Senior Day 2011: Butler Hosts Loyola Saturday
2010-11 Butler Women's Basketball
Bulldogs Host Senior Day vs. Loyola
The Butler women’s basketball program will honor its five seniors Saturday when it hosts Loyola at 2 p.m. BU’s five seniors will be gunning for their 80th win in a Butler uniform. The Bulldogs are coming off a decisive 78-57 win over UIC on Thursday night.
The Starting 5 - Butler’s Top Storylines
1. Senior Moment: Saturday’s contests will be 2011 Senior Day for Butler women’s basketball. Butler’s group of five seniors (Alyssa Pittman was a transfer) has been one of the most successful classes in school history. Azjah Bass, Brittany Bowen, Terra Burns, Chloe Hamilton and Pittman enter the weekend with 79 wins, tied for fourth in school history.
2. Pivotal Home Weekend: Butler is playing its final home game of the regular season, and the Bulldogs need a win to extend its lead for the No. 2 spot in the conference. BU leads Wright State by 1.5 games. Butler has been the regular season runner-up and No. 2 seed in the league tourney the past two seasons.
3. 2 For 30: Chloe Hamilton and Brittany Bowen have combined to do something that has happened just once in Butler women’s basketball history. The senior duo has posted three 30-point scoring performances this season, with Bowen pouring in 30 vs. Indiana State and 31 against Cleveland State. Hamilton had 34 points at Youngstown State. The only other time the Bulldogs have had three 30-point performances in the same season was 1990, when Julie VonDielingen had two and Nikki Anderson had one.
4. Chloe 7th In The Nation: Chloe Hamilton enters Saturday’s play ranked seventh in the country in field goal shooting at .592. The 5-10 senior is one of only eight Division I players shooting 58.5 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. She leads the Horizon League with a .614 field goal percentage in Horizon League games.
5. 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 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.
Butler-Loyola Series: Butler is 40-17 all-time against the Ramblers, including a 23-4 mark vs. Loyola in Hinkle Fieldhouse. The Bulldogs went to Chicago a month ago and picked up a 66-61 win in the Gentile Center earlier this season. Beth Couture is 13-4 against the Ramblers, including wins in the last five match-ups.
...Last Time vs. Loyola: Alyssa Pittman scored 19 points and Brittany Bowen added 13 point and 14 rebounds in a 64-60 BU victory. The Bulldogs were +10 on the glass in that game and made 13 more free throws than did the Ramblers.
More On The 2011 Class: This year’s senior class enters Saturday’s game with 79 wins, tied with last year’s seniors for fourth in school history. This senior class is 79-42 over the last four years, and 39-20 since Alyssa Pittman became eligible after transferring to Butler.
About Last Weekend: Last week’s trip to Ohio featured two outstanding scoring performances for Butler. Chloe Hamilton scored 34 at Youngstown State last Thursday and Brittany Bowen had 31 and 11 boards at Cleveland State. BU split the two games, dominating YSU before falling in the final minute at CSU.
Butler vs. Chicago: The Bulldogs are 13-2 against the league’s two Chicago schools since 2007-08. BU is 6-1 against Loyola during that span, with a 3-0 mark at home.
More On 34: Chloe Hamilton’s 34-point outburst at Youngstown State was one for the ages. Not only was it three short of the school single-game record, but it was the highest output in a league game this season. UWM’s Courtney Lindfors scored 35 in a non-conference game in November. It was also the highest scoring effort by a Butler player since 2001, when Sarah Bolten tied the school record with 37 points.
Azjah Makes Her Point: After providing a much-needed spark off the bench, Azjah Bass has climbed into the starting lineup and played well. The senior point guard is averaging 5.3 assists over the past three games. The 5-7 senior has a 2:1 assist-to-turnover ratio over the last three games. Bass has started eight games this season.
Sweet 16: In late January, Chloe Hamilton posted 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 on Jan. 27. Hamilton made her first four shots against Milwaukee two days later before missing.
100 Starts For Bowen: Saturday’s Loyola game will be the 100th career start for Brittany Bowen at Butler. The Bulldogs are 64-35 in games in which she takes the floor first.
400: Butler’s win against Milwaukee on Jan. 29 was victory No. 400 for Beth Couture. The 9th-year Bulldog coach owns 144 victories at Butler, the most women’s basketball wins in Butler history. Only 48 other active coaches have 400 career victories.
Bulldogs Bombs Away: Butler made quick work of UIC on Thursday by making a barrage of 3-pointers. Butler made four treys in a row to start the game and hit 10 in the first half. BU finished with 12-for-20 (.600) shooting from beyond the arc, the second-best night of long-range shooting this season. The Bulldogs buried 14 of 24 (.609) treys vs. Youngstown State on Jan. 15.
