Bulldogs Look For Rebound At Youngstown State
2010-11 Butler Women's Basketball
Bulldogs Aim For Rebound At Youngstown State
The Butler women’s basketball team travels to Youngstown State this week, hoping to end a two-game skid. The Bulldogs, now 8-3 in league play, remain in second place in the league standings.
The Starting 5 - Butler’s Top Storylines
1. 10 Straight Over YSU: Butler enters Thursday’s game in Youngstown having won 10 straight against the Penguins, a streak that dates back to 2006. BU’s average margin of victory in those 10 wins is 21.5. The Bulldogs won 74-48 at Youngstown State last season, holding the Penguins to 14 first-half points.
2. Looking For Repeat Performance: Butler’s 88-69 win over YSU last month was the best shooting performance for a Bulldog team since 1998. The Bulldogs shot .615 from the floor (32 for 52) and made 14 3-pointers, one shy of the school record set in 2007. Alyssa Pittman made six treys in the first half and finished with 18 points. Three other players made at least two long-range shots as well.
3. Chloe 8th In The Nation: Chloe Hamilton enters this week ranked eighth in the country in field goal shooting at .593. The 5-10 senior is one of only eight players shooting 59 percent or better. Hamilton posted 17-for-19 shooting against Green Bay and Milwaukee and recently had a stretch with 16 consecutive made field goals.
4. Players Of The Week: Brittany Bowen and Chloe Hamilton have each been tabbed Horizon League Player of the Week this season. Hamilton garnered the honor 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. Brittany Bowen was selected as player of the week on Jan. 10 after averaging 19.0 points per game in road wins at Wright State and Detroit.
5. Coaching Connection: Thursday’s game at Youngstown State will mark the return of current Butler assistant coach Tisha Hill to the Beeghly Center. Hill was head coach at YSU for five seasons from 2003-08. Butler is her fifth career stop as an assistant coach.
Butler-YSU Series: Butler leads the all-time series with Youngstown State 16-5, including an active streak of 10 straight wins against the Penguins. BU, which hasn’t lost to YSU since 2006, has won 16 of 17 against Youngstown State. Beth Couture is 16-3 against YSU.
...Last Time vs. YSU: Butler shot .615 from the floor and buried 14 3-pointers to beat Youngstown State, 88-69, back on Jan. 15. Alyssa Pittman made six of her first seven treys, and finished 6 for 9 on the day for 18 points. Becca Bornhorst added a season-high 13 points.
Sweet 16: Chloe Hamilton recently 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 two weeks ago. 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 on Jan. 29 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.
BU vs. Ohio Opponents: Butler is 23-11 since 2007 against opponents from the state of Ohio. That includes a 5-0 mark against WSU and a 19-7 record against Horizon League teams from Ohio.
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).
99% Comeback: Butler made ferocious comebacks in both games last weekend, only to come up a bit short. BU trailed 46-35 last Thursday vs. Detroit before attacking the Titans full court and cutting the deficit to 53-51. Detroit prevailed 55-51. Wright State made 12 3-pointers to build a 55-40 lead before the Bulldogs came all the way back to tie the game in the final minute. WSU’s Ta-Myra Davis scored with 1.2 seconds left to give the Raiders the win.
Azjah’s Spark: One player trending upward in Butler’s rotation is Azjah Bass, who has played her best basketball of the season lately. The 5-7 senior played 16 minutes and had a big 3-point play in the second half against Green Bay, then she added four points and three boards against Milwaukee. Bass topped that Thursday with nine points in 21 minutes vs. Detroit. She has played 15.5 minutes per game over the last four contests.
Match-up To Watch: A key individual match-up to keep an eye on Thursday night will be Chloe Hamilton and YSU’s Brandi Brown, who had 21 points and 10 rebounds at Butler on Jan. 15. Both post players are among the league leaders in scoring and rebounding. Hamilton is an athletic slasher who can spot up, while Brown can score in a variety of ways. Both players are good on the offensive glass.
Get Back On The Boards: Butler out-rebounded its first eight league opponents before losing the boards battle in each of the last three games. The Bulldogs are +3.5 in rebounding margin in Horizon League games, but are -8.3 over the last three contests. 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.
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.
Ohio Bulldogs: Butler has two Ohio natives, Becca Bornhorst and Jenna Cobb, on the roster. Bornhorst, a sophomore who has started 11 games this year, played at Dublin-Coffman High School near Columbus. Cobb, from Miami Trace High School, is a freshman point guard. Cobb’s father, Glen, was a two-time team captain linebacker for Ohio State in the early 1980s.
Chloe Got Into The Game: In Butler’s 66-61 win at UIC on Jan. 29, 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 14.6 points and 6.9 rebounds in Horizon League play, is seventh in the league averaging 15.1 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. She is also statistically one of the most efficient scorers in the league. Bowen ranks third in the Horizon League in free throw percentage (.857), eighth in 3-point percentage (.359) and 10th in field goal shooting (.462).
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 29th in the nation in free throw percentage (.857) and 103rd in field goal percentage (.462). Alyssa Pittman stands 96th in the country in free throw shooting (.808). As a team, the Bulldogs are 56th in assists, 45th in free throw shooting, 70th in field goal shooting and 66th 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. Milwaukee’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.
...Since BU Shot The Lights Out: 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 .217 (23 for 106) from 3-point range over the last six games. The team is also shooting .396 from the floor, which is less than the team’s season average.
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 1,271 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 1,272 for her career.
Conference Wins Record: With seven 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.
Couture’s Cause: When not patrolling the Butler sideline, Beth Couture has spent her time in the battle against breast cancer. Couture, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in the spring of 2009, rushed through treatments to make it on the sidelines for the start of last season. Couture has been cancer-free for more than a year and has participated in several awareness events. 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, a breast cancer awareness group. 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.
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.
Injury Bug: Butler’s 8-3 Horizon League start has been amazing when you consider how hard the Bulldogswere 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.
Career Record Watch: As they approach the final weeks of their collegiate careers, Brittany Bowen, Chloe Hamilton and Alyssa Pittman continue to climb Butler’s career record books. Bowen needs four more points to move into 10th on BU’s all-time scoring list. Her current marks in 3-point percentage (.388, 9th) and free throw shooting (.828, 4th) would land her in the school’s top 10. Additionally, Hamilton is currently fourth all-time in field goal percentage (.547) while Pittman is on the chart for 3-pointers made (103, 9th) and attempted (336, 7th).
Devin Scoring More: Devin Brierly scored a career-high 19 points in BU’s win over Milwaukee on Jan. 29. Brierly also scored 12 against Wright State and currently averages 5.9 points per game. However, it’s not the scoring column where her value is best measured. Brierly is an athletic, versatile wing who is counted on for perimeter defense and passing. She also takes care of the ball, sporting a 1.26 assist-to-turnover ratio. She is also shooting 43 for 51 (.843) 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 Youngstown State, BU will head to Cleveland State. Next weekend Butler hosts UIC and Loyola. Butler’s Feb. 19 game against Loyola is Senior Day.