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Monday, May 20
The Indiana Daily Student

sports women's basketball

2nd-half rally comes up short for Hoosiers against Wildcats

Women's Basketball vs. Northwestern

The 17-3 run just wasn’t enough.

After trailing by 17 points to Northwestern with just more than nine minutes remaining in its second Big Ten home game of the year, the IU women’s basketball team went on a surge for the next eight minutes of play to close the gap to three points.

The team was unable to finish the comeback, however, and fell to the Wildcats 69-61.
The run began on two free throws by junior forward Aulani Sinclair after a technical was called on Northwestern’s junior guard Tailor Jones for unsportsmanlike conduct.

She and her teammates were celebrating after their junior forward Kendall Hackney blocked IU’s junior guard Jasmine McGhee on a layup attempt.

The technical seemed to spark the run for the Hoosiers, but IU Coach Felisha Legette-Jack thought otherwise.

“It lit a fire for (Northwestern),” she said. “No technical should get your team pumped up. What should get your team pumped up is that they put on that Indiana uniform every year. It’s the 25th anniversary of the last national championship. You’ve got to know the history behind this University. You’ve got to smack the floor, and you’ve got to want to play because you’ve got Indiana on your chest.”

The loss for IU now puts it at a four-game losing streak since beginning Big Ten play. In addition to its 0-4 conference record, the team is now 5-12 on the season.

Northwestern ended its own three-game losing streak by earning its first Big Ten victory.

The Wildcats are now 1-2 in conference play and 11-5 overall.

McGhee began the game shooting 5-7 and led the Hoosiers with 10 points at the half, but the second half was a different story. She connected on only two of her final 12 attempts and didn’t make it to the free throw line for the whole game.

Despite her shooting troubles, she remained in the game because of her willingness to get everyone else involved.

“I think that I had the right mindset, but the shots weren’t falling properly,” she said. “I was just trying to look for my other teammates, and we scored here and there.”

The leading scorer for IU was Sinclair. She tallied 17 total points with the help of her perfect 6-6 free throw shooting and three 3-pointers. One of her 3’s was key to the late run, which cut Northwestern’s lead to five and got the crowd chanting “De-fense” on the other side of the court.

When asked whether she was discouraged from being down 17 or encouraged by the fight back, Legette-Jack didn’t hesitate to answer.

“Discouraged,” she responded. “Us continuing to put ourselves in that kind of situation is not necessary. Getting down by 17 to this team was not warranted. This is our home. We had 3,000 fans watching us. The fight came late, and the fans got involved, but then they realized they missed an opportunity. It’s a young team that’s going to continue learning lessons, but I think everyone’s a little tired of learning those lessons through defeat.”

IU will next travel to East Lansing, Mich., to take on the Michigan State
Spartans.

Tip-off is at 7 p.m. Thursday night.

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