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Womens Basketball to Host Creighton Saturday

January 18, 2014


INDIANAPOLIS – With trips to Providence, New Jersey and New York now in the rearview mirror, the Butler women's basketball team will play their next three games at Hinkle Fieldhouse starting with a 6 p.m. tip vs. the Creighton Bluejays on Saturday, Jan. 18.

Gameday Information
Saturday, Jan. 18, 2014 / 6:30 PM
Location: Indianapolis, Ind. / Hinkle Fieldhouse (10,000)
Webcast/Live Stats: ButlerSports.com
Series History: The all-time series is tied at 0-0
Last Meeting: This is the first-ever meeting between Butler and Creighton

Scouting Creighton (11-7, 5-1 BIG EAST)
The Bluejays visit Hinkle Fieldhouse as the top team in the BIG EAST standings with a record of 5-1. Wins over Villanova, Georgetown, DePaul, Providence and most recently Xavier pushed the team's overall record to 11-7. Their lone setback in conference play came at St. John's on Jan. 8 (L, 67-48).

Creighton is coached by Jim Flanery who is in his 12th season at the helm of the program. Flanery returns four starters from a 2013-13 team that posted a 25-8 overall record which included a first place finish in the MVC (15-3).

Six seniors provide the team with leadership on the court, but it's a sophomore who leads the team in scoring as Marissa Janning comes into Saturday averaging 17.6 points per game. Janning is averaging over 21 points per game in BIG EAST action and is coming off a 29 point, four rebound, four assist, and two steal game vs. Xavier. The standout guard shot 11-for-17 from the field against the Musketeers which included three shots from behind the arc.

A trio of seniors will join Janning in the starting five. Sarah Nelson, McKenzie Fujan and Alyssa Kamphaus have started in all 18 contests for the Bluejays with Nelson and Fujan playing extended minutes. Nelson averages 12.6 points per game while leading the team in rebounding (7.0). She has increased her scoring output to 16.5 points per game during league play. Fujan is the third player to average a double figure scoring total as she comes into the weekend scoring 11.3 ppg.

All-Time Series
Butler and Creighton have never met on the court for a women's basketball game. These two teams will face each other twice this year as the Bulldogs will travel to Omaha, Neb. to face the Bluejays on Tuesday, March 4 in the regular season finale.

Last Time Out
The Bulldogs erased an 18-point halftime deficit at St. John's, but they were unable to pull off the comeback win as the Red Storm held on for a 58-55 victory. Butler was limited to just six field goals in the first half, but a scoring outbreak in the final 20 minutes took the game down to the wire.

St. John's ended the first half on an 18-2 run to build their halftime lead. Butler regrouped and came out of the locker room in the second half fighting as the Bulldogs went on a 16-0 run to pull within three points of St. John's at 39-36.

3-point field goals sparked the run as Haley Howard, Taylor Schippers and Mandy McDivitt all hit from distance to get Butler back into the game. Yet another 3-point field goal from Schippers with 5:24 to play would tie the game at 48-48 and Butler would take their first lead of the second half after a layup from Liz Stratman 50-48.

St. John's countered by getting the ball to Aliyyah Handford. The preseason All-BIG EAST selection came up with a three-point play to regain the lead for the Red Storm and she followed that effort by stealing the ball with full court pressure that ended up as an easy two-points to give her team the three-point cushion.

Handford would add a free throw to her scoring total to put St. John's in the driver's seat and Briana Brown would ice the game from the line going 4-for-5 from the charity stripe in the final minute of the game.

The scoring trio of Schippers, Stratman and Howard all performed well down the stretch as Schippers led all players with 18 points and 12 rebounds. Stratman went for 15 points and five rebounds vs. the Red Storm and Howard was active with 11 points on 4-of-8 shooting.

Butler's rebound leader was senior Mandy McDivitt who hauled down a career-high 13 boards on Wednesday. McDivitt ended the game with seven points, three steals and two assists.

Bulldog Bits
- Mandy McDivitt now ranks 5th all-time at Butler with 143 career 3-point field goals
- Taylor Schippers pulled down a career-high 12 rebounds at St. John's
- Mandy McDivitt recorded a career-high 13 rebounds against the Red Storm
- Liz Stratman hit a career-high three 3-point field goals at St. John's
- Haley Howard has scored in double figures in three-straight games
- Daress McClung has missed three-straight games (Foot)
- Liz Stratman leads the BIG EAST with 32 blocked shots (2.1 per game)
- The Bulldogs have used eight different starting lineups this year
- Creighton was the only team to have two Preseason All-BIG EAST selections

Probable Starters
#1 Taylor Schippers, 5-8 Guard, Junior from Houston, Texas
#3 Haley Howard, 5-11 Forward, Redshirt Sophomore from Whiteland, Indiana
#5 Liz Stratman, 6-2 Center, Junior from New Palestine, Indiana
#10 Mandy McDivitt, 5-8 Guard, Senior from Connersville, Indiana
#23 Lexus Murry, 5-7 Guard, Sophomore from Indianapolis, Ind.

