IU junior guard Tyra Buss was in full on attack mode against the Florida Gators on Tuesday.
With 9.4 seconds left in the first half, Buss headed to the line for her 19th and 20th free throws of the night. She had already tied the school record with 17 made free throws for a single game, and now she was looking to break it. As they usually do when Buss challenges them, the record fell.
Behind 35 points and 19 made free throws from Buss, IU knocked off Florida 102-88 at Rollins College’s Warden Arena in Winter Park, Florida.
“So far it has been an incredible year for her,” IU assistant coach Glenn Box said in a postgame radio interview on WHCC 105.1. “When we look at these numbers, they are truly amazing. She did a tremendous job for us tonight.”
When Coach Box was told about the record on-air by play-by-play man Greg Murray, all he could say was “wow.”
The Illinois native constantly got to the line in the first half and that was the difference. The Hoosiers shot 26 free throws in the first half and Buss shot 20 of them, as she persisted with her efforts to attack the basket. The junior even broke the Big Ten record for free throws made in a game when she hit her 19th.
It’s not as if she wasn’t getting it done from the field. She was. Buss was aggressive all night long and lived at the free throw line. Her only miss from the charity stripe came on the front end of four free throws when Florida was given a technical and an intentional foul in the same sequence.
Buss added three rebounds, two steals and six assists to her big scoring night. More than that though, there is one thing Box said he is most impressed with about Buss.
“What we like most about Tyra is that she’s being a great teammate,” Box said. “If you didn’t know Tyra was who she was, you would have no idea she was who she was. We’re so pleased with her.”
The stat-line was not one you would normally see. Buss has the ability to turn in a 35-point night every now and then, but the eye-popping number of free throws were an abnormality. Buss is a driving guard, so earning free throws are a part of her game, but to shoot 20 in a half is rare.
Buss has already shown what she is capable of many times this season. Against North Carolina State, she scored 38. She didn’t quite reach that number Tuesday, but it was an impressive performance nonetheless.
“We just hope she can keep it up, she’s been amazing,” Box said.
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