January 16, 2013

Butler Hosts Xavier Thursday Night

2012-13 Butler Women's Basketball

Butler (9-7, 0-1) vs. Xavier (6-9, 0-1)
Thursday, Feb. 17 - 7 p.m. ET
Indianapolis, Ind. - Hinkle Fieldhouse
Live Video  |  Live Stats  |  Game Notes

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The Starting 5 - Butler's Top Storylines 

1. Stratman Going Against Former Team: Thursday's game will pit Butler sophomore Liz Stratman against her former team. The 6-2 Stratman enrolled at Xavier and played in 12 games there last year before transferring to Butler at semester. She averaged 15.5 minutes and 3.2 points per game before choosing to leave for BU. The game against XU will be Stratman's eighth in a Bulldog uniform, as she became eligible after final exams in December.

2. Player of the Week Twice: Daress McClung has been picked as Atlantic 10 Women's Basketball Player of the Week twice. Her first honor came Dec. 17 after she went for 15 points and 13 rebounds in a win at Northern Kentucky. The 6-0 forward and Indianapolis native picked up another honor after posting 26.5 points and 15.0 rebounds in BU's wins at Cleveland State and UIC. She started the weekend with 22 points and 18 rebounds to lead Butler to a 56-54 win at CSU. McClung finished with 31 points and 12 rebounds on 13-for-17 shooting to lead BU to an 84-61 win in Chicago. 

3. Daress Playing 'D': In addition to being Butler's leading scorer and rebounder, Daress McClung has put up some impressive blocks and steals numbers this season. McClung leads the A-10 in blocks with 2.6 per game and owns nine outings with 3+ blocks. She also averages 2.6 steals per game, ranking fourth in the A-10. She has seven games with 3+ steals. 

4. Block Party: The Bulldogs are leading the A-10 and standing fifth in the country in blocked shots with 6.4 swats per game. Seven times this season the Bulldogs have rejected at least eight shots in a game. BU swatted a season-best 12 shots against Illinois State and also had 11 blocks vs. Valparaiso back in November. Individually, Daress McClung leads the conference and stands 15th in the nation with 2.6 blocks per game. Liz Stratman averages 3.3 blocks per game and is on pace to be ranked in the top 10 nationally when she's played in enough games. 

5. TV This Weekend: Butler's A-10 road opener at La Salle this Sunday will be televised on CBS Sports Network. John Sadak and Julianne Viani will have the call in Philadelphia. The game against the Explorers will be at 2 p.m. ET.

 

Butler vs. Xavier: The Bulldogs lead the all-time series 16-14, but the two teams haven't played since December of 2000. This is Beth Couture's first contest against Xavier. Butler is 10-5 all-time against XU at Hinkle. The two schools were conference opponents from 1984-95. 

BU vs. State Of Ohio: Over the past four seasons, the Bulldogs are 27-10 against schools from the state of Ohio. Butler is 1-1 against such schools this season.

Not A Bad Weekend: Beth Couture called Daress McClung's performances against Cleveland State and UIC the best back-to-back games she's seen as a coach. McClung now has seven double-doubles after posting 22 points and 18 boards at Cleveland State and then her 31-point, 12-board outburst at UIC. 

Daress Doubling Up: Daress McClung is averaging team-best totals of 16.4 points and 10.1 rebounds. There are currently 37 players averaging a double-double, including four in the Atlantic 10. 

More On McClung: Daress McClung's total of 18 rebounds at Cleveland State is the most a player has had since Beth Couture has been coach at Butler. The last time a BU player grabbed 19 rebounds in a game came in 1984. 

The Last Time: With 10 helpers at UIC, Taylor Schippers became the first Butler player to have 10 assists in a game since Terra Burns did it in 2010. Daress McClung's total of 31 points in that game was the most since Hannah Douglas went for 31 last season vs. Wright State.

