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Women's basketball struggles to capitalize down the stretch against No. 23 Michigan


Women's basketball coach Teri Moren calling out to her players during the game against Purdue on Jan. 6 at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall. The Hoosiers lost to No. 23 Michigan, 84-79.  Ty Vinson Buy Photos

The three-point line has revolutionized the game of basketball today.

Ever since it was added in 1979, it has become more and more vital to success in the game.

Today, the three-point line can make or break teams.

On Wednesday night, it broke the IU women’s basketball team as they fell to No. 23 Michigan 84-79.

The Hoosiers did not play a bad game. In fact, it was the best performance IU has put up this season against a ranked team.

The difference was the black arc that stands 20 feet, nine inches from the basket.

The Wolverines shot 9-18 from deep, while IU shot 5-14. The difference isn’t eye-popping, but the 3-pointers made from Michigan came at times where the Hoosiers had the momentum.

In a game where IU led by no more than three, those shots from beyond the arc proved pivotal.

Most of the damage done on the outside was from junior guard Nicole Munger, who shot 4-7 from three and had 16 points, and freshman forward Hailey Brown, knocking down all three of her outside shots and scoring 23 points.

The two Wolverine shooters were left wide open time after time after the Hoosiers doubled-teamed Michigan sophomore center Hallie Thome in the paint and then failed to recover back to the shooters.

IU couldn’t avoid the momentum-shifting 3-pointers, which is why their longest lead lasted no more than two minutes.

Aside from the three-point line, another game-changing moment happened with 7:07 left in the fourth quarter. IU senior forward Amanda Cahill fouled out after finishing with a team-high 16 points.

Cahill was the secondary defender every time Michigan would dump it in the post to Thome, and with her out, the interior of the Hoosier defense struggled.

There was also an aggressive point guard duel throughout the 40 minutes between senior guard Katelynn Flaherty of Michigan and senior guard Tyra Buss. Both are the all-time leaders for their respective schools in career points scored, both stand at 5-foot-7 and both wear the number three.

As much as people talk about the offense of Buss and Flaherty, it was their defense that shut one another down in the first half.

The second half was a different story, however, as the two traded basket after basket late in the third quarter and in stretches of the fourth. Usually, one-on-one duels aren’t ideal in basketball, but when the ball is going in the basket at the rate these two shoot, it ended up helping both teams.

Like Michigan, Flaherty got the best of Buss, outscoring the Hoosier 23-18.

IU freshman guard Bendu Yeaney had a breakout game after struggling the past few weeks. Yeaney scored 18 points and had four assists and four steals.

This loss dropped IU’s record in the conference to 1-4 and overall record to 8-10.

The Hoosiers will play again at noon on Saturday at home against No. 10 Ohio State, who IU lost to earlier in the year, 85-70. The three games IU has played since the loss to OSU will give the Buckeyes a whole new Hoosier team to prepare for this time around.

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