In physics, momentum can be defined as the quantity of motion an object has.
In sports, momentum can be looked at very similarly.
Teams on the move and headed in the right direction have momentum; teams like IU women’s basketball right now.
After knocking off Wisconsin on Sunday in Madison, Wisconsin, for the first time since 2009, the team is establishing their momentum.
The Hoosiers have now won three straight and are heading into the latter half of the Big Ten slate.
IU Coach Teri Moren talked about needing a different mindset going into road games, and that certainly was the case early Sunday. Wisconsin came out to play, but IU eventually put its host away. With the second of two straight road games coming on Thursday, the stakes are getting higher.
“We have to steal a couple on the road because we are taking care of business at home right now,” Moren said. “Our kids know that. I’ve said this, as much as we don’t talk about what the Big Ten looks like, they pay attention to that. The only thing that we get them to focus on in their mindset is the next game.”
Moren has said the Hoosiers set up their nonconference schedule to gain experience playing on the road.
They played seven nonconference games outside of Indiana, and are 2-2 in the Big Ten away from home thus far.
With IU currently in a three-way tie for fourth place in the conference with Purdue and Northwestern at 5-3, the road games remaining on the Hoosiers’ schedule are crucial.
Right below IU with four losses are Michigan State and Iowa — two teams the Hoosiers will face coming up. Luckily for the Hoosiers, IU has to play Maryland and Ohio State, who seem a lock to finish first and second in the conference, just once each.
“In order to separate yourself, you have to win games,” Moren said. “That’s kind of what we’re trying to do right now. The Big Ten is such a grind. Any night you have to be prepared for anything. Everyone is going to give us their best.”
Momentum seems to be on IU’s side right now.
The Hoosiers still have tournament hopes and the month of February will go a long way in determining whether or not they will be dancing for a second straight season.
According to ESPNW’s Bracketology as of Monday, the Hoosiers sit in the “First Four Out” category, meaning they are one of the best four teams that aren’t currently in the tournament.
The remaining schedule could end in a strong finish.
The Hoosiers will be host to the RPINos. 19-, 32-, 41- and 51-ranked teams while traveling to the Nos. 65-, 163-, 180- and 182-ranked teams.
In short, IU’s home games are against higher-ranked teams while the road games are every team below them.
“We need to really start building on what we want to continue into the rest of this season and hopefully into the postseason,” IU junior forward Amanda Cahill said. “We’re kind of in the middle of the pack in the Big Ten, and there are a lot of teams, so Coach says we need to start separating ourselves.”
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