Jan. 17, 2006
THE TIP: Coming off an impressive 22-point win at Wright State, Butler looks to continue its Horizon League success Wednesday when Loyola (1-15, 1-4 Horizon League) visits Hinkle Fieldhouse. The Bulldogs enter the contest with a record of 7-8 (3-2). Free video and audio of the 7 p.m. tip is available live at both www.butlersports.com and www.horizonleague.com.
THE SERIES: This is the 47th meeting between the Bulldogs and Loyola. The Ramblers are Butler's most-played opponent with both teams being original members of the Midwestern Collegiate Conference (now Horizon League). Butler leads 30-16 in the series, including a 19-3 edge in Indianapolis. The Bulldogs have won three straight match-ups between the schools, including a sweep of the two-game series last season.
BIG WEEK: Junior Ellen Hamilton picked up Horizon League "Player of the Week" honors on Monday (Jan. 16) after averaging 22.5 points per game in the Bulldogs' two contests last week. Coming off the bench for the first time this season, Hamilton scored 21 points in just 24 minutes against Detroit Thursday. She went 7-of-11 from the field, including 5-of-9 from three-point range. She followed that effort with a career-high 24 points, including six three-pointers, in Saturday's win over Wright State.
Hamilton joins Jackie Closser (Dec. 5) and Lade Akande (Dec. 26) in winning the league's weekly honor. The only other season when three different Bulldogs earned the distinction was the 1996-97 season.
`LADE' IN BLUE: Freshman Lade Akande posted the fifth 20+ point performance of her young career Saturday at Wright State with 21 points on 10-of-18 shooting. She pulled down a career-high 14 rebounds Thursday against Detroit to go along with 11 points for her fourth double-double of the season. Akande has eight straight double-figure scoring games. She's led the team in scoring in five of those eight contests. Akande is averaging 18.8 ppg over her last eight games, compared to 10.7 ppg in her first seven games.
YOUNG GUNS: Butler's last two starting line-ups have featured three freshmen, a sophomore and a junior. Thursday's game against Detroit was the first time in Beth Couture's tenure that three freshmen got the starting nod. Newcomer Lade Akande has started all 15 games for Butler, while Candace Jones and Candyce Brown have joined her recently.
CLIMBING THE CHARTS: With more than a season and a half remaining in her Butler career, junior guard Jackie Closser has moved into tenth place on Butler's career assists list with 251. Closser now trails Brandi Kimble (1990-93) by nine helpers for ninth place. Closser leads the Horizon League at 5.3 assists per game.
THREE-POINT SHOOTOUT: Junior Jackie Closser continues to lead the Horizon League with an average of 3.1 three-pointers per game. That also places her eighth in the nation in treys made. Junior Ellen Hamilton ranks second in the Horizon League in both three-point percentage (.482, 11th nationally) and three-pointers made (2.7 per game, 19th nationally). The duo combined for 11 of the team's season-high 12 three-pointers Saturday against Wright State. The 12 treys set a Nutter Center record.
TRIPLE YOUR PLEASURE: As a team, Butler leads the Horizon League in three-point percentage (.401), hitting 7.9 three-pointers per game. Butler ranks seventh in three-point percentage and is second in the league and seventh in the NCAA in three-pointers made.
HITTING THE TRI-FECTA: Juniors Jackie Closser and Ellen Hamilton continue to climb toward the top spot in career three-pointers with each having more than a full season remaining. Closser has moved into second place and Hamilton is just three bombs shy of third place.
BOEKE'S CAREER DAY: Senior Stephanie Boeke posted career-highs of 11 rebounds and seven assists in Saturday's win over Wright State. Boeke is tied for fourth in the league in rebounding (6.5 per game) and ranks 11th in assists (2.9). Both marks are second on the team.
`CASSIE' NOVA: Sophomore Cassie Freeman pulled down a career-high eight rebounds Thursday against Detroit. She's third on the team and tenth in the Horizon League with an average of 6.2 caroms per game in Horizon League games. Freeman is averaging 5.9 points and 6.0 rebounds per game over the last eight contests.
STEPPING IT UP IN LEAGUE PLAY: Freshman Lade Akande leads the Horizon League at 20.4 points per game in league contests. She adds a league-best average of 2.2 blocks per game and 9.4 rebounds per outing, good for second in the circuit. Junior Ellen Hamilton has hit a league-best 17 treys in league play, needing only 33 attempts (.515) to do so. The Bulldogs are scoring 73.8 points per game in their five league games, the second-highest average among the nine Horizon League institutions.
QUICK SHOTS: Thursday's loss against Detroit was the first this season for Butler when leading at the half, out-shooting its opponent, or in a game decided by five points or less...senior Gina Grussing was one of 12 Butler student-athletes to post a 4.0 grade point average during the fall semester. Grussing joined Boeke, Jackie Closser and Cassie Freeman on the Butler Athletic Director's Academic Honor Roll.
WE'RE GOING STREAKING: The Bulldogs shot a season-best 51 percent against Wright State after three straight games shooting less than 40 percent...Butler has hit at least five three-pointers in all 15 games this season and in 21 of its last 22 outings dating back to last season...Jackie Closser has hit at least one three-pointer in 14 straight games, the longest active streak on the team...Butler has hit at least one three-pointer in 139 straight games, dating back to Feb. 1, 2001.
AGAINST THE RAMBLERS: Junior Ellen Hamilton has scored in double figures in all four previous contests against Loyola. She averages 13.5 points per game and has hit 55 percent (12-of-22) of her three-point attempts...senior Nikki Budgake played a career-high 19 minutes and went 6-of-6 from the free throw line against the Ramblers Feb. 13, 2003...Beth Couture is 3-3 against Loyola, winning the last three contests.
MILLER TIME: Butler announced that 2005 Indiana All-Star Tara Miller has joined the Butler program. Miller transfers to the Bulldogs from Indiana University. The 5-10 guard from Ramsey, Ind. (North Harrison) will have 2.5 seasons of eligibility beginning after the first semester of the 2006-07 season. She began practice with the team Tuesday (Jan. 17), the first day of classes this semester.
WORTHLESS STAT OF THE DAY: Senior Stephanie Boeke has 11 blocks in 416 minutes of action this season after posting 10 in 1,305 career minutes entering the season.