Indiana Daily Student

IU takes control

Hoosiers bounce back with 28-point Big Ten victory

A different women's basketball team took the floor in Thursday night's win against Minnesota (7-8, 0-4 Big Ten).\nThe Assembly Hall crowd was on its feet cheering the Hoosiers, as they routed the Golden Gophers, 92-64.\n"I thought we really moved the ball, and stepped up defensively," coach Kathi Bennett said. "In the first half, they made a lot of turnovers, and that kept us in the game. In the second half, we settled down, and played really good basketball."\nThe Hoosiers (13-3, 4-1) shot more than 50 percent in both halves and stayed out of early foul trouble. Junior center Jill Chapman, who committed two fouls in the first 10 minutes against Purdue Sunday, had only three fouls Thursday.\nIU took sole control of second place in the Big Ten and set a season-high point total with the win. Sunday, IU plays Penn State, which lost at Michigan Thursday.\nAll season, the Hoosiers have been proving themselves to be a second-half team. Against Purdue, IU cut a 22-point deficit to four in the final minutes. In the first meeting with Minnesota earlier this month, IU escaped after fighting back from 11 points down.\n"We were told to come out on fire in the first five minutes," Chapman said. "We really wanted to come out strong instead of trying to come back or staying with the team."\nIU didn't need a big comeback in the second half Thursday. The Hoosiers poured in 45 points in the first half and led the Gophers by 10.\nThe 92 points bested IU's previous season scoring high -- 82 against Long Beach State.\nIU went on a 4-0 run and jumped to an early lead of seven just three minutes into the game. Minnesota managed to capitalize on two Hoosier turnovers and two fouls to tie the score at 14.\nWith 12:49 left in the first half, the Gophers took their first and only lead of the game. Junior guard Heather Cassady hit a baseline jumper to give IU a 17-16 lead, and extended that lead with the same shot on the next Hoosier possession.\nAt that point, the Gophers faltered, and the Hoosiers drained their next four shots. IU went on an 8-1 run with two minutes left in the half to take a 10-point advantage heading into the break.\n"Everybody moved a lot better tonight," Cassady said. "We were coming off screens, and there was a lot more pop. We collapsed them."\nThe Hoosiers, who are second in the Big Ten for three-point defense, held the Gophers, who are second in the conference in three-point field goals with 49, to only 40 percent in the first half, and just more than 27 percent overall.\nJunior center Jill Chapman led the Hoosiers with 12 points, while sophomore center Kim Prince, the only Gopher to reach double digits, paced Minnesota with 11.\nWhile Minnesota struggled from the field, the second half turned into The Heather Cassady Shooting Show.\nCassady's scoring run started with two free throws to give the Hoosiers a 15-point lead three minutes into the second half. Cassady's favorite shot of the night was the baseline jumper. Four of the next five baskets made by the Hoosiers belonged to Cassady.\nFrom there, Cassady and IU never looked back. IU led by 20 for the majority of the final 10 minutes of the second half.\nCassady left the game with three minutes remaining, after racking up a game-high and a new career-high 27 points. Cassady went 9 of 13 from the field, and hit four of the five three-pointers she fired.\n"(Cassady) played like an All-American," Minnesota coach Cheryl Littlejohn said. "She's a great leader for the team. She gets the team going. She knows what the Big Ten is all about."\nDick Bennett, father of coach Kathi Bennett, spent the week in Bloomington and said he was impressed by Cassady's play.\n"She's a tough little player," said Bennett, who admitted it was tough watching his daughter coach. "She could play for one of my teams for sure."\nDick Bennett, who retired near the start of this season after guiding Wisconsin to the Final Four, said he likes retired life, getting a chance to relax and watching his daughter coach the sport he loves.\n"The pressure of it all was just too much for me," Bennett said. "It's relaxing to be in this position now. I've been catching up with Kathi, and that's been great.\n"In her four years at Evansville, I didn't get to see her coach one. It's like I'm making up for lost time"

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