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Monday, May 20
The Indiana Daily Student

sports women's basketball

Women forget past, focus on future skills

Women's Basketball v. Michigan State

Fewer than two weeks ago, the IU women’s basketball team began its Big Ten conference schedule with a home game against Michigan State after its most decisive win of the season, an 80-58 victory over Texas A&M Corpus Christi at Assembly Hall.

After a 63-49 loss against the Spartans on Dec. 30, the Hoosiers have continued to fail to grab a conference win, starting off 0-4 in Big Ten play. However, Thursday night, IU Coach Felisha Legette-Jack and her players will travel to East Lansing, Mich., to try to end their conference losing streak against the team that started it.

The Breslin Center has been a home away from home for Legette-Jack’s team for the past several seasons. Though IU hasn’t played there since 2009, the Hoosiers have won their last three contests at Michigan State’s home arena.

But Legette-Jack said she doesn’t care about streaks — winning or losing. The rest of this season is all about her young players learning lessons that will help build the program in the future.

“If we could break this streak against Tri-North Middle School, I’d be happy,” Legette-Jack said. “It doesn’t really matter about Michigan State because we’re just trying to find our way and learn lessons. We’d certainly like to learn lessons through
victories, but if we have to lose, I say let’s continue to learn lessons anyway.“

Junior forward Aulani Sinclair, who scored only five points in IU’s first meeting with the Spartans this season, said playing Michigan State again so quickly can only help because the loss is so fresh in her teammates’ minds.

“We know what mistakes we made and how we’re going to capitalize on this next game,” Sinclair said. “Our defense has to be on point, and we have to get back in transition and play Indiana defense and execute our offense.”

Despite losing, Legette-Jack said she’s noticed improvement in her team compared to last season’s squad. Last year, the Hoosiers lost as many as nine games in a row, as well as 14 of their final 15, but through this rough stretch, Legette-Jack said she still sees energy in her players.

“Last year when we’d lose four or five, it would be like there was a big elephant in the room taking all the air out, but this year we’ve got life,” Legette-Jack said. “This is a really good group of young folk, and we’re on our way.

“No matter wins or losses, I know we aren’t going to ever quit. I know we love what we’re doing, and we’re in this thing together.”

Sinclair, though, would love to grab yet another win 7 p.m. Thursday at the Breslin Center and said that finally winning a conference game would bring a much-need boost to the team’s morale.

“(A win) would be huge for us,” Sinclair said. “It would give us a lot of energy and give us a new start. After you win, everybody’s spirits are a lot higher, and winning there would be such a big energy-booster for us.”

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