2012-13 Butler Women's Basketball
The Starting 5 - Butler's Top Storylines
1. Hoosier Hospitality: Butler has brought Indiana to Hinkle for a home game for the first time in the series. All four of the previous meeting between the two schools were in Bloomington. The last Big Ten team to come to Hinkle Fieldhouse was Purdue in December of 2006. Purdue won that game over Butler 81-38.
2. Charity Work: Butler is converting 77.7 percent of its free throw attempts, the highest mark in the Atlantic 10 Conference. The Bulldogs currently rank eighth in the nation in free throw percentage as well. Butler has shot at least 75 percent at the foul line in seven of this season's games, highlighted by a 14-for-15 (.933) effort vs. Valparaiso. Individually, BU is led at the charity stripe by Taylor Schippers (.875) and Hannah Douglas (.826).
3. Coaching Connection: Butler assistants Amy Cherubini and Tisha Hill are Indiana alumnae. Cherubini played at IU from 1988-92 and averaged 13.3 points per game as a senior. She held a school record for making 10 3-pointers in a game. Hill played for Indiana during the same years and was the team's starting point guard. She formerly held school career records for assists and steals.
4. Transfers Delivering Early: Daress McClung and Taylor Schippers have been Butler's top two players this season. Schippers, a 5-8 point guard from Oklahoma State, is leading Butler with 18.1 points and 3.4 assists per game. Schippers has three games with 20+ points and has scored at least 15 points in every game except one. McClung, a 6-0 forward, came to BU from Cincinnati. She is averaging 16.0 points and a team-best 8.5 rebounds and leading the team in blocks. She has three double-doubles this season.
5. 4 Straight 20s: Prior to last year, Butler had 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 in 2010-11 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 96-62 during the five seasons before this year.
Butler vs. IU: The Hoosiers have won all four meetings between the two schools. The series dates back to 1989, when Indiana beat BU 75-57. The last meeting came in 2008, with the Hoosiers winning 63-41.
In Hinkle: BU hosted IU once, losing 97-72 on Nov. 1, 2001. Butler made 23 of its 26 free throws that day. IU's Jill Chapman had 26 points and 14 rebounds.
1989: Butler assistant coaches Tisha Hill and Amy Cherubini were sophomores at IU in 1989 when the Hoosiers beat Butler. Hill started and had three points and six assists while Cherubini played nine minutes off the bench.
Schippers Named All-Tourney: Taylor Schippers was picked for the all-tourney team at St. Mary's after Thanksgiving. The 5-8 guard averaged 21.5 points and 3.0 assists per game during the two games in California. Her weekend included a career-high 27-point effort against St. Mary's, then she scored 16 vs. Portland State.
Hannah Consistent: Hannah Douglas has been consistently scoring in double figures. She has scored between 11 and 13 points in each of the last five games. She scored 13 vs. Valparaiso and has been in double digits ever since.
Butler vs. B1G: Butler's last win against a Big Ten team came in 1998, an 81-65 win over Illinois. The Bulldogs also beat Michigan State that year. BU has dropped 13 straight to Big Ten teams since then.
Injury Timeout: Butler is essentially playing without three injured starters. Sarah Hamm, a second team All-Horizon League pick last year and BU's leading scorer and rebounder, will not play this season. She suffered an ACL tear in preseason workouts. Hamm, a 6-2 center, averaged 11.1 points and 5.5 rebounds last year. Haley Howard, a sophomore forward who started in Butler's exhibition game, has a stress fracture and senior Becca Bornhorst is out for the year after offseason surgery.
Steering The 'Schip': Taylor Schippers is Butler's starting point guard and leading scorer. She has scored in double figures in every game, including a career-best 27 points at St. Mary's. Schippers ranks third in the A-10 with 18.1 points per game. She is ninth in the conference in FG percentage (.389) and fourth in FT shooting (.875).
Schippers vs. IU: Taylor Schippers played against Indiana when she was at Oklahoma State last year. OSU won 83-72 and Schippers scored 10 points.
No Experience Needed: In a survey done during the offseason, Butler was listed as the 16th least-experienced team in the nation. The players on BU's roster average 1.077 years of college experience, tied with Nicholls State for 16th.
Christmas Present: Next week, Butler will be getting a big boost after final exams with the addition of Liz Stratman. The 6-2 sophomore transferred to BU from Xavier last year and will be available to play Dec. 16 at Northern Kentucky. Stratman, who was Indianapolis City Player of the Year in high school in 2011, played in 12 games at XU before transferring to Butler.
Daress At The '4': Daress McClung has all three of BU's double-doubles. She poured in 19 points with 10 rebounds against both Marquette and Fairfield and had 18 points and 10 rebounds against Eastern Michigan. She also scored a career-high 20 points at Ball State. She nearly had another double-double this week at Bowling Green, finishing with nine points and a career-high 13 rebounds.
Block Party: The Bulldogs are the A-10 leader in blocked shots, averaging 5.6 rejections per game. Daress McClung is second in the conference with 2.1 blocks per game. She rejected a career-high six shots against Valparaiso. That spearheaded an 11-block effort for BU, the most in a game for the Dawgs since they had 11 stuffs on Nov. 22, 2006 vs. Air Force. McClung also has two games with four blocks each.
Ball Control: Butler commits just 15.1 turnovers per game, the lowest figure in the Atlantic 10 Conference. The Dawgs rank 33rd in the nation in fewest turnovers. During a three-game stretch in November, Butler averaged just 10.3 turnovers per game.
Good Week Of Prep: Beth Couture has said this week's schedule is a fortunate one for Butler. The Bulldogs were able to prepare in practice for Bowling Green, then Sunday will take on Curt Miller's Indiana team. The two teams have a lot of similarities and it could simplify preparation for Butler.
Butler In The HL: Butler was consistently the Horizon League's second-best program. The Dawgs were 49-23 in league play over their last four seasons in the HL, finishing second in the standings three times.
We Need Nametags: Butler has nine freshmen and sophomores on this year's team, and one can say it may be one of the youngest teams in the nation. Beth Couture's squad has seven newcomers, including three transfers. Only four players who enter the season healthy and are able to play saw action on last year's team.
Butler Background: Amanda Raker 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.
Becca Out For The Year: Becca Bornhorst, the team's lone senior on the roster, will not play this season but will remain on the roster. The 6-1 forward, who played in 61 career games with 37 starts, had offseason leg surgery and decided not to play. Bornhorst averaged 4.7 points and 5.1 rebounds per game last season.
Couture Is No. 1: Beth Couture, with 164 victories at Butler, sits alone atop BU's all-time women's basketball wins list. In 2011, Couture passed Linda Mason, who coached at BU from 1976-84 and won 124 games. The record-breaking victory came at UIC on March 4, 2011.
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 is now cancer-free 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 Women 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.
Up Next: Next week is final exams at Butler University. BU will be in action next weekend at Northern Kentucky.