Bulldogs Open 2011-12 At Iowa's Hawkeye Challenge

2011-12 Butler Women's Basketball

Butler (20-14 last year) vs. Harvard (18-10) 
Saturday, Nov. 12 - 5:30 p.m. ET (4:30 CT)
Carver-Hawkeye Arena - Iowa City, Iowa (Hawkeye Challenge)
Live Stats |  Game Notes  |  Beth Couture Show  |  Tourney Website

Bulldogs Open Season At Hawkeye Challenge

The Butler women's basketball team, a winner of 20 games the last four straight seasons, will open the 2011-12 campaign at Iowa's Hawkeye Challenge. The Bulldogs will take on UNLV Saturday, Nov. 12 before playing either Iowa or Harvard the next day.


The Starting 5 - Butler's Top Storylines

1. 4 Straight 20s: Butler has won 20 games in each of the past four seasons, the first time the team has achieved that as a Division I program. The Bulldogs went 20-14 last year and finished second in the Horizon League. The Bulldogs were 23-10 in 2009-10, the team's most wins since 1998. BU was 20-10 in 2007-08 and followed that with a 20-12 season in 2008-09. Butler is 83-45 during the last four seasons.

2. Trio of WNIT Berths: The Bulldogs have played in the postseason in each of the past three seasons, earning the Horizon League's automatic berth into the WNIT each time. In 2009, BU won 20 games and advanced to the WNIT second round, defeating Duquesne and losing to Marquette. In 2010, Butler won 23 games before falling 57-54 at Illinois State in the first round. Last year, Butler won 20 games before losing at Wisconsin in the WNIT first round. 

3. Burns & Hamm Back From Injury: Last year's 20-win season is even more impressive after you consider Butler had lost two starters to injury by early January. Senior point guard Terra Burns injured her leg at Notre Dame and didn't return, taking a medical redshirt. Sarah Hamm was a freshman starting at center before tearing an ACL in her knee vs. Valparaiso on Jan. 2. 

4. Fresh(men) Faces: Butler has added four freshmen for this season, and the newcomers are likely to figure into the team's rotation. Haley Howard, a forward from just south of Indy, has been a starter in the preseason. Guard Hannah Douglas, post player Amanda Raker and wing Jessika Lark have each played significant minutes in the team's exhibition and closed scrimmage.

5. More Scoring For Brierly & Burns: Seniors Terra Burns and Devin Brierly, experienced players known for their defense and passing, will likely be asked to pick up their scoring this season. Burns has a career scoring average of 5.4 and Brierly at 4.4. Both players have shown the ability to score, however. Burns has 10 double-digit scoring games over the past two seasons and Brierly has eight. Brierly scored 19 in a win against Milwaukee last season.

 

37th Season Of Hoops: The 2011-12 season is Butler's 37th as a varsity program. BU is 527-419 (.555) all-time, including a 148-127 mark under 10th-year head coach Beth Couture.

...37th Season Opener: Butler is 12-24 all-time in season openers, often playing on the road to start the season. BU lost last year's opener 77-63 at Bradley when the Braves were opening their new arena.

Bulldogs Finish Second: Butler placed second in both the Horizon League regular season and the league tournament last year, accomplishing that feat for the second straight year. BU was 12-6 in league play and defeated Detroit and Cleveland State en route to the league tourney final, won by Green Bay. 

Butler vs. UNLV: Butler and UNLV have met once before in women's basketball, in the postseason in 1993. Butler defeated the Rebels 74-71 in a game played in Amarillo, Texas. 

Butler In The Horizon League: Butler has consistently been the Horizon League's second-best program. The Dawgs are 40-14 in league play over the past three seasons, finishing second in the regular season standings all three times. Green Bay has been the perennial first-place team in the league and advanced to the Sweet 16 last year.

Last Visit To Iowa: In Beth Couture's second year at BU, the Dawgs opened their 2003-04 campaign at Iowa in this same tournament. Here's how the Bulldogs fared eight years ago in Iowa City:

Iowa 83, Butler 60: Jamie Cavey scored 26 points for Iowa as BU trailed 42-37 at the half before the Hawkeyes pulled away.

Gonzaga 65, Butler 59: Gonzaga shot 58 percent from the floor. Butler out- scored GU 35-33 in the second half.  

Couture Is No. 1: Beth Couture, with 147 victories at Butler, sits alone atop BU's all-time women's basketball wins list. Couture last season passed Linda Mason, who coached at BU from 1976-84 and won 124 games. The record-breaking victory came at UIC on March 4 of last season.

400: On Jan. 29 of last season, Beth Couture picked up her 400th career win. The 10th-year Bulldog coach now owns 406 career wins, including 148 at Butler. Only 48 other active NCAA coaches have 400 career victories.

