INDIANAPOLIS – Nearly seven minutes into the first half, the IU women’s basketball team had not scored a point.
Then freshman Lindsay Enterline hit a 3-pointer, which was followed by an increased effort by the Hoosiers (19-9). IU came back to beat Michigan 68-50 in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament on Thursday in Indianapolis.
Sophomore captain Jori Davis said the 12-point deficit to start the game didn’t surprise her, but she said she didn’t expect the lack of intensity with which IU came out.
“I was more so shocked that we had to get our energy up,” Davis said. “It was just a matter of fixing it and coming back strong.”
Davis led the Hoosiers with 22 points, but the game’s turning point came when IU picked up its defensive intensity in the second half.
The Hoosiers held the Wolverines scoreless for 4:58 in the second half and used a 15-0 run to capture a six-point lead, 43-37.
The win will place the Hoosiers opposite in-state rival Purdue at 2 p.m. Friday for the second-round game in the Big Ten Women’s Basketball Tournament.
For the game, the Hoosiers forced Michigan into 22 turnovers.
Senior Kim Roberson, who led the defensive effort with six steals, said IU’s defensive presence changed the game.
“The pressure in the second half was pivotal for us,” she said. “It allowed us to
generate offense from defense. It gave us an extra possession.”
Michigan coach Kevin Borseth said his team’s inability to beat anyone off the dribble ultimately cost the Wolverines the game. While they stalled, IU capitalized on extra chances, converting easy baskets that proved vital – the Hoosiers shot only 37
percent in the first half, which included a 1-for-12 start to the game.
IU improved to 46.9 percent in the second half.
In addition to Davis’ productivity, Roberson and senior Amber Jackson scored 15 points apiece. Enterline also came off the bench to chip in six points.
IU coach Felisha Legette-Jack said she is not concerned with the short recovery time going into the next game.
“This is tournament time,” Legette-Jack said. “You can’t be worried about something you can’t control. It is what it is. I think we’re going to be as ready as we possibly can.”
The last time IU played Purdue, the Hoosiers captured a 71-57 victory in Bloomington.
If the Hoosiers want to make a strong case for making the NCAA tournament, a win tomorrow could go a long way.
For Roberson, the game against Purdue is not about the rivalry.
“Yeah, Purdue is our rival, but it’s tournament time,” Roberson said. “All the other stuff is extra. We’re just playing the team that’s next. It happens to be Purdue. That’s what we’re going to do: focus on Purdue – not Purdue as our rival, but Purdue as our opponent.”
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