BIG EAST Preseason Poll
1) DePaul (8) - 79 Points
2) Creighton (2) - 67 Points
3) St. John's - 62 Points
4) Villanova - 56 Points
5) Marquette - 55 Points
6) Georgetown - 36 Points
7) Butler - 31 Points
8) Providence - 25 Points
9) Xavier - 20 Points
10) Seton Hall - 19 Points

Preseason All-BIG EAST Team
Daress McClung, Butler, G/F, Sr., 6-0, Indianapolis, Ind.
Marissa Janning, Creighton, G, So., 5-8, Watertown, Minn.
Sarah Nelson, Creighton, F, Sr., 6-0, Omaha, Neb.

Jasmine Penny, DePaul, F, Sr., 6-1, Logansport, Ind.
Andrea White, Georgetown, F, 6-0, Sr., Lancaster, Va.
Katherine Plouffe, Marquette, F, Sr., 6-3, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Tori Rule, Providence, Jr., G, 5-7, Minneapolis, Minn.
Aliyyah Handford, St. John's, G, So., 5-9, Newark, N.J.
Ka-Deidre Simmons, Seton Hall, G, R-Jr., 5-8, Newark, N.J.
Caroline Coyer, Villanova, G, So., 5-10, Oak Hill, Va.

Who's Starting Tonight?
Butler has used eight different starting lineups through the first 16 games of the season. Mandy McDivitt and Taylor Schippers are the only two players on the roster to start in every game this season. Liz Stratman and Daress McClung have started when healthy and the final spot has been rotated between Blaire Langlois, Ijeoma Uchendu, Haley Howard and Lexus Murry. 

3 Years... 3 Conferences              
The Butler Bulldogs were part of the Horizon League for 11 years before making the switch to the Atlantic 10 in 2012-13. The conference change to the A-10 was only the beginning as Butler joined the BIG EAST conference at the start of the 2013-14 season.

Stratman's National Rankings
Liz Stratman is the top shot blocker in the BIG EAST Conference and she entered the week ranked second in field goal percentage (62.1). The junior center ranks 10th in the NCAA in field goal percentage and 38th overall in blocked shots per game.

Sweet Sixteen
Butler hit a season-high 16 3-point field goals at Georgetown on Saturday, Jan. 11. The offensive explosion started in the first half when Mandy McDivitt hit five of her season-high six 3-pointers in the first half. Blaire Langlois followed up with five triples with Taylor Schippers and Ashton Feldhaus each adding two. Haley Howard was the fifth player to record a three vs. the Hoyas as the Butler finished the game 16-for-35 (45%).

3-Point Threat
Butler has made two or more 3-point field goals in every game this season. The group averages six made 3-point field goals per game and their season-low total of two 3-pointers came in the 23 point blowout win over Eastern Washington. The Bulldogs have attempted as many 3-point field goals (317) as free throws this season. They are shooting 32.5 percent from distance and 69.7 percent from the charity stripe.

Missing McClung
Preseason All-BIG EAST selection Daress McClung has now missed Butler's last three BIG EAST contests with a foot injury. The standout senior remains in a walking boot and her return to the court is uncertain at this point.

70 Points Or Less
Butler will have to get a strong effort from their players on the defensive end of the court in order to knock off the 5-1 Bluejays. The Bulldogs are 0-5 when allowing 70 points or more in a game. Creighton is coming off a 79-50 win vs. Xavier and they recently scored a season-high 97 points in a win at Providence.

McDivitt for 3!
Senior Mandy McDivitt has moved into fifth place all-time in the Butler women's basketball record book with 143 career 3-point field goals. McDivitt recorded 25 3-point field goals as a freshman, 47 as a sophomore, and 41 as a junior. She most recently hit one 3-point field goal at St. John's moving her current season 3-point total to 30.

Up Next
Butler will remain at Hinkle Fieldhouse for the remainder of the month with home games coming up vs. DePaul and Providence. The Bulldogs will take on DePaul on Saturday, Jan. 25 (12 p.m.) and end the home stand with a 7 p.m. tip vs. Providence on Jan. 28.

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