February 10, 2006

Bulldogs Return to Hinkle Fieldhouse to Face UWM Saturday

Feb. 10, 2006

Complete Notes in PDF Format

THE TIP: Butler returns to Hinkle Fieldhouse for its first home contest in two weeks, playing host to UW-Milwaukee (13-8, 8-2 Horizon League) Saturday. The game is a rematch of Butler's (12-10, 7-4) thrilling overtime win over the Panthers in Wisconsin New Year's Eve. Free video of the 2 p.m. tip will be available live at www.butlersports.com.

THE SERIES: This is the 25th meeting between the Bulldogs and UW-Milwaukee. The Panthers own a 13-11 advantage in the all-time series, but the Bulldogs have won six of 11 contests in Indianapolis. UWM swept both meetings between the teams last season, but the Bulldogs responded with an 80-79 overtime win in Milwaukee Dec. 31.

ROAD WARRIORS: Butler just completed a stretch that had the team away from Hinkle Fieldhouse for the last two weeks and five of its last six games. The Bulldogs posted an impressive 4-2 mark during this stretch. Butler is 7-7 away from Hinkle Fieldhouse this season. The Bulldogs are 5-3 in Hinkle Fieldhouse, winning their last two home games.

REMEMBERING THE TITANS: Butler opened the second half with a 13-2 run Monday at Detroit, erasing an 11-point halftime lead by the Titans just three minutes after the intermission. Twenty of Jackie Closser's game-high 23 points came in the second half, as Butler used 61-percent shooting in the second 20 minutes to take a 71-65 win in the Motor City.

CLOSSER IS CLUTCH: Junior Jackie Closser hit all 12 of her free throw attempts Monday at Detroit, securing the come-from-behind win against the Titans. All 12 attempts came in the second half. The 12 makes without a miss is tied for second on Butler's single-game records chart (one off the 13-13 performance of Shelley Roby, 2/20/88 vs. Evansville).

Closser has played the entire 40 minutes in four straight games and a total of seven contests this season.

BOEKE LOST FOR THE SEASON: Senior forward Stephanie Boeke will miss the remainder of the season after suffering a torn anterior cruciate ligament in her left knee during Butler's game at Detroit Monday (Feb. 6). The injury occurred too late in the season for Boeke to be eligible for a medical redshirt. Boeke appeared in 98 games in her Butler career, including all 22 contests so far this season. Entering this weekend's play, Boeke ranks in the top 10 among Horizon League players in six (rebounds, assists, blocked shots, assist/turnover ratio, offensive rebounding and defensive rebounding) of the league's 12 statistical categories.

BIG PLAY LADE: Freshman center Lade Akande posted a game-high 21 points Feb. 4 in the Bulldogs' win at Cleveland State. Akande went 9-of-14 from the field, adding 11 rebounds for her fifth career double-double. The output was Akande's second consecutive 20+ point performance and eighth of her freshman campaign. Akande followed that with 13 points and a team-high seven rebounds Monday.

REBOUNDING ON THE BOARDS: After being out-rebounded by Youngstown State, 51-26, Feb. 2, the Bulldogs responded by taking a 36-22 advantage on the boards against Cleveland State Feb. 4 and out-rebounding Detroit, 29-26, Monday.

SHOTS RANG OUT: Junior Ellen Hamilton went 3-of-5 from three-point range Monday at Detroit, posting 14 points. Hamilton is second in the Horizon League in both three-point percentage (.484) and three-pointers made (2.68 per game). Those two marks rank fifth and 20th, respectively, in the NCAA.

Hamilton has shot 50 percent or better from three-point range in seven of the team's last nine games (29-56, .518 during that stretch).

CLIMBING THE CHARTS: Junior Jackie Closser is just three three-pointers shy of tying Butler's career mark (167, Debbie Benziger, 1995-98). Closser is also just five 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 291, just 11 shy of the seventh spot.

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 11th-best mark in the nation.

OFFENSIVE BEHAVIOR: Butler is scoring at a 69.9 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 Jackie Closser (15.2), Lade Akande (14.8) and Ellen Hamilton (13.8). The trio ranks 4-6-7 in the league standings.

Butler is 11-2 this season when scoring 70 points or more.

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 (.393) and three-pointers per game (7.8). Butler ranks sixth among the NCAA's 324 institutions in three-pointers made and 10th in trey percentage.

Butler went 8-of-16 from three-point range Monday at Detroit, the eighth 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 10 games ago. Over the last 10 games, Freeman is averaging 7.8 ppg and 5.9 rpg, while shooting 60 percent from three-point range.

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 5.4 per game. Closser is 23rd in the NCAA in assists and hasn't had a game this season with more turnovers than assists.

`BOARD' OUT OF THEIR MINDS: Freshman Lade Akande ranks second in the Horizon League at 8.0 boards per game. She's followed by Stephanie Boeke (6.3, seventh) and Cassie Freeman (5.0, 14th).

WE LIKE FREE STUFF: Butler ranks second in the Horizon League with a .713 free throw percentage. Jackie Closser (.841) and Ellen Hamilton (.783) rank third and seventh, respectively, in the Horizon League in free throw accuracy. Butler went 23-of-32 from the charity stripe Monday at Detroit, while the Titans went only 2-of-5.

QUICK SHOTS: Lade Akande ranks third in the Horizon League in blocked shots at 1.45 per game...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 146 straight games, dating back to Feb. 1, 2001.

AGAINST THE PANTHERS: Jackie Closser (11.8) and Ellen Hamilton (11.6) each average double figures against UWM in their respective careers...Lade Akande posted a career-high 28 points and nine rebounds Dec. 31 against the Panthers, hitting two free throws with five seconds to play to win the game...Beth Couture is 2-5 against UWM as Butler's head coach.

WORTHLESS STAT OF THE DAY: After blocking at least one shot in the first 18 games this season, Butler has been held without a swat in three of the last four contests.