Akande, Closser Named To Preseason All-Horizon League First Team

Oct. 12, 2006

Indianapolis, Ind. - After finishing as two of the top-five scorers in the Horizon League last season, Butler basketball players Lade Akande and Jackie Closser have been named to the 2006-07 Preseason All-Horizon League First Team. The league made the announcement on Thursday (Oct. 12).

"Lade and Jackie are very deserving of this honor," head coach Beth Couture said. "Both have worked extremely hard to become better players individually which will make our team significantly better and assist us in reaching our season goals."

Akande, a sophomore center from Robinson, Ill., scored 470 points in her freshman campaign, the fifth-highest total in school history and the most ever by a freshman. Her 16.2 points-per-game average was third-best in the League, while her 8.0 rebounds-per-game pace was second. Her performance earned her a spot on the All-League Second Team, the All-Newcomer Team and the All-Tournament Team last season.

Lade Akande's 470 points scored in 2005-06 were the most ever for a Bulldog freshman and the fifth-most in school history.


Closser, a senior guard from Alexandria, Ind., sits on the verge of eclipsing 1,000 points in her career (890) and is already the school record holder with 186 three-pointers made thanks in part to her school-record 84 treys last season. She paced the conference with 3.0 three-pointers per game and was also tops with 5.21 assists per game, a .867 free throw percentage and a 1.85 assist-to-turnover ratio. A team co-captain this season, she earned All-League First Team honors last year.

Akande and Closser were two of the five players listed on the first team, along with Preseason Player of the Year Nicole Soulis (UW-Green Bay), Traci Edwards (UW-Milwaukee) and LaShonda Grant (UIC).

The Preseason All-League Teams are selected by a vote of head coaches, sports information directors and media members. Head coaches are not permitted to vote for their own players in the poll. The First Team is comprised of the top five vote-getters in the pole, while the Second Team is made up of the second-five in the rankings.

The Bulldogs, selected third in the Horizon League Preseason poll which was announced on Wednesday (Oct. 11), open the regular season at Illinois on Nov. 12.

2006-07 Horizon League Women's Basketball
Preseason All-League Teams

Preseason First-Team All-Horizon League -- 2005-06 Statistics
Nicole Soulis, UW-Green Bay (6-2, Sr., F) $ * -- 18.4 ppg., 6.8 rpg., 0.9 apg.
Lade Akande, Butler (6-1, So., C) ^ -- 16.2 ppg., 8.0 rpg., 1.1 apg.
Jackie Closser, Butler (5-5, Sr., G) * -- 15.1 ppg., 2.8 rpg., 5.2 apg.
Traci Edwards, UW-Milwaukee (6-2, So., C) * -- 16.1 ppg., 10.0 rpg., 2.6 apg.
LaShonda Grant, UIC (5-6, Sr., G) ^ -- 15.1 ppg., 3.0 rpg., 2.7 apg.

Preseason Second-Team All-Horizon League -- 2005-06 Statistics
Natalie Berglin, UW-Green Bay (5-7, Sr., G) ^ -- 14.3 ppg., 3.4 rpg., 4.7 apg.
Dominique Butler, Cleveland State (5-9, So., G) -- (10.4 ppg., 4.7 rpg., 1.0 apg.
Marquise Hanser, Loyola (5-9, Sr., G) ^ -- 17.2 ppg., 4.3 rpg., 3.1 apg.
Meredith Onson, UW-Milwaukee (5-11, Jr., G) -- 7.2 ppg., 3.6 rpg., 3.2 apg.
Brittney Whiteside, Wright State (5-8, Sr., G) * -- 13.9 ppg., 6.5 rpg., 3.0 apg.

$ - Preseason Player of the Year
* - First-Team All-League in 2005-06
^ - Second-Team All-League in 2005-06