to Chloe Hamilton being eighth in the country in field goal percentage, Brittany Bowen can be found in the most recent NCAA stats. Bowen ranks 48th in the nation in free throw percentage, 94th in field goal percentage and 139th in scoring. As a team, the Bulldogs are 60th in assists, 48th in free throw shooting, 59th in field goal shooting and 65th in assist-to-turnover ratio.
All-Decade In High School: The Lansing State Journal recently published an all-decade team for the 2000s for the Lansing, Mich., area. Chloe Hamilton, Holt High School's all-time leading scorer, was among the players mentioned. UWM's Sami Tucker was also mentioned.
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. 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.
...Now Let's Remember It: Since Butler lit up Hinkle Fieldhouse against YSU on Jan. 15, the Bulldogs have gone a bit cold from beyond the arc. Butler is shooting .190 (15 for 79) from 3-point range over the last five games. The team is also shooting .405 from the floor, which is less than the team's season average.
New Year's Resolution = Defense: After BU's 12-game non-conference slate, the Bulldogs stood last in the HL in points allowed (69.6) and field goal percentage defense (.453). Since the first of the year Butler has tightened up on defense, ranking second in points allowed (61.3) and seventh in field goal percentage defense (.423). Butler has not yielded 70 points yet in conference play.
1,200 Point Scorers: In Butler's win over IUPUI in November, Brittany Bowen became the 22nd player in a Butler uniform 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 1,258 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 also has 1,259 for her career.
Conference Wins Record: With eight games to play, Butler is on pace to set a school record for conference wins in a season. BU has set a school record with 14 league victories in each of the past two seasons. The Bulldogs have posted back-to-back 14-4 conference seasons, tied for the 1993 Bulldog team that won 14 MCC games.
Injury Bug: Butler's 8-2 Horizon League start has been amazing when you consider how hard the Bulldogs were hit by injuries. BU is without two starters, senior point guard Terra Burns (8.5 ppg, 4.8 apg) and freshman center Sarah Hamm (7.0 ppg). Burns was injured at Notre Dame and hasn't played since, while Hamm suffered an ACL tear in her right knee against Valparaiso and is out for the year.
Young Post Coming Through: 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 become a starter. Bornhorst, a 6-1 sophomore, is grabbing 5.3 rebounds while playing 23.4 minutes per game. She scored a season-high 13 on 6-for-7 shooting vs. Youngstown State on Jan. 15.
Devin Leads BU vs. UWM: Devin Brierly scored a career-high 19 points in BU's win over Milwaukee last Saturday. Brierly averages 5.6 points per game, but usually her value is best measured outside of scoring. Brierly is an athletic, versatile wing who is counted on for perimeter defense and passing. She also takes care of the ball, sporting a 1.33 assist-to-turnover ratio. She is also shooting 40 for 47 (.851) 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 Saturday's Pink Zone game vs. Wright State, Butler will go to Ohio for road games at Youngstown State and Cleveland State. BU has already defeated each of those teams this season.