The legend of IU junior guard Tyra Buss continues to grow.
On Saturday at Northwestern she was just 4-of-17 from the field. On Thursday night when her team needed her to step up, she did just that. She scored, she passed and she played solid defense. Buss ended up on the floor too many times to count, but that’s her style of basketball.
Behind 18 points and eight assists from Buss, IU won back the Barn Burner Trophy with a 74-60 win against the Purdue Boilermakers on Thursday night in Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall.
“This is a really good feeling especially coming off of a loss,” IU sophomore forward Kym Royster said. “This win was something we needed to get back on track and it feels good to win over Purdue.”
Things didn’t start off all that well for either side. The Hoosiers shot just 4-of-16 in the first quarter and trailed 17-11. Buss was the leading scorer at that point with just four points. Purdue implemented a full-court press that IU had trouble breaking. The 2-3 zone caused the Hoosiers some issues as well. However, once the second quarter started, something changed.
The Hoosiers came out clicking. They scored the first 12 points of the second quarter, and everything was going their way, or so it seemed until IU junior forward Amanda Cahill went down around the four-minute mark of the second quarter with an ankle injury. It looked momentarily like IU would be in for a similar battle the men were in at Penn State when OG Anunoby went down.
She missed the remainder of the half but came back and finished with a team-high 19 points and eight boards. Cahill even outscored Buss, who became more of a distributor after her 14 first-half points.
“It probably was good because I was missing all of my shots at the beginning,” Cahill said. “I got things rolling, and we were flowing in the offense, so it went well.”
In the second half, Purdue came out tough. The Boilermakers wouldn’t let the Hoosiers extend their lead. They got into the lane multiple times and converted lay-ins to keep themselves in the game. Purdue wasn’t going away, but IU kept on playing its game. IU had eight more second-chance points, seven more rebounds overall, five of those being offensive rebounds.
The bench has been a point of scrutiny much of the season, but Thursday night the bench provided some meaningful minutes. IU freshman forward Darby Foresman was first off the bench, but it was Royster who did the most damage finishing with 14 of the 15 bench points.
IU entered the fourth quarter with a four-point lead. When Purdue didn’t hit a field goal in the final 4:22 of the game, IU slowly extended its lead to wear down the Purdue attack. The Hoosiers had four players score in double figures, and they fed off of the crowd and their own bench, Royster said.
“I think the energy in the whole facility — that helped,” Royster said. “We had a talk earlier this week talking about helping the people on the floor, giving them more energy. I think them contributing that and the crowd, it made things flow easier.”
IU senior center Jenn Anderson said coming in the Purdue rivalry came at a good time. IU had lost two consecutive games coming in, and it was a game that gave the Hoosiers a bit of a pep in their step. They got the win and now will face a Penn State team they have already beaten once this season Monday.
“I think you have two really good teams,” IU Coach Teri Moren said of the rivalry. “I just think it’s such a good rivalry. I always think it will be a great rivalry.”
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