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Saturday, May 18
The Indiana Daily Student

sports women's basketball

Hoosiers drop 1st season opener in Legette-Jack era

For the first time since IU Coach Felisha Legette-Jack has been in control, the IU women’s basketball team lost its regular season opener.

IU fell to the Central Arkansas Sugar Bears, 58-46, Friday in Conway, Ark. The Hoosiers kept a 30-21 lead with 14:20 remaining in the game and won the rebounding battle 40-31, but it wasn’t enough in a match that featured four ties and nine
lead changes.

Junior center Sasha Chaplin had a strong performance to return from last year’s knee injury, leading the team in scoring with 13 and completing a double-double with 10 rebounds, her first since Dec. 22, 2009, versus Toledo and the fifth of her career. She also added two blocks and two steals.

“It was great to Sasha (Chaplin) back out there and playing well,” Legette-Jack said.

Two of the five newcomers started in their first game, junior forward Linda Rubene and junior guard Jasmine McGhee.

McGhee made an impressive start to her Division I career by putting up 12 points and eight rebounds.

For a team that usually likes to fire away behind the arc, the Hoosiers only attempted three triples and made one, all of which were by junior forward Aulani Sinclair.

IU kept the Sugar Bears to just six field goals on 20.7 percent shooting in the first half, but Central Arkansas ended up with a field goal percentage of 36 after shooting 61.5 percent from long range and 57.1 percent overall in the second half.

“We just let it slip away late in the second half in a tough road environment,” Legette-Jack said. “They hit some open outside shots and were able to size the momentum. We’ll get back in the gym this weekend and get some work in to be ready for Murray State at home on Monday.”

IU will come home for its regular season opener at 7 p.m. Monday against Murray State at Assembly Hall.

This game will be only the second meeting between the two schools. The first game was in 1980. Murray State won by a score of 71-56.

The Racers finished last year with a 9-21 record overall and posting a 5-13 record for their conference. After defeating Evansville by 15 in their regular season opener, Murray State will be coming to Bloomington looking to start the year 2-0.

If IU falls to the Racers, it will be the first time since the 2005-06 season that the Hoosiers open their season with two straight losses. The last time they did so, they lost to Baylor and Notre Dame.

Height will be a strength for IU on Monday. The Hoosiers’ roster includes nine players at least 6 feet tall compared to only six for Murray State. The Racers’ tallest player is 6 feet 3 inches, while IU has five members of at least that height, including Chaplin and Rubene.

Murray State has a high-pressure defense that forced Evansville into 31 turnovers in its first game, but Legette-Jack is already preparing for it. She tweeted Saturday that IU was getting ready for 40 minutes of pressure Monday.

She ended the tweet by proclaiming, “We will b ready.”

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