November 1, 2013

Women’s Basketball to Host Exhibition Action on Sunday

Twitter - @ButlerWBB

INDIANAPOLIS – The Butler women's basketball team will be in action for the first time this season as they host the DePauw Tigers in an exhibition game this weekend. Tip-off at Hinkle Fieldhouse is scheduled for Sunday, Nov. 3 at 2 p.m.

Gameday Information
Date: Sunday, Nov. 3, 2013 - 2:00 PM
Location: Indianapolis, Ind. - Hinkle Fieldhouse (10,000)
Series History: Butler leads the all-time series over DePauw 2-0
Last Meeting: Butler defeated DePauw 78-42 during the 1980-81 season

About Butler
The Bulldogs will begin the 2013-14 season with an exhibition game against DePauw. The team returns three starters, including Preseason All-BIG EAST selection Daress McClung who led the team in points, rebounds, and blocks last season. Defensive specialist Mandy McDivitt and combo-guard Taylor Schippers are also back giving the Bulldogs an experienced backcourt as the team prepares for their first season in the BIG EAST conference.

This year's talented roster features two seniors, four juniors, five sophomores and three freshmen. The Bulldogs will have Haley Howard and Sarah Hamm back on the court this year as each player returns after season-ending injuries a year ago. Liz Stratman will also be involved for the entire season after transferring in midway last year from Xavier and newcomer Ijeoma Uchendu will provide the team with a spark as she comes to the program after a stellar career at Central Arizona.

Sophomores Blaire Langlois, Lexus Murry and Olivia Wrencher will provide depth to the Butler roster and the freshman class of Serena Sandusky, Ashton Feldhaus, and Zoe Reichman will fight for minutes early in the season.

Scouting DePauw
The DePauw women's basketball team has been a juggernaut for several years, but last season was truly special as the Tigers posted a 69-51 victory over Wisconsin-Whitewater in the NCAA Division III national championship game.

The Tigers not only captured their second national title in the last seven years and finished with just the seventh undefeated season in Division III history, but they placed themselves in the record book as the only team to win 34 games in a season.

Head Coach Kris Huffman returns three starters from last year's team. Alex Gasaway returns as the team's top returning scorer at the forward position. She averaged just under 13 points per game during her junior campaign. Helping Gasaway round out the starting five will be guards Savannah Trees and Ali Ross. Trees averaged nearly 12 ppg while Ross scored eight on a nightly basis.

2013-14 Season Preview
The Butler women's basketball team will start a new chapter this season as they join the BIG EAST conference. Head Coach Beth Couture brings back a solid nucleus of players from last year's team that reached the WNIT. The Bulldogs have reached postseason play (WNIT) in four out of the last five seasons, but with so much talent and depth on the 2013-14 team; Coach Couture has her sights set even higher.

"Our expectations don't change from year to year," Head Coach Beth Couture explained. "We play hard and try to improve every day in order to make the NCAA Tournament. We feel real fortunate to be in the BIG EAST now because we feel like there are multiple chances to do that versus just winning the tournament at the end of the season."

Butler, who played in the Atlantic 10 last year and the Horizon League before that, posted a 17-14 overall record last year which included an 8-6 mark in A-10 action. The team will play a challenging non-conference schedule in order to prepare for the new landscape of the BIG EAST.

Butler has a strong group of returners that will produce a talented starting five and also give the Bulldogs a good supporting cast which makes Couture very excited for the upcoming season.

"We are going to be deep," Couture stated. "The talent is here, we just have to figure out roles. Only five players can start, but we need everyone to be important for us. I think that if we can put winning first it will be an exciting year for us."

Bulldog Bits
- Butler returned three starters and nine letterwinners from the 2012-13 team.
- Daress McClung was selected to the Preseason All-BIG EAST Team.
- Head Coach Beth Couture has guided Butler to the WNIT four times in the last five years.
- Two seniors, four juniors, five sophomores and three freshmen make up the Butler roster.
- Kurt Godlevske joined the coaching staff after winning a 4A State Championship in 2013.
- Daress McClung led the team in points (16.4), rebounds (9.0) and blocks (2.3) last year
- Ijeoma Uchendu was a honorable mention JUCO All-American selection at Central Arizona.
- Taylor Schippers led the team in assists and 3-point shooting as a sophomore.
- Sarah Hamm and Haley Howard will both return after suffering season-ending injuries last year.

