Butler Kicks Off the Weekend at Valparaiso

Butler Kicks Off the Weekend at Valparaiso
Sarah Hamm

Game Notes

Twitter - @ButlerWBB

INDIANAPOLIS – The Butler women's basketball team will be busy this weekend with a Friday night tip at Valparaiso followed by a 2 p.m. tip vs. Northern Kentucky at Hinkle Fieldhouse on Sunday beginning at 2 p.m.

Gameday Information
Friday, Dec. 13, 2013 / 8:05 PM
Location: Valparaiso, Ind. / Athletics-Recreation Center (5,400)
Live Stats: ValpoAthletics.com
Series History: Butler leads the all-time series over Valparaiso 21-7
Last Meeting: Butler defeated Valparaiso 69-55 during the 2012-13 season

About Butler
The Bulldogs are led by senior guard/forward Daress McClung who is averaging 15.8 points per game after exploding for a season-high 23 points against UIC. Liz Stratman and Taylor Schippers are also scoring in double figures for Butler as the team looks to improve on their 3-5 overall record.

Stratman provides Butler with a one-two punch in the paint by averaging 15.4 points per game along with 5.9 rebounds. Schippers on the other hand works from the perimeter as a combo guard. She leads the team in assists, is second in steals and ranks third on the team in scoring.

Haley Howard and Mandy McDivitt round out the starting lineup for BU. Howard, a redshirt sophomore from Whiteland, Ind. gives Butler an attacking wing player that can also distribute the ball. She is currently averaging six points per game and is tied for second on the team in assists along with McDivitt.

McDivitt is a lock down defender for the Bulldogs that also gets involved offensively with her range as she leads the team with 16 3-point field goals. Averaging 7.8 points per game, a majority of McDivitt's looks come from behind the arc.

The Bulldogs have a deep roster with plenty of support off the bench, but that depth took a hit last weekend as Sarah Hamm injured her knee for the fourth time in her career. At this time it looks as if the redshirt junior will miss the rest of the season.   

Scouting Valpo
The Crusaders have won two-straight and are now 2-7 on the year with wins over Chicago State and Toledo. Valpo used a last second put back to beat the Rockets in the Toledo Invite after crushing Chicago State 74-50 the night before to record their first win of the season.

The team has faced a challenging schedule at the start the 2013-14 season. Most games have been played on the road or in a tournament setting as Friday night marks just the second home game of the season for Valpo.

The Crusaders are led by Sharon Karungi and Jessi Wiedemann. Karungi leads the team in points and rebounds. She controls the paint for Valpo playing as the only forward in the Crusader starting lineup. Wiedemann is a sophomore guard who is averaging just under 10 points per game. She has started in all nine contests.

All-Time Series
Butler holds a large 21-7 lead over Valparaiso in the all-time series. The last contest played between these two programs came one year ago as Butler recorded a 69-55 win over the Crusaders on Nov. 19. These two teams are familiar with each other as each used to be a member of the Horizon League. Valpo sent Butler out of the league on a low note taking two wins over the 'Dogs in the 2011-12 season.

Last Time Out
The Butler women's basketball program took another tough loss on Saturday afternoon with a 62-57 setback vs. UIC. The teams were separated by a single point after the final media time out of the second half, but the Flames came out on top to improve to 6-2 on the year.

Butler (3-5) was led by Daress McClung who scored a game-high 23 points to go along with 12 rebounds giving her a double-double. McClung was also a key player on the defensive end with three steals and two blocks.

Mandy McDivitt and Liz Stratman also provided Butler with scoring as McDivitt hit two 3-point field goals on her way to scoring 10 points and Stratman ran the floor to get her eight.

Bulldog Bits
- Daress McClung scored a season-high 23 points vs. UIC on 8-of-19 shooting
- Mandy McDivitt has 19 assists on the year with just three turnovers
- The Bulldogs are a perfect 2-0 when playing on Friday night
- Blaire Langlois recorded a career-high three steals vs. UIC
- Butler is still searching for their first road win of the season
- McClung grabbed a season-high 12 rebounds, including five on the offensive glass
- McDivitt moved to seventh all-time at Butler with 129 career 3-point field goals
- Taylor Schippers came up with a season-high four steals vs. UIC
- Liz Stratman leads the BIG EAST conference in blocked shots (15) 

Probable Starters
#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.

Stratman Named BIG EAST Player of the Week                                
Butler center Liz Stratman was honored as the BIG EAST Player of the Week for her outstanding performances in the 2013 Las Vegas Thanksgiving Shootout. The conference office announced the decision on Monday, Dec. 2.

Stratman averaged 23.0 points and 5.5 rebounds in a pair of victories during the Las Vegas Thanksgiving Shootout. The junior shot 18-of-28 (.640) from the floor for the two games. Stratman posted 21 points and eight rebounds in a 66-54 win over Utah. In a 74-51 victory against Eastern Washington, she scored 25 points in 20 minutes.

Close But No Cigar
The Bulldogs are 0-4 this year in games decided by five points or less. After defeating Cleveland State 85-69 in the season opener, Butler lost 81-76 at Eastern Michigan in overtime and also took a 90-86 overtime setback to St. Mary's inside Hinkle Fieldhouse.

Two days after playing the Gaels, Butler was back on the court for a nail-biter against Bowling Green. The game was tied at 57-57 with 42 seconds to play, but the Falcons pulled out a four-point win with two late free throws. The most recent game to come down to the wire for Butler was a five point loss vs. UIC. The game was tied at the final media time out, but the Flames executed down the stretch to earn the close win.

Fantastic Four
Daress McClung, Liz Stratman, Taylor Schippers and Mandy McDivitt have all appeared in the starting lineup for Butler in all eight games. The group averages 50 points per game as a unit with McClung and Stratman controlling the paint and Shippers and McDivitt attacking from the perimeter.

Turnover Battle
Butler has yet to win a game this year when they record more turnovers than their opponent. The Crusaders come into Friday averaging 20 turnovers a game, a figure that is six higher than Butler's average of 14 per contest.

Friday Night Fun
The Bulldogs are 2-0 on the season when playing on Friday night's. Butler defeated Cleveland State 85-69 on a Friday night to start the 2013-14 season and a 66-54 win over Utah on Friday, Nov. 29 kept BU perfect during Friday night games.

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 634.

McDivitt for 3!
Senior Mandy McDivitt has 129 career 3-point field goals placing her 7th 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 two 3-point field goals in her last game vs. UIC.

3 Years... 3 Conferences              
The Butler Bulldogs were part of the Horizon League for 11 years before making the switch to the Atlantic 10 in 2012-13. The conference change to the A-10 was only the beginning as Butler joined the BIG EAST conference at the start of the 2013-14 season. The new BIG EAST conference includes Creighton, DePaul, Georgetown, Marquette, Providence, St. John's, Seton Hall, Villanova and Xavier.

Up Next
Butler will host the Northern Kentucky Norse on Sunday, Dec. 15. Tip-off against the Norse is slated for 2 p.m.