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Momentum carries women's basketball into clash of conferences


IU guard Andrea McGuirt puts up a shot during the first half of IU's 84-68 win in the first round of the Women's NIT on Nov. 14 at Assembly Hall. James Brosher Buy Photos

Both teams come into the game on winning streaks of their own. The Hoosiers (4-2) come off a trip to San Francisco where they won the St. Mary’s Thanksgiving Classic by defeating two teams by margins of 27 and 17. As for the Hurricanes (5-2), they come into tonight’s matchup currently on a four-game winning streak.

Currently the Hoosiers are 3-1 on the road, and IU coach Felisha Legette-Jack said she is pleased with her team’s play away from Assembly Hall, because road games are something that plagued the team last season.

“We couldn’t have planned it better with the Big Ten-ACC Challenge being on the road,” Legette-Jack said. “We really concentrated on having a lot more games on the road, because that was a nemesis for us in the Big Ten. We are going to continue to do what we are doing and be excited about going up against an ACC team that’s playing really good basketball right now on their home turf.”

In games two and three of the road trip, usual starter and sophomore co-captain Jori Davis did not start, but in their championship game last weekend, Davis earned starting position back and responded well.

“It was a calculated decision to find Jori, and I think we did with her 19 points and 14 rebounds,” Legette-Jack said. “I think Jori understands as a captain that you just don’t play the game, you have to play the game at a higher level of everyone else on the court, not just scoring points and rebounding, but intensity and passion. She realized that we aren’t messing around here. We are playing at a certain level, and she has to maintain and sustain that passion. I think she gets it now.”

Davis said the benching was an eye-opening experience.

“It was a little bit of a wake-up call,” she said. “It also gave me time to look back and see what I need to bring to the team. Rebounding was one of them and just overall giving more, and I bought into it next game.”

Friday’s game will also be the first for senior Amber Jackson since being named co-Big Ten Player of the Week, for her two 25-point performances, which were both career highs, last weekend. She also won MVP in that tournament. Before her 50 points in two games, Jackson combined for just 14 points in IU’s first two games of the road trip. Although Jackson said she is pleased with her stellar performance last week, she said she knows no matter her point total she must play as intense as she did last weekend.

“I think for anybody, that would be a confidence booster, but those games are over now,” she said. “All I can look forward to now is Miami and playing hard. Against Radford and St. Mary’s, I just played my hardest, and it came out in my favor. Whether I score 25 points or 2 points, I’m going to play just as hard.”

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