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Saturday, May 18
The Indiana Daily Student

sports women's basketball

Turnovers, final minutes doom Hoosiers

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Missed layups and 23 turnovers would make it hard for any team to win a basketball game.  And for an IU women’s basketball team (5-13, 0-5) that traveled to Michigan State (12-5, 4-0) Thursday night searching for its first Big Ten Conference win of the season, it proved too much.

Indiana fell to the Spartans 67-47 at the Breslin Center in East Lansing, Mich., in the teams’ second meeting of the 2011-12 regular season.  The Hoosiers fell 63-49 in the first battle.

But to IU Coach Felisha Legette-Jack, this loss was different.  After spending two years at the Breslin Center as an assistant coach from 2001-2003, Legette-Jack said losing in East Lansing, even though she was sitting on the IU bench, still felt weird.

“One thing I learned from Coach P (Joanne P. McCallie) when she was head coach and I was her assistant is that we don’t lose here,” Legette-Jack said.  “And it still feels weird losing here even though I’m in Indiana gear.”

But in the opening minutes and during most of the first half, IU stayed close. 

Freshman center Quaneisha McCurty, who scored only four points in Indiana’s last outing — a loss to Northwestern, started out quick, scoring four points and blocking two shots in the game’s opening minutes.

Indiana’s largest lead was four points when they were up 14-10 just six minutes into the ballgame, and though they lost that lead and trailed the Spartans 33-27 at halftime after a buzzer-beating 3-pointer by Michigan State’s Porshe Poole, it still appeared to be a game IU could stay in.

But as senior guard Alisha Goodwin came out and missed an open layup, IU’s first shot of the half, it seemed the tides had shifted.

“We had some wide open shots where we missed four layups, and that could have really solidified our comeback,” Legette-Jack said.  “But when you miss wide open layups, it really kind of zaps your energy a bit.”

Michigan State lengthened its lead to as much as 12 before IU made a short six-point run, cutting the game to 48-42 with more than seven minutes to play. From then on, the team could hardly make a shot.  The Spartans closed the game on a 19-5 run, and Legette-Jack said IU’s younger lineup began to show.

“Winning breeds winning, and Michigan State knows how to win, and we pulled back a little bit and tried to figure out how to win,” Legette-Jack said.  “Our talent is in our freshman and theirs is in their seniors, but we’ll continue to grow Indiana and help our conference get better. Our kids played hard and played a good 32 minutes tonight, and the score wasn’t indicative of the outcome, but the score is the score, and tonight the best team won.”

Junior center Sasha Chaplin led the Hoosiers both in scoring and rebounds on the evening, contributing 13 points with a 5-of-7 shooting night from the floor and tearing down eight boards.  McCurty finished with four blocked shots and eight points for the Hoosiers.

IU will get the weekend off as the Hoosiers prepare to face in-state foe Purdue Jan. 19 at Assembly Hall.  The rivalry matchup will air on the Big Ten Network and will tipoff at 8 p.m.

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