Welcome to the women’s hoops edition of “Hoosier Heartland.” Today, we’re covering the following:
- Indiana/North Texas Game Recap (Stat Battle, Statistical Difference Makers, and Impact Players of the Game)
- What the Hoosiers Need Going Forward
- Looking Ahead to Northern Kentucky
The Indiana Hoosiers came into Tuesday night’s match-up with North Texas determined to have themselves a bounce back performance after their loss to Auburn on Sunday. The Hoosiers staved off a 4th quarter rally from the Mean Green on their way to a 68-63 victory to improve their record to 5-4 on the season.
Statistical Difference Makers
- Rebounding Battle – I mentioned before the game that rebounding was going to be extremely important for the Hoosiers to control. Indiana won the battle on the boards overall (+10), defensively (+5), and offensively (+5). Anytime you have an edge on your opponent on both sides of the ball, that often spells success. The Hoosiers were led in rebounding by senior Amanda Cahill (12) and freshman Keyanna Warthen (7).
- Free Throws – Tyra Buss (7-11 FT) and Kim Royster (7-7 FT) led the team with production from the line. This proved to be beneficial in the end for the Hoosiers to sustain momentum by being aggressive and keeping North Texas at bay for a majority of the game.
Impact Players of the Game
Tyra Buss – Buss played on a mission to redeem herself from her performance against Auburn. She succeeded and then some, finishing with a team-leading 26 points, 5 assists, and 4 rebounds (all defensive). She also moved into 6th place on Indiana Women’s Basketball’s All-Time Scoring list with 1,785 career points. Buss is also closing in on the all-time mark for free throws made in a career and finished 18 shy of the mark.
Amanda Cahill – Cahill has proven to be a vital piece throughout her IU career, but even more so this season after picking up her 6th double-double on the year (35th career), finishing with 15 points, 12 rebounds (5 offensive; 7 defensive), 2 assists, and 2 steals in 37 minutes of action. She also reached a personal milestone of 900 career rebounds (finished with 907 in the game). Amanda became the 14th player in Indiana Women’s Basketball history to record at least 1,400 points and 900 rebounds.
What the Hoosiers Need Going Forward
Improved 3-point Shooting – Indiana is averaging 33% from behind the arc with 6 three-point field goals per game. There is plenty of room for improvement. If the Hoosiers can find efficiency behind the arc, it’s going to really open up things around the hoop for not just the likes of Kim Royster and Amanda Cahill, but for the downhill drivers like Tyra Buss. If the Hoosiers can become even a 40% average shooting team, you’re talking about a tough group to beat.
What’s Next for the Hoosiers
Indiana (5-4) heads off on the road to face Northern Kentucky (1-6) Saturday, December 9th. The game will air on ESPN 3 at 7 pm EST/6 pm CST.
The Norse are led by redshirt sophomore Molly Glick (team-leading 14.4 PPG; 4.9 RPG) and freshman guard Samari Mowbray (2nd on the team with 10.4 PPG; 55% FG on the season).
3 Keys to Beating Northern Kentucky
- Limit their free throw opportunities: Their strongest offensive firepower is from the line, as they enter averaging 71%. Molly Glick (88% FT) proves to be Indiana’s most dangerous threat.
- Rebounding Advantage – If the Hoosiers can win the battle on the boards, it’ll go a long way to a strong possibility of coming out with another win. The Norse come in averaging 39 boards a game.
- Turnovers/Points Off Turnovers – Although IU has had their fair share of turnovers (16.7 average on the season), Northern Kentucky comes into this game averaging 20. If the Hoosiers can keep them off balanced and capitalize on the extra opportunities, this one could be over early.