Looking For Big Ten Win: Should Butler play Iowa on Sunday, the Dawgs will be looking for a rare Big Ten win. BU has dropped its last 13 contests against Big Ten opponents, and the Bulldogs are 3-15 against Big Ten teams since 1989. BU's last win against a school from the Big Ten Conference came against Illinois in 1998. 

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.

BU vs. MWC: Butler is 1-2 all-time against current members of the Mountain West Conference. Other than BU's one win over UNLV, Butler has losses to Air Force and Colorado State.

Simple...Just Make Shots: Sometimes the difference between winning and losing is simple. In last year's 20 victories, Butler shot .456 from the floor and scored 71.7 points per game. In 14 losses, BU was shooting .364 and scoring 60.7 points per game. Last season, Butler was 18-0 when shooting a better percentage than its opponent and 2-14 when shooting worse.

Bulldogs Nationally In 2011: Graduated seniors Chloe Hamilton and Brittany Bowen were among the national leaders last season. Hamilton finished fifth in the country in field goal percentage, Brittany Bowen can be found in the most recent NCAA stats. Bowen ranks 21st in the nation in free throw percentage (.867) and 84th in field goal percentage (.470). As a team, the Bulldogs are 37th in free throw shooting, 50th in assists, 56th in assist-to-turnover ratio, 66th in field goal shooting and 88th in scoring offense. 

Butler Background: Amanda Raker, a freshman from Indianapolis, has the pedigree for success at Butler. Her father, Gary, played two seasons of basketball at BU from 1978-80 after playing two years at Oklahoma. Gary Raker, a 1975 Indiana All-Star, averaged 11.8 points per game over 52 games at Butler.

Up Next: After this weekend's play at Iowa, the Bulldogs will play at IPFW Sunday, Nov. 20 at 2 p.m. ET. Butler's home opener is Wednesday, Nov. 30 vs. Bradley.

Exhibition - Butler 76, St. Francis 59 (Oct. 30)

Sophomore center Sarah Hamm scored 22 points to lead the Butler women's basketball team to a 76-59 exhibition win over St. Francis Sunday afternoon at Hinkle Fieldhouse. 

Freshman Haley Howard added 11 for the Bulldogs, who were 20-14 and finished second in the Horizon League last year. Every active player played at least nine minutes and all but one Bulldog player scored.

The Bulldogs, who led 41-33 at halftime, out-rebounded the Cougars 46-29 and had 18 assists against 12 turnovers. The final 17-point margin was the largest of the game, as BU pulled away in the last 10 minutes. 

Bulldogs Add 4 Standouts In Early Signing Period

The Butler women's basketball team has signed four players to National Letters of Intent on the first day of the early signing period. Katie Brewer, Blaire Langlois, Lexus Murry and Olivia Wrencher will join the Bulldogs in the fall of 2012.

"We are thrilled to sign these four young ladies," head coach Beth Couture said. "We feel like the skills they will bring will compliment the great young group we have now. Each of the four brings something different to the table and we couldn't be happier that they have decided to join our Butler family."

Brewer, a forward from Roncalli High School in Indianapolis, is a two-time all-state selection and a 2011 Indiana North Junior All-Star. She has twice been named All-Marion County and earned honorable mention all-county honors as a freshman in 2009. She has been named to the IBCA Top 100 Showcase twice and played in the Indiana Class Basketball Junior All-Star Game. Brewer has guided the Rebels to three straight sectional titles and a regional championship in 2011.

Langlois, a guard from Carmel, Ind., is an Indiana Junior All-Star who led Carmel to a regional championship last season. An IBCA Underclass All-State honoree, Langlois has been named all-county and all-conference. She was also picked to the 2011 Indianapolis Star Super Team and the 2011 Indianapolis All-North Team. A three-year Carmel and conference scholar-athlete, Langlois' AAU team has won two state championships.  

Murry, from Decatur Central on Indianapolis' southside, is an all-conference and all-county player who averaged 22.2 points and 3.5 steals per game last season. She was an Indiana Junior All-Star finalist and a member of the Indianapolis Star Super Team. As a sophomore in 2010, Murry averaged 10.0 points and was honorable mention all-county. Murry enters the season with 815 career points at Decatur Central.

Wrencher, a post player from the Cincinnati area, is enrolled in school at Lakota East High School. She played in five games last season at Lakota West before transferring. She won her school's academic award the past three years, which is given to outstanding student-athletes with a 3.5 GPA or better. A team captain as a junior, Wrencher is also involved with the Peer Mediation Club and African-American Achievement Club.