Moving The Ball: Butler has registered 20 assists in two of the past four games. BU had 20 helpers on 24 field goals at YSU last Thursday and had 20 on 30 field goals vs. UIC on Thursday. It was the fifth game this season with 20+ Bulldog assists.
New Lineup: Beth Couture decided to juggle the starting lineup for Thursday’s game against UIC, and the change definitely paid off. With Alyssa Pittman in the starting lineup for just the third time this season, BU jumped out to a 14-4 lead and cruised to a blowout win over UIC. The Bulldogs made their first four 3-point field goals en route to 10 made treys in the first half.
...Paid Off For Pittman: The starting lineup change lit a fire under Alyssa Pittman, who tied her Butler high with 23 points. The 5-9 senior shot 9 for 17 from the floor and made four treys. Moreover, she grabbed seven rebounds and dished five assists, one of her best all-around games as a Bulldog.
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).
Freshman Contribution: Lost in Thursday’s 3-point barrage were two key contributions from freshmen guards Mandy McDivitt and Jenna Cobb. McDivitt, who nailed two treys of her own, had a career-best four assists against just one turnover. Cobb played 17 minutes and pulled down a career-high five rebounds.
Get Back On The Boards: Butler, owning a 9-4 record in Horizon League play, is also 9-4 in rebounding against league opponents. BU out-rebounded its first eight league opponents before losing the boards battle in three straight games against Milwaukee, Detroit and Wright State. The Bulldogs got back on the glass last week at YSU, out-rebounding the Penguins 38-22 and yielding just four offensive boards. CSU then edged Butler 38-37 on the glass last Saturday, although Butler did pull down a commanding 16 offensive rebounds. The Bulldogs have been +10 or better on the glass seven times this season.
A 4th Straight 20: Butler needs four 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.
Inching Closer To Postseason: The best team in the Horizon League standings that doesn’t earn the league’s bid to the NCAA Tournament advances to the WNIT. Butler has earned that distinction two years in a row, and it is on pace for a third consecutive invitation. The Bulldogs one game ahead of Wright State in the loss column for second in the HL standings.
Bowen Is Scoring: Brittany Bowen, who is averaging 15.4 points and 7.2 rebounds in Horizon League play, is sixth overall in the league averaging 15.5 points this season. In addition to having a pair of 30-point games this season, the 5-10 senior has 21 outings with 12 points or more this season. She has also scored 19 points or more seven times. Prior to this season, she posted two 25-point performances. She is also statistically one of the most efficient scorers in the league. Bowen ranks third in the Horizon League in free throw percentage (.864) and seventh in 3-point percentage (.362).
Bulldogs Nationally: In addition to Chloe Hamilton ranking seventh in the country in field goal percentage, Brittany Bowen can be found in the most recent NCAA stats. Bowen ranks 26th in the nation in free throw percentage (.864) and 102nd in field goal percentage (.460). As a team, the Bulldogs are 46th in assists, 38th in free throw shooting, 50th in assist-to-turnover ratio, 68th in field goal shooting and and 75th in scoring.
1,300 Point Scorers: Currently, Butler is the only team in the Horizon League with two active 1,300-point scorers. Brittany Bowen and Alyssa Pittman have each crossed that mark this season. Green Bay’s Kayla Tetschlag and Celese Hoewisch will in the coming weeks as well. Bowen now has 1,326 points as a Bulldog, and Pittman, who crossed the 1,000-point mark last season, has 1,306 for her career. She scored 715 points in two seasons at Eastern Michigan.
Conference Wins Record: With five games to play, Butler can still tie the 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 the 2009-10 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. She is also the 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.
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 moved into ninth on BU’s all-time scoring list and is just 17 points shy of eighth in school history. Her current marks in 3-point percentage (.389, 8th) and free throw shooting (.831, 3rd) would land her in the school’s top 10. Additionally, Hamilton is currently fourth all-time in field goal percentage (.550) while Pittman is on the chart for 3-pointers made (110, 8th) and attempted (353, 7th).
Injury Bug: Butler standing second in the Horizon League this season has been amazing when you consider how hard the Bulldogs were hit by injuries. BU is without two players who started the first half of the year in 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.
Devin Scoring More: Devin Brierly, a career 4.3 scorer, is averaging 10.2 points over the last six games. She scored a career-high 19 points in BU’s win over Milwaukee on Jan. 29 and had 16 against Cleveland State last week. 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 1.27 assist-to-turnover ratio. She is also shooting .842 at the free throw line, good for second on the team.
Up Next: Butler will travel to Wisconsin for a pair of league games next week. The Bulldogs are at Milwaukee Thursday, Feb. 24 and at #17/14 Green Bay next Saturday afternoon. BU split with those two teams at home last month.