Bulldogs Look for Sweep at Wright State Saturday
Jan. 29, 2004
THE TIP: Butler (7-11, 3-4 Horizon) travels to Dayton, Ohio, Saturday for a match-up against Wright State. The Bulldogs are on a two-game winning streak, their first in more than three years, and are looking for a sweep of the Raiders, having defeated Wright State, 69-64, Dec. 30. The Bulldogs last swept a regular season series against a Horizon League opponent in 1999-2000.
BULLDOG UPDATE: The Bulldogs enter Saturday's game against Wright State with a 3-4 league record. The Bulldogs currently sit in a tie for fifth place in the Horizon League standings. Senior Nancy Bowden's 10.7 ppg leads the Bulldogs. Butler is coming off an overtime home win over UW-Milwaukee Saturday. After the week off, Saturday's game begins a three-game road trip with stops in Detroit and Cleveland State next weekend.
AGAINST THE RAIDERS: Butler and Wright State meet for the 28th time Saturday, with the Bulldogs owning a 17-10 advantage, including a 69-64 win Dec. 30 at Hinkle Fieldhouse. The teams have split 12 contests in Dayton. The series dates back to Feb. 5, 1983, when the Bulldogs won, 83-62, in Dayton.
BREAKING DOWN WRIGHT STATE: The Raiders have a 3-5 league record, placing them seventh in the Horizon League. While 6-12 overall, Wright State is an impressive 5-4 at the Nutter Center. Freshman Brittney Whiteside's 10.4 ppg and 4.2 rpg leads the Raiders, who started four freshmen against Loyola Saturday. Senior Iesha Gray had 27 points for the Raiders in their Dec. 30 loss at Butler. Coach Bridgett Williams is in her third season on the Raider sidelines.
LAST TIME OUT (JAN. 24, 2004, BU 67, UW-MILWAUKEE 61, OT; INDIANAPOLIS): Behind freshman Jackie Closser's career-high 20 points, the Bulldogs pulled out a 67-61 overtime win against UW-Milwaukee Saturday at Hinkle Fieldhouse. The Bulldogs forced the Panthers into 27 turnovers and hit a season-high 10 threes.
BUTLER 69, WRIGHT STATE 64 (DEC. 30, 2003, INDIANAPOLIS): Dionne Goodwin's 15 points led four Bulldogs in double figures, as Butler used a 40-30 rebounding edge to down Wright State, 69-64, in the league opener for both teams. The Bulldogs went 19-of-21 (91 percent) from the free throw line to secure the win. Iesha Gray had 27 points for the Raiders.
OFF THE BENCH: For the second game in a row, the Bulldogs' leading scorer came from the bench. Freshman Jackie Closser's career-high 20 points Saturday were the highest total by a Butler reserve this season and behind only Nancy Bowden's 22 points against Evansville for the team's single-game high. The Bulldogs' bench has out-scored the opponent's in 14 of the team's 18 games, including all seven wins.
GIVE AND TAKE: Through the games of Jan. 26, senior Nancy Bowden's 6.4 assists per game are good for 14th nationally, while her 3.5 steals per contest are 11th in the NCAA. Bowden is one of only three players in the nation who is in the top 15 in both steals and assists. She leads the Horizon League in assists, steals and assist/turnover ratio (1.81). As the Bulldogs' primary ball-handler, Bowden is averaging an impressive 10.8 minutes of action per turnover. In fact, Bowden has stolen the ball from the other team (63) more than she's turned it over herself (60).
QUICK SHOTS: The Bulldogs are 3-1 in games when junior Cortney Urquhart leads the team in scoring...Butler is 4-2 when both Dionne Goodwin and Ashley Brenden are in the starting lineup...Freshman Jackie Closser has scored in double figures in three of the team's last four wins...The Bulldogs have hit more three-pointers than their opponents on 13 occasions this season. For the year, the Bulldogs are averaging 5.7 treys per contest...Saturday's game is the Bulldogs' first attempt at picking up their fourth regular season league win, a feat the team hasn't accomplished since 1999-2000.
DOUBLE THE FUN: The Bulldogs have had nine games this season where a player has registered double figures in rebounds and/or assists. Butler has won six of those games. Senior Nancy Bowden has all three of the Bulldogs' double-digit assist games, while senior Dionne Goodwin has six of the ten 10+ rebound performances.
WE'RE GOING STREAKING: Butler has held each of its last four opponents under 41 percent shooting. Thirteen of the Bulldogs' first 14 opponents shot better than 45 percent from the field...A win Saturday would give the Bulldogs their first two-game road winning streak since sweeping the Chicago trip at UIC and Loyola, Feb. 10 and 12, 2000...Senior Nancy Bowden has either led the team or shared the team lead in assists in 66 of the team's last 76 games, a stretch that extends back to the beginning of the 2001-02 season.
AT THE BREAK: The Bulldogs have led at the half in seven of their last eight games after having the halftime edge in only two of their first ten games this season.
FIRST DATES: Scheduling games for a nine-team league is never an easy task. But this season has been extremely unique for many of the Horizon League teams in terms of their schedules. After Saturday's game with Wright State, the Bulldogs will have concluded their regular season series with the Raiders, UW-Green Bay and UW-Milwaukee. That's six of the Bulldogs' first eight league games against three opponents. In contrast, the Bulldogs have yet to play Cleveland State, UIC or Loyola once. This trend does not affect Wright State who has played all eight league opponents in their first eight league games. However, it could be worse for the Bulldogs. Last season, the Bulldogs were forced to play Cleveland State in back-to-back games during the middle of the season.
SHE'S GOING THE DISTANCE: Senior Nancy Bowden played the entire 45 minutes of Saturday's overtime win against UW-Milwaukee, the sixth time she hasn't gone to the bench this season. Bowden has played all 85 minutes of the team's last two games.
CLIMBING THE CHARTS: Senior Nancy Bowden currently sits in fourth place on the Bulldogs' all-time assists charts with 462 for her career. Her next hurdle will be Barb Skinner (509 assists from 1980-83). The Cincinnati, Ohio, native is also fourth on Butler's career steals list. Bowden has 262 steals in her three-plus years at Butler, 40 short of Skinner's 302, which currently ranks third in Butler history. Bowden is also fourth in career free throw attempts (435) and fifth in minutes played (3,056). Mary Majewski (1990-93) holds the Butler record, playing 3,607 career minutes.
PRY-ING INTO THE ROTATION: The loss of senior guard Lisa Pryor in the Dec. 9 win against Evansville could have spelled disaster for Butler. However, a pair of freshman guards have come to the rescue. In the 10 games since, Jackie Closser and Ellen Hamilton have combined for 14.9 points and 41.9 minutes per contest.
STARTING OUT: The starting five against Youngstown State Jan. 21 was the sixth different starting lineup used by coach Beth Couture...Eight different players have started games this season, including senior Nancy Bowden, who has started all 18...When freshman Ellen Hamilton (Greenfield, Ind./Greenfield Central) replaced the injured Lisa Pryor in the starting lineup against Miami (Ohio), it was the first time an Indiana native had cracked the Bulldogs' starting lineup this season.