Dec. 28, 2005
THE TIP: Butler carries a two-game winning streak into its Horizon League opener against Youngstown State (4-7) Thursday. The game concludes a four-game homestand at Hinkle Fieldhouse for the Bulldogs. Free video and audio of the 7 p.m. tip is available live at www.butlersports.com.
THE SERIES: This is the tenth meeting between Butler and Youngstown State. The Bulldogs have taken the last five contests to post a 5-4 advantage in the all-time series. The series began Jan. 5, 2002, the season Youngstown State joined the Horizon League.
LEAGUE DISTINCTION: Butler freshman Lade Akande led the Bulldogs to a pair of come-from-behind wins last week, earning Horizon League "Player of the Week" honors for her efforts, the league office announced Tuesday (Dec. 27). Akande averaged 16.5 points and 9.5 rebounds as the Bulldogs downed Evansville and UMBC at Hinkle Fieldhouse.
She is the second Bulldog to be honored by the Horizon League this season, joining junior Jackie Closser from Dec. 5.
COMEBACK KIDS: The Bulldogs' last two wins have come in dramatic fashion. Butler erased a 17-point, second half deficit in Thursday's 72-66 win over UMBC. Butler overcame an eight-point disadvantage with 3:24 to play in the team's 83-78 win over Evansville Dec. 19, scoring 12 of the game's final 13 points.
Junior Ellen Hamilton sparked the team with 18 points, all in the second half, in the team's win over UMBC Thursday.
`EL' OF A HALF: After missing her three attempts from the field in the first half, junior Ellen Hamilton went 6-of-8 in the second 20 minutes, including four three-pointers. She added a season-high five rebounds.
STEPH'S SWIPES: In addition to her season-high 11 points Thursday against UMBC, senior Stephanie Boeke posted a career-high five steals. In one of the best all-around performances of her career, Boeke added seven rebounds and tied a personal-best with four assists in a career-high 38 minutes.
15-FOOT RANGE: Butler shot a season-best 96 percent from the free throw line Thursday against UMBC, going 21-of-22 on the night. Stephanie Boeke hit all five of her attempts, while Carla Gheorghe and Cassie Freeman each went 4-of-4.
Butler has shot at least 70 percent from the free throw line in seven straight games and now leads the Horizon League at 74 percent.
DOUBLE DIP: Freshman Lade Akande registered the third double-double of her Butler career with 21 points and 12 rebounds in the team's Dec. 19 win over Evansville. The 12 boards matched her career-high and she added a personal-best six blocks. It was the second time this season that she led the team in scoring.
OFFENSIVE EXPLOSION: Butler is scoring a league-leading 70.2 points per game this season. Butler players occupy four of the top 13 spots on the league scoring list, led by Jackie Closser's 14.1 ppg. She is fifth in the league in scoring.
Akande is second in the Horizon League at 1.9 blocks per game.
`CLOSS' TO THE TOP: In addition to being fifth in the Horizon League in scoring, junior Jackie Closser leads the Horizon League in three-pointers made (2.88 per game) and assist/turnover ratio (2.05). If that weren't enough, Closser is second in assists (4.9), third in free throw percentage (.909), and eighth in three-point percentage (.404).
DOUBLE YOUR PLEASURE: Four Bulldogs are averaging double figures so far this season. Led by Jackie Closser's 14.1 ppg, Butler is scoring a league-best 70.2 points per game. Ellen Hamilton (14.0), Carla Gheorghe (12.8) and Lade Akande (12.0) join Closser in double-digits.
`THAT'S HOT': Butler sharpshooter Ellen Hamilton has been on fire through the team's first nine contests, hitting 48 percent of her three-point attempts. Her three-point accuracy puts her third in the conference and her 2.6 treys per game are second in the Horizon League.
Hamilton has hit at least one three-pointer in 16 straight games dating back to last season.
HITTING THE TRI-FECTA: Butler's 7.8 three-pointers per game and 42 percent mark from behind the arc aren't just among the Horizon League leaders. They are also getting national exposure. Butler is third in three-point percentage and eighth in treys made among the 324 NCAA schools. Jackie Closser is 15th in three-pointers made, while Ellen
Hamilton is ranked 29th in three-point accuracy at 48 percent.
Career three-pointers made
1. 167, Debbie Benziger (1995-98)
2. 142, Maria Marchesano (2002-05)
3. 128, Jennifer Marlow (1996-99)
4. 125, Jackie Closser (2004-present)
5. 121, Ellen Hamilton (2004-present)
SHOOTING IT FROM ANYWHERE: Butler is as good from behind the arc as it is from two-point range this season. The Bulldogs have hit a league-best .422 of its three point attempts (70-166) and have hit exactly twice as many two-point field goals in twice as many attempts (140-332) for an identical .422 mark. The Bulldogs rank either first or second in all shooting categories. Butler is second in field goal percentage and three-pointers made.
Butler holds a staggering .057 advantage in three-point accuracy. The Bulldogs' .422 mark is followed next by Detroit's .365 percentage.
QUICK SHOTS: For the second time this season and just the third time in Beth Couture's three-plus years at Butler, five Bulldogs scored in double figures against Evansville Dec. 19...Butler's four newcomers have accounted for 44 percent of Butler's scoring so far this season...Butler is 3-0 when leading at halftime and 4-0 when shooting a higher field goal percentage than the opposition...freshman Candace Jones is second in the Horizon League in free throw shooting with her .947 percentage.
WE'RE GOING STREAKING: Butler has hit at least five three-pointers in all nine games this season and in 15 of its last 16 outings dating back to last season...Carla Gheorghe has scored in double figures in her last six games, the longest active streak on the team.
WORTHLESS STAT OF THE DAY: The Bulldogs are 4-0 when Cassie Freeman attempts at least one free throw and 0-5 when she doesn't make a trip to the line.