February 19, 2013

Bulldogs Have Day Game At Saint Louis

2012-13 Butler Women's Basketball

Butler (15-10, 6-4) at Saint Louis (10-15, 4-6)
Wednesday, Feb. 20 - 1 p.m. ET (12 CT)
St. Louis, Mo. - Chafeitz Arena 
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The Starting 5 - Butler's Top Storylines 

1. League Reunion: Dizzying conference realignment has seen the Butler-Saint Louis series come full circle. BU and SLU were conference opponents from 1986-91. The two teams are back in the same conference again, renewing its series after playing twice as non-conference opponents in recent years. Butler swept a home-and-home set vs. SLU in 2009 and 2010. 

2. 'Do-It-All' Daress: Daress McClung 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 blocks (2.5) while standing fourth in rebounds (9.4) and steals (2.5). She also appears among the league's top 10 in field goal and free throw percentage. McClung has scored 20 points or more seven times and owns seven outings with 4+ blocks and seven games with 4+ steals. Nine of Butler's 11 double-doubles this season have been posted by the forward from Indianapolis.

3. Block Party: The Bulldogs are leading the A-10 and currently are fifth in the country in blocked shots with 6.1 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 ranking third in the A-10 in blocks (2.5), Liz Stratman averages 2.7 swats per game and is on pace to be ranked nationally when she has played in enough games. Stratman has had four blocks or more five different times this season.

4. New Starting Lineup: Butler is 2-1 this season with its new lineup that includes 6-2 sophomore  Liz Stratman in the post. Stratman, a transfer from Xavier, is third on the team in scoring with 11.5 points per game. In her three starts this season the 6-2 Stratman is averaging 11.7 points and 6.7 rebounds. 

5. Different Travel: In the Horizon League, the Bulldogs traveled almost exclusively by bus. Butler would fly once or twice an entire season. The trip to Saint Louis is BU's only bus trip in league play this season. The team hasn't traveled by bus for a came since the first weekend of January. A new conference brought a new travel regimen, and Butler will have flown eight times by this season's end.

 

Butler vs. SLU: The Bulldogs lead the series with SLU 8-5. Butler has won six straight in the series dating back to 1990 when the two schools were in the MCC. Recently, BU scored a win at Saint Louis in 2009 and then won at Hinkle the next year. 

WNIT Rematch: Wednesday's game pits Beth Couture against Lisa Stone, the former coach at Wisconsin. Butler faced UW in the first round of the 2011 WNIT in Madison. Wisconsin won 68-48. 

Becca Knows SLU: The only current Butler player to have played at Saint Louis is Becca Bornhorst. The 6-1 senior scored 14 points in Butler's win at SLU in 2009 when she was a freshman.  

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 owns seven outings with 20+ points, and 11 games with at least 19 points. McClung, who owns nine double-doubles this season, has scored in double figures 20  times this season.

Coaching Connection: Butler associate coach Amy Cherubini made a stop at Saint Louis in her career, coaching on the Billikens' staff under Jill Pizzotti. Cherubini was at SLU from 1998-01, when the team went 41-43.

A-10 Defense: Butler has done an excellent job defending A-10 opponents after 10 games. The Bulldogs are leading the conference in field goal percentage defense in league play, holding teams to .353 shooting. Butler has held five opponents (Xavier, VCU, UMass, St. Joe's and Charlotte) to worse that 33 percent shooting. VCU, La Salle, Rhode Island and St. Bonaventure each failed to score 50 points against Butler. 

Correcting Weaknesses: Butler has all season been near the bottom of the A-10 in rebounding and 3-point shooting. Both of those areas appeared improved in BU's win over SBU. Butler knocked down 10-for-20 from 3-point range and had a +7 rebounding margin against the Bonnies. The Bulldogs allowed just eight offensive rebounds, a season low. 

Mandy Makes 3s: Mandy McDivitt scored 12 points vs. St. Bonaventure, tying her season high. She buried four 3-pointers on the day. For her career, the junior guard has made 126 field goals, 103 of them 3-pointers. Twice last season, McDivitt made six 3-pointers in a game.

Outshot Charlotte: Butler recorded a .440 field goal percentage and actually made one more field goal in the loss at Charlotte. Defensively, BU held Charlotte to .323 shooting, a season low for the 49ers. It was the first time this season Butler has lost when posting a better field goal percentage than its opponent. 

Against A-10's Best: Butler has had two of the leading A-10 teams on the ropes on the road. Playing at then-unbeaten St. Joe's, BU led in that game by as many as 12 and held a 46-44 lead with 6:10 to play in the game. SJU would come back to win late. At Charlotte, Butler led 35-26 at one point and had a 49-47 lead with 5:06 left. Charlotte won in the final minutes. 

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.  

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.

Rebounding Watch: Butler will need to manage the battle on the board at Saint Louis. SLU stands third in the A-10 with a +3.6 rebounding margin. Conversely, Butler is 16th in the league (-4.8).  

Becca Now Active: Becca Bornhorst, originally thought to be out for the season, made her first appearance of the season last week. With injuries leaving Butler with a thin rotation, Bornhorst dressed at Charlotte  at Charlotte. Bornhorst played in 61 career games with 37 starts, averaging 4.7 points and 5.1 rebounds.

Up Next: Butler will host first-time opponent Richmond Saturday, Feb. 23 at 2 p.m. Following the Saint Louis game, BU has just one road game remaining on the schedule (at Duquesne).