Bulldogs Host Detroit In League Quarterfinal

2010-11 Butler Women's Basketball

#2 Butler (18-12) vs. #7 Detroit (13-17)
Wednesday, March 9 - 7 p.m. ET
Indianapolis, Ind. - Hinkle Fieldhouse
Live Video  |  Live Stats   |   Game Notes  |  Coach Couture Interview

BU Hosts Detroit In League Quarterfinal

A league tourney semifinal berth is on the line Wednesday night as the Butler women’s basketball team hosts Detroit at 7 p.m. The Bulldogs are the No. 2 seed in the tournament after finishing the regular season with an 18-12 record. Detroit is the No. 7 and enters after a 57-50 win over Valparaiso.

 

The Starting 5 - Butler’s Top Storylines

1. Tourney Time: Butler enters league tournament play as the No. 2 seed, reaching that mark for the third consecutive season. The Bulldogs are 8-6 all-time as the tourney’s second seed, including a 2-1 mark last year when they advanced to the league title game. Beth Couture is 7-8 in Horizon League tournament games, with a 2-2 mark as the No. 2 seed.

2. Postseason Again: By finishing second in the regular season, Butler has clinched a berth into postseason play for the third consecutive year. The league’s best team that doesn’t make the NCAA Tournament gets an automatic bid into the WNIT. The Bulldogs have played in the WNIT the past two years, advancing to the second round in 2009.

3. League Honors: Three Bulldogs - all seniors - brought home league awards for their play this season. Brittany Bowen and Chloe Hamilton were selected second team All-Horizon League this season, and Alyssa Pittman was voted as the Horizon League Sixth Player of the Year. Bowen, who was a preseason all-league pick the last two years, leads BU with 15.5 points per game. Hamilton scores 14.2 points and grabs a team-high 6.7 rebounds per game. Pittman, who came off the bench 23 times during the regular season, averages 11.8 points per game. 

4. Chloe 8th In The Nation: Chloe Hamilton enters Saturday’s play ranked eighth in the country in field goal shooting at .587, just half a percentage point out of the sixth spot. The 5-10 senior is one of only 10 Division I players shooting .570 or better. Hamilton’s field goal percentage also leads the Horizon League overall and her .602 mark in league games is also first in the conference. 

5. 80+ Wins For 2011 Class: 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 Saturday’s game with 81 wins, the fourth most victories in school history. This year’s senior class has won more games than any of Beth Couture’s previous senior groups, and the 2011 Bulldogs can still reach third in school history (84 wins, 1998).


Butler-Detroit Series: Detroit leads the all-time series vs. Butler 31-27, but recent years have belonged to the Bulldogs. BU is 12-1 against Detroit in the last 13 meetings, including a 5-1 mark at Hinkle Fieldhouse. 

...This Year vs. Detroit: Butler and Detroit split this season’s two meetings, with the road team winning each time.BU won at Detroit, 72-66, back on Jan. 8. Brittany Bowen had 19 points and eight rebounds in the win. The Titans turned the tables on Butler with a 55-51 win on Feb. 3. 

Tourney vs. Detroit: The Bulldogs are 3-2 all-time vs. Detroit in conference tourney play, including a 69-55 win over the Titans last year in the semifinal. BU has beaten Detroit in 2006 and 1998 and lost to UDM in 1999 and 1995. 

More On The 2011 Class: This year’s senior class enters Saturday’s game with 81 wins. This senior class is 81-44 over the last four years, and 41-22 since Alyssa Pittman became eligible after transferring to Butler. 

Titanic Effort On The Boards: Butler out-rebounded the Titans 43-19 in its win at Detroit in January. BU pulled in 15 offensive rebounds, leading to 14 second-chance points.

Home Sweet Hinkle: Butler owns a 21-6 record at Hinkle Fieldhouse over the last two seasons, including a 13-5 mark against Horizon League opponents. Additionally, Butler is 31-9 at home since the 2008-09 year.

Pittman’s Production: Alyssa Pittman, who was named sixth player of the year by the Horizon League,  has increased her scoring since moving into the starting lineup. The 5-9 senior is averaging 15.2 points over the last five games, including a 23-point effort vs. UIC and a 25-point game at Milwaukee.

Pitt Drops 25: Alyssa Pittman had Butler career highs of 25 points and six steals last at UWM on Feb. 24. She made four 3-pointers and also dished five assists.

Finishing Strong: Butler has made a habit of finishing the regular season on a positive note. The Bulldogs have won their regular season finale in each of the last five years.  

Azjah Makes Her Point: After providing a much-needed spark off the bench for most of the season, Azjah Bass has climbed into the starting lineup at point guard. The senior point guard is averaging 4.8 assists over the past six games while running Butler’s offense. The 5-7 senior also has a 1.44:1 assist-to-turnover ratio over the last five contests. Bass has started 12 games this season. 

Bowen Is Scoring: Brittany Bowen, the team’s leading scorer with 15.5 points a game, ranks sixth in the league in scoring. In addition to having a pair of 30-point games, the 5-10 senior has 24 outings with 12 points or more this season. She has also scored 19 points or more eight times. Prior to this season, she posted two 25-point performances. 

Sharpshooter: Bowen, one of the league’s leading scorers, is also one of the most efficient scorers in the league. The Columbus, Ind., native stands third in the Horizon League in free throw percentage (.863), fourth in 3-point percentage (.388) and ninth in field goal percentage (.464). Historically, she’ll end up on Butler’s all-time list for free throw shooting (3rd) and 3-point percentage (8th).

