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Monday, June 17
The Indiana Daily Student

sports

The usual suspect haunts IU: poor offense

Hoosiers make only 12 baskets in NCAA tourney loss; now 1-4 all-time in tournament

DURHAM, N.C. -- Twenty field goals in 40 minutes doesn't usually win a basketball game.\nBut Texas Christian got away with that stale offense against the IU women's basketball team (17-14) Friday for a 55-45 win in the first round of the East Region in the women's NCAA tournament. The Frogs (24-6) just needed the Hoosiers to do what has doomed them for most of the season -- shoot poorly.\nAnd IU made only 12 field goals in 40 minutes. The Hoosiers shot 18.5 percent in the first half and 29.2 percent in the second for an overall 23.5 percent. The previous low for field-goal percentage was 25.4 percent in a 50-44 loss to North Carolina State in late November. \nBefore Friday's defeat, the Hoosiers shot 40.8 percent from the field (10th in the Big Ten) and 33.2 percent from three-point range (fifth). They scored an average of 67.7 points per game, ninth in the conference.\nIU coach Kathi Bennett has said she credited the season's weak offense to loss of confidence and poor shot selection. But Friday, the Horned Frogs' defense was the culprit. TCU ranked eighth in the nation entering Friday's contest for field-goal percentage defense, limiting opponents to 35 percent from the field. \n"We were just rushed offensively," Bennett said. "We never regained our poise on the offensive end."\nBut the Hoosiers didn't always rely on solid offense this season. Bennett demands stifling defense, and IU held foes to 40.3 percent shooting (second in the Big Ten) and 64.1 points per game (third).\nThe Hoosiers matched their fifth-lowest season production of 55 points in the Big Ten tournament semi-finals against Purdue, a No. 2-seed in the Mideast Region. But IU also limited the Boilermakers to a season-worst 41 points.\nBennett faces a huge rebuilding challenge next season, as IU loses 73 percent of its scoring to graduation. The Hoosiers lose five seniors, including four starters and two All-Big Ten selections in center Jill Chapman (16.1 points per game, 9.1 rebounds) and point guard Heather Cassady (12.6 points, 3.9 assists, 38.5 minutes).\nGetting there\nFriday's loss marked the Hoosiers' third consecutive first-round exit from the NCAA tournament. IU is 1-4 in all-time NCAA tournament appearances, last winning in 1983 -- the same year freshman starter Jenny DeMuth was born. \nCoach Maryalyce Jeremiah guided IU to the win over Kentucky before falling to traditional power Georgia. \nThe Hoosiers also qualified in 1994 and 1995 under Jim Izard -- losing to Mississippi 83-61 and Georgia 81-64.\nSenior players said Friday they weren't happy to lose so soon but remain proud having qualified for the tournament.\n"We maybe helped put a name on the map, hopefully," senior forward Erin McGinnis said. "At least in the Big Ten, other teams respect us more than they did in the past. I hope that just carries on and becomes a tradition that we're going to make it to the field of 64 every year."\nHot stuff\nThe home of Duke University doesn't call to mind the most ideal spring break location. But, boy, was it hot down here.\nThe temperature reached a high of 80 degrees Friday. Humidity plus 6,000 sweating people in an un-air conditioned Cameron Indoor Stadium made for a steamy evening for hoops.\n"Our trainer told us to drink a lot of water," said Cassady, who played 40 minutes. "(It affected us) not as much as I thought it would affect us. I'm probably a little more sweaty than I'm used to."\nDuke women's basketball information director Lindy Brown said the 9,314-seat Cameron has never had air conditioning, but a cooling system should be ready next month.\nRepresentin'\nFive other Big Ten teams qualified for the NCAA tournament. The Boilermakers and No. 4-seed Penn State play hosts to Mideast Region first- and second-round games. No. 8 seed Wisconsin also fell in the opening round, 73-70, to Pac-10 tournament champion Arizona State. The Badgers, ranked eighth when the Hoosiers upset them in Bloomington, lost nine of their final 12 games.\nPurdue, Penn State, No. 5-seed Minnesota and No. 9-seed Iowa all advanced to the second round. The Hawkeyes, the first of IU's victims in the Big Ten tournament, will play undefeated Big Dance favorite Connecticut today.\nThe Big Ten was rated the third-strongest conference in the nation at season's end behind the Southeastern Conference and the Big 12, according to collegerpi.com.

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