(Former) League Sweep: In its first season out of the Horizon League, Butler posted a 3-0 mark against HL schools. The Bulldogs defeated Valparaiso 69-55 in November and then began January with road wins at Cleveland State and UIC.

Butler In The HL: Before leaving for the A-10, 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.

Double-Double Duo: Both Daress McClung (31 pts, 12 rebs) and Taylor Schippers (10 pts, 10 asts) posted double-doubles at UIC. It marked the first time BU has had two players post double-doubles in the same game since Butler's 2009 WNIT win at Duquesne (Brittany Bowen and Lade Akande).

For Starters: Through the first 16 games this season, Beth Couture has used the same starting lineup. That's the longest stretch of using the same lineup to start a season in her 11 years at Butler. Last season, Butler used nine different starting lineup combinations.

Quickly About Dayton: Dayton's win over Butler was BU's largest margin of defeat since an 81-38 loss at Purdue in 2006. The Flyers held the Bulldogs to season lows in points (39), field goals (15) and FG percentage (.268). Butler was 0-for-14 from 3-point range.

Big Ten Win: Butler's 59-56 win over Indiana on Dec. 9 was BU's first win over a Big Ten opponent for Beth Couture and the first since 1998. That season, BU defeated Michigan State and Illinois. Daress McClung led the Bulldogs with 21 points and 12 boards against the Hoosiers. BU led by 22 at one point and had a 40-25 lead before hanging on in the final minute. 

Daress vs. X: Daress McClung is the only player who has played against Xavier. As a freshman at Cincinnati in 2009, McClung started for UC against XU. She scored four points in 22 minutes in Xavier's 68-39 win.

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.

In The National Rankings: In addition to being fifth in the country in blocks (6.4), BU stands 74th in turnovers (15.6), 82nd in free throw percentage (.714) and 86th in assist-turnover ratio (0.86). Daress McClung is in the top 50 nationally in rebounding (43rd), blocks (15th) and doubles-doubles (30th). 

Going Inside: With Daress McClung and Liz Stratman scoring effectively inside, Butler has made more of an effort to work the ball inside. In its nine victories, BU attempts 20 free throws while shooting 7.9 3-pointers a game. In their six losses, the Dawgs have hoisted 19.4 shots from 3-point range while attempting 13.9 free throws a game. Passing into the post has been a trend in helping BU win games.

Indiana Sweep: Butler will have bragging rights within Indiana borders for the next year. BU went 5-0 against Indiana schools, with wins over Indiana, Valparaiso, Indiana State, Ball State and IUPUI. It marks the second time Butler has swept Indiana schools under Beth Couture. In 2009-10, BU went 6-0 against in-state opponents.

Hannah Consistent: Hannah Douglas has been a consistent scorer, posting between 9 and 13 points 10 times this season. She tied her season high with 13 points at UIC. Douglas' career high of 31 points came last year against Wright State. Her emergence slashing to the basket gives BU a dependable perimeter scorer.

Injury Timeout: Butler has played this entire season without three key players. 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. 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. 

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 was 96-62 during the five seasons before this year. 

Ball Control: Butler commits just 15.6 turnovers per game, ranking 74th in the country. Before last weekend's game vs. Dayton, the Bulldogs had no more than 13 turnovers in each of the previous four games. During a three-game stretch in November, Butler averaged just 10.3 turnovers per game. BU had nine turnovers against Fairfield, 10 against Valparaiso and 12 at St. Mary's. Only thrice has Butler surpassed 20+ turnovers (at Ball State, at IUPUI, vs. UD). 

December Record: Butler shook off a slow November to go 4-2 in the final month of 2012. It was BU's best December record since 2009, when it was 5-1. The Bulldogs were 3-4 in December last season.

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.

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.

Up Next: Butler will have its first A-10 road game this weekend when it travels to La Salle Sunday, Jan. 20 for a 2 p.m. game. The tilt at La Salle will be televised on CBS Sports Network.