Indiana Daily Student

Loss costs team chance at top 25

Hoosiers fall 89-68 to No. 12 Penn State

STATE COLLEGE, Penn. -- The IU women's basketball team has been in this position twice before: win a big weekend game and earn a spot among the nation's top 25. \nBut losses to Louisiana Tech and Purdue kept the Hoosiers hovering around the esteemed ranking instead of securing it.\nSunday, the Hoosiers, sitting at 27th in the Associated Press poll, were there again: beat Penn State, the No. 12 team in the country, and in all likelihood, squeak into the top 25. But like their two other chances, the Hoosiers were tripped up. This time, the Lady Lions did the trick, 89-68. IU remains on the outside looking in.\n"We have to learn from these experiences," coach Kathi Bennett said after the loss to Penn State. "We know the areas we need to address, and we are going to work our hardest on them. When we play, whoever it is, we need to start out and be prepared. I didn't think we were prepared to start and we got in early foul trouble and that hurt us."\nThe Hoosiers had 19 points in this week's AP Poll, ranking them 31st in the nation. That's a drop from the 50 points they received last week after their 67-59 loss to Purdue.\nIU has received even less support in the coaches' poll, where it has only 12 points this week. \nThe Hoosiers has not been ranked in a national poll since Jan. 18, 1993.\nThe team never was a threat in Sunday's loss, never holding a lead and trailing by as many as 28 points midway through the second half. IU was blown away from the start and could never catch up with the potent Lady Lion offense.\nThe sluggish start was reminiscent of last week's loss Purdue loss. In that game, the Hoosiers were slow in the first half and fell behind by 17 points at the halfway point.\n"I talked to them before the (Purdue) game, and they got so fired up that they got down by 22 points," said former Wisconsin coach and Bennett's father, Dick Bennett. "I don't know what it was. They just seemed to come out very nervous in the first half."\nAnd like the Purdue game, junior center Jill Chapman's first-half foul problems stifled much of the Hoosier offensive attack.\nWith Chapman out, Penn State attacked the IU inside and built up an insurmountable 21-point cushion.\n"It definitely hurt us," Bennett said. "I don't know, it was 37-16, so I don't know how much of a difference it made, but it did hurt us."\nThe Lady Lions focused on the low post game screening forward Maren Walseth and forward Rashana Barnes to create chances at shots.\n"They did screen a lot more than we've been use to," Chapman said. "It's just something we need to work on"

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