Probable Starters
#1 Taylor Schippers, 5-8 Guard, Junior from Houston, Texas
#10 Mandy McDivitt, 5-8 Guard, Senior from Connersville, Indiana
#21 Daress McClung, 6-0 Guard/Forward, Senior from Indianapolis, Indiana
#3 Haley Howard, 5-11 Forward, Redshirt-Sophomore from Whiteland, Indiana
#5 Liz Stratman, 6-2 Forward, Junior from New Palestine, Indiana

Alumni Scrimmage
The Butler women's basketball program will host an Alumni Game on Sunday at Hinkle Fieldhouse. The game will last approximately 45 minutes and will begin at noon.

BIG EAST Preseason Poll
1) DePaul (8) - 79 Points
2) Creighton (2) - 67 Points
3) St. John's - 62 Points
4) Villanova - 56 Points
5) Marquette - 55 Points
6) Georgetown - 36 Points
7) Butler - 31 Points
8) Providence - 25 Points
9) Xavier - 20 Points
10) Seton Hall - 19 Points

Preseason All-BIG EAST Team
Daress McClung, Butler, G/F, Sr., 6-0, Indianapolis, Ind.
Marissa Janning, Creighton, G, So., 5-8, Watertown, Minn.
Sarah Nelson, Creighton, F, Sr., 6-0, Omaha, Neb.
Jasmine Penny, DePaul, F, Sr., 6-1, Logansport, Ind.
Andrea White, Georgetown, F, 6-0, Sr., Lancaster, Va.
Katherine Plouffe, Marquette, F, Sr., 6-3, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Tori Rule, Providence, Jr., G, 5-7, Minneapolis, Minn.
Aliyyah Handford, St. John's, G, So., 5-9, Newark, N.J.
Ka-Deidre Simmons, Seton Hall, G, R-Jr., 5-8, Newark, N.J.
Caroline Coyer, Villanova, G, So., 5-10, Oak Hill, Va.

1,000 Point Club
Senior Daress McClung scored 508 points during her junior season. The standout transfer from Cincinnati has a chance to become just the 22nd player in Butler women's basketball history to reach 1,000 career points. McClung would be the first Bulldog to accomplish the feat in just two years. The last Bulldog to reach 1,000 career points was Brittany Bowen who attended Butler from 2007-11. She ended her career with 1,4,61 points, the fifth-most in Butler history.

McDivitt for 3!
Senior Mandy McDivitt has 113 career 3-point field goals placing her 10th all-time in the Butler record book. McDivitt recorded 25 3-point field goals as a freshman and ironically hit 47 3-point field goals during both her sophomore and junior seasons giving her a grand total of 113. Jackie Closser (04-07) is the career 3-point field goal record holder with 271.

More Minutes, No Problem
Junior Taylor Schippers averaged 34.5 minutes of playing time per game last season. She ended the year with 1,068 total minutes of court time placing her sixth all-time at Butler for most minutes played in a single-season. Schippers started in all 31 games for the Bulldogs while leading the team in assists and 3-point field goals made.

Couture Eyes Win #200 at Butler
Head Coach Beth Couture has more wins at the helm of the women's basketball program than any other coach in Butler history. She passed Linda Mason who coached at Butler from 1976-84, winning 124 games during that time frame. Couture enters her 12th season at the program with 178 wins as a Bulldog. Her overall career record is 436-275 (24 seasons).

Butler in the WNIT
The Bulldogs have participated in the WNIT four times in the past five years. The team advanced into the second round of the tournament in 2008-09. Butler also has first round appearances in 2009-10, 2010-11 and most recently in 2012-13.

2012 Exhibition Game
Butler clamped down defensively in the second half to defeat Kentucky Wesleyan 68-53 in the 2012 exhibition game. Kentucky Wesleyan didn't score in the second half until the 12:15 mark. By then, Butler led 40-31. BU led by double figures for much of the second period and at one point led 64-43. Butler outscored KWC in the second half 37-22, with the Panthers shooting just .179 after halftime.

A key stretch came when Butler, leading 50-41, went on a 12-2 run to build a 19-point lead. Sophomore Taylor Schippers scored seven points during the surge. Daress McClung led all players with 18 points. Schippers scored 13 and sophomore Haley Howard added 12.

Home Cookin'
Butler only has four non-conference road games on the schedule in 2013-14. The team will play three of their first four games of the season at Hinkle Fieldhouse with the lone road game coming at Eastern Michigan on Nov. 13. The final three road non-conference games of the season are all in the state of Indiana as Butler will travel to face the Hoosiers, Crusaders, and Sycamores before the start of BIG EAST play on Dec. 28.

Up Next
The Bulldogs kickoff the regular season with a home game vs. Cleveland State on Friday Nov. 8. Tip-off between the Vikings and Bulldogs is scheduled for 7 p.m. inside Hinkle Fieldhouse. The first road game of the season will be played at Eastern Michigan on Wednesday Nov. 13.