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Sunday, April 14
The Indiana Daily Student

sports women's basketball

Hoosiers exit break at .500

IU women’s basketball coach Felisha Legette-Jack and the her team went to Florida during winter break, but it wasn’t for the sun, beach and relaxation.

Rather, the Hoosiers’ trip to the Sunshine State signaled the kickoff of a six-game stretch that carried major offseason implications.

After splitting back-to-back road games at Florida International (6-11), a 64-60 win and a 73-69 loss against Florida Gulf Coast (12-0), the Hoosiers entered Big Ten season play with a .500 record at 6-6. This meant that Legette-Jack’s squad would have to amass a winning conference record to be considered eligible for the NCAA tournament — something never done during the coach’s four-year tenure at IU.

Against FGCU, center Sasha Chaplin (who missed a portion of last season with a toe injury) injured her knee, keeping her out for the remainder of the season. Despite the loss of their starting center, the Hoosiers welcomed the arrival of transfer forward Georgie Jones, who first became eligible to play against FIU.

Returning home to Assembly Hall, the Hoosiers knew that their offseason aspirations rested on the result of each remaining game. IU opened their Big Ten season with a 71-69 home win against Northwestern (13-4) on Dec. 30. The team looked to take the momentum of a victory against the Wildcats into their next game — a showdown on the road against Minnesota (8-8).

Against the Gophers, IU was able to come from behind and force overtime after guard Jori Davis made a layup with 29 seconds remaining in regulation. The Hoosiers were able to ultimately outlast the Gophers by a score of 80-79.

Davis tied her season high with 31 points, as the Hoosiers improved to a perfect 2-0 start to the Big Ten season. Next up were the defending conference champions, Ohio State (10-5).

All-American senior center Jantel Lavender and her Ohio State teammates were looking for revenge after a smaller Hoosiers squad upset the Buckeyes last year in Assembly Hall. This year, Legette-Jack’s team still had their underdog status but walked off the court without a victory. The Hoosiers fell to OSU in Columbus, 83-65. IU had no answer to the Buckeyes’ superior inside game, as the Hoosiers were outscored in the paint and outrebounded.

Now the Hoosiers stare at an 8-8 record after falling to Purdue (11-5) on Sunday. Their 2-2 conference record will be tested once again when they attempt to defend their home floor against Illinois on Thursday.

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