Bulldogs Conclude Regular Season At Duquesne
2012-13 Butler Women's Basketball
The Starting 5 - Butler's Top Storylines
1. Regular Season Finale: Butler is playing its final game of the regular season already knowing its conference tournament fate. The Bulldogs are the No. 6 seed in the upcoming league tournament, where they'll play the No. 11 seed Friday, March 8 at 7:30 p.m. BU is 8-2 in regular season finale games under Beth Couture.
2. Winning Conference Record: Butler has clinched at least a winning conference record, an impressive feat in the first year of play in a new league. It marks the seventh time in eight years Butler has had a winning conference record. Beside last year, BU had a winning record in conference play for six straight seasons. That includes back-to-back seasons of 14-4 records in the Horizon League.
3. WNIT Rematch: Sunday's contest is a rematch of a 2009 WNIT game, when Butler won at Duquesne 59-58. The Bulldogs, making their first postseason appearance in 11 years, got a basket from Candace Jones in the final seconds to win the game. Lade Akande scored 26 points for Butler, which lost in the second round at Marquette.
4. 'Do-It-All' Daress: Daress McClung has filled the stat sheet almost on a nightly basis. The 6-0 junior ranks second in the A-10 in points (16.3) and blocks (2.4) while standing fourth in rebounds (9.1) and steals (2.3). She also appears among the league's top 10 in field goal and free throw percentage. She owns seven outings with 4+ blocks and seven games with 4+ steals. McClung has scored 20 points or more eight times this year and owns nine of Butler's 11 double-doubles this season.
5. Block Party: The Bulldogs are leading the A-10 and currently rank fifth in the country in blocked shots with 5.9 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 (2.4), Liz Stratman averages 2.6 swats per game and is on pace to be ranked nationally when she has played in enough games. Stratman had four blocks or more five different times this season.
Butler vs. Duquesne: Butler leads the all-time series against Duquesne 3-0. Beside the 59-58 WNIT thriller in 2009 won by BU, the Bulldogs swept the season series in 1993.
Former League Foes: BU and DU were in the same conference for one season. Duquesne spent one year in the MCC (Horizon League) in 1992-93.
Bucking Young Trends: Butler has seven freshmen and sophomores on its team. Conventional wisdom says such a young team shouldn't win close games or on the road. BU has bucked that trend, posting eight wins away from Hinkle. In tight games, the Bulldogs are 5-0 in contests decided by five points or less.
Daress' Big Games: Daress McClung, BU's leader in scoring, rebounding, steals and blocks, has put together some monster games this season. She owns eight outings with 20+ points, and 12 games with at least 19 points. McClung, who owns nine double-doubles this season, has scored in double figures 22 times this season.
Pair Of 20s: Daress McClung (22 points) and Hannah Douglas (20) led Butler in scoring at Saint Louis. It was the first time this season two BU players have scored 20 points in the same game. It was the first time since Devin Brierly and Sarah Hamm combined for 41 at Loyola last February.
BU Hall Of Famers: Two former Butler women's basketball players, Melissa Kilgore (1984-88) and Missi Nelson (1988-89), are going to be inducted into the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame.
Hannah's Best Game: Hannah Douglas scored a season-best 20 points in Butler's win at Saint Louis. Douglas was 6-for-7 from the floor and made all three of her 3-pointers. Her previous season high was 13, which she had scored four times this season. Her career high came last season, when she scored 31 against Wright State.
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.
Bounce Back: The trend this season is for Butler to respond big after a defeat. Butler is 5-2 after a double-digit loss. BU rebounded to beat Ball State, Eastern Michigan, Indiana, Xavier and St. Bonavenure after losing by 10 or more in the previous game.
Improved Shooting: Butler defeated St. Bonaventure and Saint Louis largely due to its hot shooting. The Bulldogs shot a season-high .628 (27-43) to win at Saint Louis. Three days earlier, the Bulldogs posted a .451 shooting percentage vs. St. Bonaventure. Over the past two games, Butler is 15-for-30 from 3-point range, including a 10-for-20 mark against SBU.
Taylor's 10: Taylor Schippers had 10 assists at Saint Louis, her second game with 10 assists this season. She also passed 10 helpers at UIC in January. Schippers is seventh in the A-10 with 4.1 assists per game.
Taylor Raises Up: Taylor Schippers scored 16 points in the second half of Butler's win over Temple, finishing the night with 19. She shot 5-for-9 and made a pair of treys to lift the Dawgs to the win. A pair of 3-pointers that bookended the halftime buzzer lifted a 25-24 Butler lead to 31-24 early in the second half. The 19 points was her highest game since she also scored 19 at Massachusetts.
A-10 Defense: Butler has done an excellent job defending A-10 opponents in league play. The Bulldogs are second in the conference in field goal percentage defense in league play, holding teams to .360 shooting. Butler has held six A-10 opponents (Xavier, VCU, UMass, St. Joe's, Charlotte and Temple) to worse that 33 percent shooting. VCU, La Salle, Rhode Island and St. Bonaventure each failed to score 50 points against Butler.
The Key Against Temple: One hidden key to the Dawgs' win over Temple was the play of Mandy McDivitt and Lexus Murry. The two Butler guards together entered that game average 6.0 points. Both players scored eight points - 10 more than their combined average - in a 59-55 win.
Improved Shooting: BU has put up improved marks in shooting in recent games. Over the last four contests, Butler is shooting .425 from the floor, including .361 from 3-point range. BU has outshot four of its last five opponents.
More On Shooting: BU built a 37-28 lead at halftime at Saint Louis thanks to .696 shooting. It shot .550 in the second half and hung on to win 67-62. Daress McClung was 11-for-12 from the floor and Hannah Douglas was 6-for-7.
Mandy Makes 3s: Mandy McDivitt scored 12 points vs. St. Bonaventure, tying her season high. She buried four 3-pointers on the day. Over the last three games, McDivitt is 7-for-14 from beyond the arc. For her career, the junior guard has made 128 field goals, 105 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 stands as the only time this season Butler 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 St. Joe's, BU led 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.
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 both Michigan State and Illinois. BU led by 22 at one point and had a 40-25 lead before hanging on in the final minute.
Notable Sweeps: Butler will have bragging rights within Indiana borders and against former league foes for the next year. BU went 5-0 against Indiana schools and 3-0 against Horizon League schools. It marks the second time Butler has swept Indiana schools under Beth Couture. In 2009-10, BU went 6-0 against in-state opponents.
Up Next: Butler will be the No. 6 seed in the 2013 Atlantic 10 Championsip at St. Joseph's March 8-10. The Bulldogs will play Friday, March 8 at 7:30 p.m.