Bulldogs Meet Detroit Monday in Key Horizon League Tilt
Feb. 6, 2006
THE TIP: Butler concludes its three-game Horizon League road trip with a key match-up against the Titans of Detroit Monday evening. Butler (11-10) and Detroit (9-12) enter the contest with identical 6-4 league marks. The Bulldogs are looking to avenge a 71-69 Detroit win last month in Indianapolis. Free video of the 7 p.m. tip will be available live at www.butlersports.com.
THE SERIES: This is the 46th meeting between the Bulldogs and Detroit. The Titans own a 31-14 advantage in the all-time series and have won 18 of 21 contests in Detroit. One of those three road wins for Butler came last season, as the Bulldogs swept the season series. Detroit responded with a 71-69 win Jan. 12 in Indianapolis.
ROAD WARRIORS: Butler is wrapping up a road stretch Monday that has the team away from Hinkle Fieldhouse for five of six contests. The Bulldogs are 3-2 so far during the stretch and have won five of their last seven games. Butler returns to Hinkle Fieldhouse to face UW-Milwaukee Saturday (Feb. 11).
BIG PLAY LADE: Freshman center Lade Akande posted a game-high 21 points Saturday in the Bulldogs' win at Cleveland State. Akande went 9-of-14 from the field, adding 11 rebounds for her fifth career double-double. Saturday's output was Akande's second consecutive 20+ point performance and eighth of her freshman campaign.
REBOUNDING ON THE BOARDS: After being out-rebounded by Youngstown State, 51-26, Thursday, the Bulldogs responded by taking a 36-22 advantage on the boards against Cleveland State in Saturday's win. Butler allowed the Vikings just three offensive rebounds.
CLIMBING THE CHARTS: Junior Jackie Closser is just six three-pointers shy of tying Butler's career mark (167, Debbie Benziger, 1995-98). Closser is also just eight treys shy of matching her own single-season three-pointers mark (67 set last season). She's also moved into eighth place on Butler's career assists list with 286, just 16 shy of the seventh spot.
BENCH PRESS: Butler used a season-low eight players in Saturday's win over Cleveland State. Candace Bain, fresh off 11 points Thursday against Youngstown State, and Candyce Brown each had six points off the bench Saturday. Brown's six points and three assists both tied career-highs for the freshman. Candace Jones added five points and three rebounds. All eight Butler players scored in the win.
BOMBS AWAY: Junior Jackie Closser continues to lead the Horizon League with an average of 2.95 three-pointers made per game. That's the 10th-best mark in the nation.
Closser has played the entire 40 minutes in three straight games and six contests this season.
SHOTS RANG OUT: Junior Ellen Hamilton leads the Horizon League and ranks fifth nationally with .479 accuracy from three-point range. Her .505 field goal percentage is seventh in the conference as well.
Hamilton connected on her only attempt from the field Saturday at CSU, a trey with 2:56 to play that gave the Bulldogs an 11-point lead.
OFFENSIVE BEHAVIOR: Butler is scoring at a 69.8 point-per-game clip so far this season, the second-best mark in the Horizon League. The Bulldogs boast three of the top seven scorers in the Horizon League in Lade Akande (14.9), Jackie Closser (14.9), and Ellen Hamilton (13.8). The trio ranks 4-5-7 in the league standings.
DIALED IN: Butler leads the Horizon League and remains among the national leaders in long distance proficiency. The Bulldogs lead the Horizon League in three-point percentage (.389) and three-pointers per game (7.8). Butler ranks fifth among the NCAA's 324 institutions in three-pointers made and seventh in trey percentage.
Butler went 9-of-18 from three-point range Jan. 28 against Wright State, the seventh time this season shooting 50 percent or better.
STARTING OVER: Sophomore Cassie Freeman has been re-energized by her return to the starting line-up nine games ago. That almost lines up with when Horizon League play began. In conference action, Freeman is averaging 7.4 ppg and 5.7 rpg, while shooting 53 percent from three-point range.
STUFFING THE STATSHEET: Senior Stephanie Boeke ranks in the Horizon League top 10 in assist/turnover ratio (1.86, second), rebounding (6.6, sixth), offensive rebounding (2.2, sixth), assists (3.2, fifth) and blocks (0.7, tenth).
NO. 300: Butler head coach Beth Couture hit the 300 milestone for career wins Jan. 18 with the Bulldogs' 85-72 triumph over Loyola at Hinkle Fieldhouse. The first 258 wins of Couture's career came at Presbyterian College. In her fourth season at Butler, Couture has averaged better than 18 wins per season in her 17 campaigns as a head coach.
DOING THE DISHES: Junior Jackie Closser continues to lead the Horizon League in assists at 5.5 per game. Closser is 25th in the NCAA in assists and hasn't had a game this season with more turnovers than assists.
THREE-POINT SHOOTOUT: Junior Jackie Closser continues to lead the Horizon League with an average of 2.95 three-pointers per game. That also places her 10th in the nation in treys made. Junior Ellen Hamilton is right on her heels (2.67 per game, 16th nationally). The duo ranks 2-3 on Butler's career three-pointers list.
HANDLE WITH CARE: Butler committed just 11 turnovers Thursday against Youngstown State, the second consecutive game with 11 miscues. That mark is just one more than the Bulldogs' season-low. However, Butler struggled with 21 turnovers Saturday at Cleveland State, but did assist on 23 of its 28 field goals.
WE LIKE FREE STUFF: Butler ranks second in the Horizon League with a .713 free throw percentage. Jackie Closser (.816) and Ellen Hamilton (.790) rank third and sixth, respectively, in the Horizon League in free throw accuracy.
QUICK SHOTS: Lade Akande leads the Horizon League in blocked shots at 1.52 per game...Ellen Hamilton blocked her first career shot Thursday at YSU (in her 77th career game)...the Bulldogs are 9-1 when shooting a better field goal percentage than their opponent and 9-1 when leading at the half...Ellen Hamilton (Jan. 16) joined Jackie Closser (Dec. 5) and Lade Akande (Dec. 26) in winning the Horizon League's Player of the Week honor. The only other season when three different Bulldogs earned the distinction was the 1996-97 season...former Indiana All-Star Tara Miller has transferred to Butler from Indiana University. The 5-10 guard began practice with the team Jan. 17 and will have three seasons of eligibility remaining, beginning after the first semester of the 2006-07 season.
WE'RE GOING STREAKING: Butler has hit at least one three-pointer in 145 straight games, dating back to Feb. 1, 2001.
AGAINST THE TITANS: Ellen Hamilton scored 21 points in 24 minutes against Detroit Jan. 12...Hamilton averages 12.4 ppg against Detroit in five career meetings...after going scoreless in her first game against Detroit as a freshman, Jackie Closser has responded by averaging 13.8 points per game in her last four outings against the Titans...Stephanie Boeke's 13 points against Detroit Jan. 7, 2003 stood as her career-high until she posted 14 at Youngstown State last season.
WORTHLESS STAT OF THE DAY: Junior Ellen Hamilton took just one attempt from the field Saturday at Cleveland State. Other than a two-shot night two seasons ago against Youngstown State, Hamilton had never taken fewer than four shots in a game.