Women’s basketball wins regular season warm-up

On Sunday, Butler women’s head basketball coach Beth Couture got a glimpse of the team she will be working with for the 2010-11 season.

The Bulldogs trounced Hillsdale College 80-66 in their final exhibition game before the regular season opens this weekend.

“I think with any preseason or exhibition game, its purpose is to show you what you need to work on, and I feel our game against Hillsdale did a good job of that,” Couture said. “It showed us some good things, but I definitely think it showed us some things we need to work on before Saturday.”

By halftime the Bulldogs built a 43-29 lead that would withstand a late rally by Hillsdale.

The surge by the Chargers reduced Butler’s lead to 19 points late in the game. The Bulldogs would answer with a 12-3 run to go up 57-42 with 10:52 left.

Senior forward Brittany Bowen led the team with 18 points, 10 rebounds and three steals. Fellow senior forward Chloe Hamilton also had a strong game, posting 12 points.

Junior guard Devin Brierly finished the game with 10 points, and senior guard Alyssa Pittman had nine points and four steals for the Butler squad.

Butler finished with a 35-27 edge in rebounds and forced 26 turnovers. The Bulldogs shot 46 percent from the field, including a 13-for-26 effort in the first half.

Aside from the strong offense demonstrated by the Bulldogs, Couture was pleased with her team’s overall effort.

“The thing that impressed me throughout the game was the energy and effort,” she said. “Even though we were making mistakes, I don’t think we were ever not playing hard or getting after it.”

Every Bulldog on the roster played at least eight minutes.

Couture said she and the team are excited for the start of the regular season.

“I’m really looking forward to it,” Couture said. “I think our team has a lot of chemistry.

“I’ve watched them work hard this past month, and they’re a fun group. “I just hope we can show that on the floor.”

Senior guard Azjah Bass said she recognizes that there is work to be done, but is also looking forward to helping the Bulldogs make a deep run in the league tournament.

“We know that if we do what we normally do well, we can handle any screen and any play,” Bass said. “We really just need to focus on ourselves and make sure we’re doing what we have to do.”

The Bulldogs, who have been ranked second in the Horizon League this preseason, begin their regular season campaign Nov. 13 with a road contest against Bradley.