Bulldogs Back In Philly To Take On Saint Joseph’s
2012-13 Butler Women's Basketball
The Starting 5 - Butler's Top Storylines
1. Hot Streak: With a young team that saw three key rotation players go down with injuries before the season, Butler got off to a slow start in November. The Bulldogs have stayed together to win 10 of their last 12 games. BU is currently 6-1 in January after posting a 4-2 mark in December. One reason has been all of the new players meshing together better, but another reason has been the addition of 6-2 transfer Liz Stratman. The sophomore center averages 12.0 points and BU is 9-2 with her in the lineup.
2. Balanced Attack: Butler has had four primary scoring options emerge this season, two in the post and two on the perimeter. Taylor Schippers and Hannah Douglas are BU's outside scoring threats. Schippers averages 14.2 points and leads Butler in 3-pointers made. Douglas, a 9.2-point scorer, is known for driving to the basket and her mid-range game. Daress McClung (team-leading 16.6 points) can shoot, score in the post and get putbacks. Liz Stratman scores 12.0 points a game on the block and scoring in transition.
3. 'Do-It-All' Daress: Daress McClung, BU's leading scorer and rebounder, has filled the stat sheet almost on a nightly basis. The 6-0 junior ranks third in the A-10 in points (16.6) and fourth in rebounds (9.6) while also leading the conference in blocks (2.8). McClung averages 2.6 steals per game, good for fourth in the A-10, and she appears among the league leaders in field goal and free throw percentage. She owns seven outings with 4+ blocks and six games with 4+ steals.
4. Block Party: The Bulldogs are leading the A-10 and currently rank second in the country in blocked shots with 6.8 swats per game. Nine 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 and La Salle. In addition to Daress McClung leading the conference in blocks (2.8), Liz Stratman averages 3.1 swats per game and is on pace to be ranked nationally when she has played in enough games. Stratman had four blocks at UMass and against VCU.
5. Frequent Fliers: When playing in the Horizon League, Butler traveled by bus almost all of the time. The Bulldogs now only have one bus ride in all of conference play, when they travel to Saint Louis for a midweek game Wednesday, Feb. 20. The Bulldogs traveled by charter flight to Saint Joseph's.
Butler vs. St. Joe's: The Bulldogs and Hawks are meeting for the first time ever in women's basketball.
Philly Visits: This trip to Saint Joseph's marks the second of three visits to Philadelphia for the Bulldogs. BU has already won at La Salle on Jan. 20 and after Wednesday's game will likely return for the Atlantic 10 tournament at Hagan Arena in March.
Player of the Week Twice: Daress McClung has been picked as Atlantic 10 Women's Basketball Player of the Week twice this season. Her first honor came Dec. 17 after she had 15 points and 13 rebounds in a win at Northern Kentucky. The 6-0 forward picked up another notice on Jan. 7 after posting 26.5 points and 15.0 rebounds in BU's wins at Cleveland State and UIC. She posted 22 points and 18 rebounds at CSU then totaled 31 points and 12 rebounds to lead BU to an 84-61 win in Chicago.
Daress' Big Games: Daress McClung, BU's leader in scoring, rebounding, steals and blocks, has put together some monster games this season. She had 25 points and nine rebounds vs. VCU, her sixth game this season with at least 20 points. McClung, who owns eight double-doubles this season, is averaging 21.3 points over the last three games.
Double-Double Duos: Twice this season BU has had two players with a double-double in the same game. Daress McClung (31 pts, 12 rebs) and Taylor Schippers (10 pts, 10 asts) posted double-doubles at UIC and McClung (20 points, 10 rebs) and Liz Stratman (14 points, 10 rebs) did at UMass.
Schippers Icing Games: If Butler has a late lead, the Bulldogs want the ball to go to Taylor Schippers. The BU point guard is shooting .854 from the foul line (41-of-48) during the last 5:00 of games this season. As a team, Butler is shooting .717 at the FT line during the last five minutes.
Strat's Firsts: Liz Stratman started at UMass last week, her first career start. She made it count, totaling 14 points, 10 rebounds and four blocks. It was also her first career double-double.
Stratman Takes Down Old Team: Liz Stratman had extra motivation in the win over Xavier, her former team. The 6-2 Stratman came off the bench for 13 points and eight rebounds as BU defeated XU. She played in 12 games there last year before transferring to Butler in December 2011. She averaged 15.5 minutes and 3.2 points per game before choosing to leave for BU.
Blaire Force One: One player who has earned more playing time recently has been Blaire Langlois. The freshman guard put up 14 points in BU's win over Xavier, including 4-for-6 from beyond the arc. She played a career-high 25 minutes at La Salle and then had seven points at UMass. In the first 16 games of the season, she had 16 points. She's scored 24 over the last four games.
Scoring Jump: Taylor Schippers poured in 19 points at UMass, her highest scoring total since she scored 27 against St. Mary's back in November. She scored in double figures in 14 of the season's first 15 games and 16 of 20 overall.
Road Warriors: Butler has bucked conventional wisdom that young teams struggle to win on the road. The Bulldogs, with no seniors actively playing, are 7-3 in true road games this season. That includes a 2-0 mark in A-10 play, as BU has claimed double-digit wins at La Salle and UMass.
2nd Half vs. VCU: Leading 24-20 at halftime, the Bulldogs rolled past VCU in the second half. Butler won the period 41-25, holding the Rams to .235 shooting. Offensively, BU shot .538 and made 9 of its 11 free throws.
Charity Work: Butler had season highs in free throws made (24) and attempted (35) at UMass last week. Part of that was because UMass decided to foul in the final minute when they were down 15, but the Bulldogs had been drawing fouls in order to build that big lead. Taylor Schippers, Liz Stratman and Daress McClung combined to shoot 20 foul shots, convering 14. Butler is 5-0 this season when attempting at least 20 free throws.
Not A Bad Weekend: Beth Couture called Daress McClung's performances against Cleveland State and UIC at the beginning of January the best back-to-back games she's seen as a coach. McClung posted 22 points and 18 boards at Cleveland State and then followed that with her 31-point, 12-board outburst at UIC.
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 (56-54) and UIC (84-61).
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.
In The Classroom: Seven BU players earned a 3.30 GPA or better during the fall semester. As a team, the Bulldogs boast a 3.14 cumulative GPA.
In The National Rankings: In addition to being second in the country in blocks (6.8), BU stands among the nation's best in taking care of the ball. Butler ranks 61st in turnovers (15.3) and 56th in assist-turnover ratio (0.93). The Bulldogs are also 84th in the country in assists (14.2). Individually, Daress McClung stands 12th in blocks and 54th in rebounding.
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 12 times this season. She has scored exactly her season high of 13 points three times this season. Douglas' career high of 31 points came last year against Wright State. Her emergence slashing to the basket and crashing the offensive glass gives BU a dependable perimeter scorer on the wing.
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. Bornhorst played in 61 career games with 37 starts, averaging 4.7 points and 5.1 rebounds.
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.
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: Butler has a week off after Wednesday's contest at Saint Joseph's. BU hosts Rhode Island Wednesday, Feb. 7 at 7 p.m.