Chloe’s Sweet 16: Chloe Hamilton’s 11-for-11 performance against Green Bay in January was the bulk of an amazing stretch of shooting. Hamilton ended up making 16 straight field goal attempts over three games. She hit her last shot at UIC on Jan. 22 and 11 in a row vs. Green Bay on Jan. 27. She hit her first four shots against Milwaukee on Jan. 29 before missing. 

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, when she averaged 21.5 points in a pair of BU wins. 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.

400: Butler’s win against Milwaukee on Jan. 29 was victory No. 400 for Beth Couture. The 9th-year Bulldog coach now owns 404 career wins, including 146 at Butler. Couture has the most women’s basketball wins in Butler history. Only 48 other active NCAA coaches have 400 career victories.

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. 

100 Starts For Bowen: Butler’s Feb. 19 game vs. Loyola was the 100th career start for Brittany Bowen at Butler. The Bulldogs are now 66-37 in games in which she takes the floor first. 

New Lineup: Beth Couture decided to juggle the starting lineup five games ago, and the change paid off immediately. With Alyssa Pittman making her third and fourth starts this season, Butler jumped all over UIC and Loyola early to win both games handily. Against UIC, the Bulldogs made 10 made 3-pointers in the first half, led by 20 at halftime and cruised to a blowout win. The Bulldogs then built a 22-4 lead vs. Loyola en route to a victory.

...Add It To The Many Starting Lineups: Butler has used 13 different starting lineups in 30 games this season, including six groups one time. Two other starting lineups have been used twice.

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 and knocked out for the year at Notre Dame, while Hamm suffered an ACL tear in her right knee against Valparaiso and is also out for the season. 

More On 34: Chloe Hamilton’s 34-point outburst at Youngstown State was one for the ages. Not only was it three points short of the school single-game record, but it was the highest output by a Butler player since 2001 when Sarah Bolten tied the school record with 37 points. Three players - UWM’s Courtney Lindfors, WSU’s LaShawna Thomas and YSU’s Brandi Brown  - have scored 35 in a game this season. 

More On 11 For 11: Chloe Hamilton’s 11-for-11 shooting night against Green Bay on Jan. 27 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).

Small Ball: Just eight Bulldogs appeared in Thursday’s loss at Milwaukee on Feb. 24, mainly due to the nature of the game’s competitive nature. What’s noteworthy though were the lineups Butler had to use due to injury, illness and foul trouble. Butler had five guards on the floor at times, and only one player taller than 5-10 (6-1 Becca Bornhorst) saw any playing time. Only three players taller than 5-9 played.

Moving The Ball: Butler has registered 20+ assists six times this season, with three such performances coming in the last six games. BU had 20 helpers on 24 field goals at YSU on Feb. 10 and had 20 on 30 field goals vs. UIC. The Bulldogs then added 24 assists on their 26 field goals on Feb. 19 vs. Loyola. 

2 For 30: Chloe Hamilton and Brittany Bowen have combined to do something that has happened just one other time in Butler women’s basketball history. The senior duo has combined for three 30-point scoring performances this season. Bowen dropped 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.

Simple...Just Make Shots: Sometimes the difference between winning and losing is simple. In its 18 victories, Butler is shooting .456 from the floor and scoring 72.3 points per game. In 12 losses, BU is shooting .362 and scoring 61.1 points per game. Butler is 16-0 when shooting a better percentage than its opponent and 2-12 when shooting worse.

Last Year’s Semifinal (3/12/10): No. 2 seed Butler buried 10 3-pointers and held No. 3 seed Detroit to 32 percent shooting in a 69-55 semifinal win at Green Bay. Susan Lester had 20 points, Melanie Thornton (2010 HL Player of the Year) grabbed 13 rebounds and Terra Burns had 10 assists. Detroit’s Yar Shayok had 19 points and 11 rebounds. Top seed Green Bay lost in the night’s other semifinal to No. 4 Cleveland State.

A 4th Straight 20: Butler needs two 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. 

Bulldogs Nationally: In addition to Chloe Hamilton ranking eighth 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 (.863) and 92nd in field goal percentage (.464). As a team, the Bulldogs are 40th in assists, 47th in free throw shooting, 49th in assist-to-turnover ratio, 81st in field goal shooting and 86th in scoring. 

1,300 Point Scorers: Butler and Green Bay are the only teams in the Horizon League with two active 1,300-point scorers. Brittany Bowen and Alyssa Pittman have each crossed that mark this season for the Bulldogs. Bowen now has 1,387 points as a Bulldog (6th in school history), and Pittman, who crossed the 1,000-point mark last season, has 1,359 for her career. She scored 715 points in two seasons at Eastern Michigan. 

Devin Scoring More: Devin Brierly, a career 4.4 scorer, has been asked to score more and she has delivered with four double-digit scoring efforts over the last 10 games. Brierly scored a career-high 19 points in BU’s win over Milwaukee on Jan. 29, 16 at Cleveland State and a pair of 12-point games. However, it’s not the scoring column where her value is best measured. Brierly is an athletic, versatile wing who Coach Couture says is the team’s best perimeter defender. She is also shooting .815 at the free throw line, good for second on the team.

Up Next: If BU wins Wednesday night’s quarterfinal game vs. Detroit, the No. 2 seed Bulldogs would travel to Green Bay for the semifinal of the Horizon League Women’s Basketball Championship.