Revenge is sweet, but not easy.
At noon on Saturday inside Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall, the IU women’s basketball team will have its chance at revenge when they take on the No. 10-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes.
It was just two weeks ago when the Hoosiers traveled to Columbus, Ohio, on New Year’s Eve in hopes of closing out the new year on a strong note.
It didn’t take long for that hope to become hopelessness as the Buckeyes took a 32-12 lead at the end of the first quarter.
The Hoosiers played down 19 plus points for a majority of the game, getting down by 28 with 3:02 to go in the third quarter.
There was a glimmer of hope, however, throughout the final ten minutes of the game. Led by senior guard Tyra Buss and junior forward Kim Royster, IU was able to threaten late by cutting the lead down to 13 at one point.
It was all too little too late, though, as IU dropped the game with a final score of 85-70.
In what looks like a disappointing game quite possibly turned into the punch in the face IU needed to get rolling in the Big Ten.
Since then, the Hoosiers have made an incredible comeback at Penn State — rallying from 15 down in six minutes to tie the game with 22 seconds left. Even though IU lost the game, 77-74, due to costly turnovers in the final seconds, the momentum of their fourth quarter surge followed again.
Next time out was against in-state rival Purdue, who IU ran off the court, 72-54.
Finally, the Hoosiers went toe-to-toe with No. 23 Michigan but came up short in the end, 84-79.
Even though the Hoosiers went 1-2 in the three games following Ohio State, it’s the way the team has competed that has them confident for round two against the Buckeyes.
“We’ve been talking about how important those first four minutes are,” IU Coach Teri Moren said. “Other than the first quarter, we played them pretty even the remainder of the game.”
Moren said one of the reasons this Buckeye team is so dangerous is because they can score at all five positions. Four out of the five Buckeyes scored 13 points or more in the New Year’s Eve meeting.
The transition defense was poor in that game according to Moren. But, she said since then the team has been much better on the defensive end and is improving every game.
That is in due in part to the increased amount of tape Moren has had her team watching.
“We’ve been watching a lot of film and are just trying to look at the mistakes we are making,” Royster said. “With all of us repeatedly seeing what we did wrong, I think it has helped us going into our next games.”
IU will come into Saturday’s game with an overall record of 8-10 and a conference record of 1-4. It’s hard not to mention the Hoosiers have had the eighth hardest schedule in the nation for women’s college basketball as well.
“We are making progress,” Moren said. “We just have to keep chipping away. We are doing a lot of really good things right now. It’s not showing up in the win column, but I like this group. I like their resilience and how they’ve have shown up every day wanting to get better.”
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