Twitter - @ButlerWBB
INDIANAPOLIS – The Butler women's basketball team will spend the Thanksgiving holiday in Las Vegas, Nev. with a pair of games on the schedule against Utah and Eastern Washington. The first game of the weekend will be played vs. Utah on Friday, Nov. 29. Game two will be held on Saturday, Nov. 30. Each game will be played at South Point Arena and will begin at 8 p.m.
The Bulldogs started the season 1-0 with an 85-69 victory over Cleveland State in the home opener, but four-straight losses has moved Butler's overall record to 1-4. The team played in back-to-back overtime games, taking the loss in each contest.
This weekend's tournament will be the first game played by Butler on a neutral court. The team is still in search of their first win away from Hinkle Fieldhouse.
The tandem Daress McClung and Liz Stratman can be hard to stop as each player has impacted games for Butler early in the 2013 season. McClung is averaging a team-high 15.2 points to go along with 6.8 rebounds and teammate Stratman is solid each night averaging 13.8 points and 6.2 boards.
Perimeter scoring is led by point guard Taylor Schippers and redshirt sophomore Haley Howard. Schippers improved her points per game average to 13.6 after lighting Indiana up for 19 points. Howard is getting back into the mix after missing time last year. She is scoring 8.3 points per game.
Utah traveled to Las Vegas early in the week to face UNLV on Tuesday night. The Utes improved to 2-2 with a 66-59 road win over the Lady Rebels. Michelle Plouffe once again led the team in points and rebounds going off for 26 and 11. Plouffe leads the team in both categories with a 20.3 scoring average and 11.8 rebounds per contest.
The Utes also get scoring from Emily Potter (10.0 ppg) and Danielle Rodriguez (9.0 ppg). Rodriguez also serves as the floor general for Utah as she leads the team with 6.2 assists per game.
Scouting Eastern Washington
The Eagles are still looking for their first win of the season as they enter the tournament with an 0-3 overall record. Losses at Portland and Gonzaga surround a 75-70 home loss to SMU for Eastern Washington.
Three players average a double-figure scoring total at Eastern Washington with Laura Hughes, Lexie Nelson and Hayley Hodgins filling it up each night. Hughes leads all players in scoring with an 18.0 points per game average. She doubles as the team's leading rebounder, pulling down just over five boards per game.
Hughes, Nelson and Hodgins have started in all three games for EWU. Nelson is currently averaging 13.3 points per game and Hodgins is close behind at 11.0. The Eagles are averaging 64.3 points per game as a team, but have been giving up 73.7 to opponents.
Butler trails Utah 1-0 in the all-time series. The Utes defeated Butler 77-54 in the only meeting between the two programs back during the 2001-02 season. Saturday night's game between Butler and Eastern Washington will be the first-ever matchup between the two schools.
Last Time Out
Indiana defeated Butler by the final score of 84-69. Daress McClung and Taylor Schippers led BU in a losing effort with 19 points each.
McClung shot 8-for-17 against Indiana which included a 3-for-6 effort from the charity stripe. She hurt the Hoosiers inside while Schippers attacked from the perimeter going 3-of-7 from distance. 14 of Schippers' 19 points were scored in the second half.
Haley Howard and Liz Stratman combined to score the first nine points of the game for Butler, but foul trouble would end that combination as the two were limited after being whistled for two fouls early in the first half. Stratman hit 4-of-6 from the floor to finish with nine points and Howard poured in all seven of her points in the first 20 minutes of play.
Schippers put together one of the best all-around games she has had in a Butler uniform as she pulled down a career-high 10 rebounds while dishing out eight assists. She was also perfect from the line going 6-for-6.
#1 Taylor Schippers, 5-8 Guard, Junior from Houston, Texas
#3 Haley Howard, 5-11 Forward, Redshirt-Sophomore from Whiteland, Indiana
#5 Liz Stratman, 6-2 Forward, Junior from New Palestine, Indiana
#10 Mandy McDivitt, 5-8 Guard, Senior from Connersville, Indiana
#21 Daress McClung, 6-0 Guard/Forward, Senior from Indianapolis, Indiana
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 1,461 points, the fifth-most in Butler history. McClung's chase to 1,000 is currently at 584.
McDivitt for 3!
Senior Mandy McDivitt has 122 career 3-point field goals placing her 9th all-time in the Butler record book. McDivitt recorded 25 3-point field goals as a freshman, 47 as a sophomore, and 41 as a junior. She made one 3-point field goal in her last game at Indiana.
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 in 2008-09 and also have first round appearances in 2009-10, 2010-11 and most recently in 2012-13.
The month of December will begin with a home game vs. UIC for Butler. The game will be played on Dec. 7 at 12:00 PM. The first road test for the 'Dogs will be at Valparaiso on Dec. 13.