Bulldogs Travel To IPFW
The Butler women's basketball team will play a familiar opponent this weekend, playing at IPFW Sunday, Nov. 20. Butler is coming off a season-opening 1-1 trip to Iowa. BU defeated Harvard 69-68 after dropping the season opener to UNLV.
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. Dawgs Making A Difference: Head coach Beth Couture and the Bulldogs will visit Lutheran Children's Hospital Saturday afternoon in Fort Wayne. They will be there visiting and taking part in activities with pediatric inpatients.
3. Burns Named All-Tournament At Iowa: Terra Burns, who led Butler in scoring and rebounding in the first two games of the season, was selected to the Hawkeye Challenge All-Tournament Team. The senior point guard averaged 12.5 points and 6.0 rebounds over the tourney's two games. She had a career-high 17 points and nine rebounds in BU's win over Harvard. Her nine boards tied her career high.
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 at forward. Guard Hannah Douglas and post player Amanda Raker played significant minutes at Iowa and wing Jessika Lark is an athletic player who keeps improving and could see time.
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 5.6 and Brierly at 4.3. Both players have shown the ability to score, however. Burns has 11 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 528-420 (.555) all-time, including a 149-128 mark under 10th-year head coach Beth Couture.
Butler vs. IPFW: Butler and IPFW did not play last season but are quite familiar with each other. BU is 6-3 all-time, having defeated IPFW in 2007, 2008 and 2009. Beth Couture is 5-1 against the Mastodons.
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 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.
Howard Making Impact: In her first weekend of collegiate action, Haley Howard foreshadowed her becoming an impact player for Butler. The 5-11 freshman from Whiteland, Ind., averaged 10.5 points and 4.5 rebounds over the weekend at Iowa. She had 15 points in BU's win over Harvard.
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. Summit: Butler is 22-13 all-time against the Summit League's current membership. That includes a 6-3 mark against IPFW and a 14-7 record vs. IUPUI.
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.
Couture Is No. 1: Beth Couture, with 149 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.
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.
Cobb's Recovery: After playing 11 minutes a game last year as a freshman, Jenna Cobb has moved into the starting lineup alongside Terra Burns. Last Saturday vs. UNLV, Cobb shot 0-for-7 and finished with 0 points in 21 minutes. The very next day, Cobb started the Harvard game with a 3-pointer and scored 8 points over 20 minutes of floor time.
Needing Jennings: With such a young team this year, Butler will at times need to look at some of the players who have been in the program for several years. One player stepping up is junior forward Elizabeth Jennings. The 6-1 Jennings played 146 minutes over her first two seasons, but has seen her playing time increase. She had career highs in minutes (13) and points (5) in last Sunday's win over Harvard.
Pro Dawgs: Two recent Butler players signed pro contracts overseas during the summer. Brittany Bowen, an All-Horizon League player last year who graduated May, signed with a club in Denmark. Just days later, 2010 graduate Susan Lester signed to play professionally in Turkey.
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 149 at Butler. Only 48 other active NCAA coaches have 400 career victories.
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 Sunday's game at IPFW, Butler will travel to Reno, Nev., to play in a tournament at the University of Nevada. The Dawgs will play Nevada and then either Iowa State or Penn State. BU's home opener is Wednesday, Nov. 30 vs. Bradley.