The Hoosiers have struggled at various times this season in a number of different statistical areas.
There is one statistic, however, that has not lagged behind the rest - field goal percentage. IU isn’t afraid to take a 3-pointer, but the Hoosiers also put themselves in positions to get high percentage shots. Wednesday was another case of that.
With a 54 percent shooting percentage, IU extended its winning streak to six games with a 74-60 victory over Stony Brook at Rollins College’s Warden Arena in Winter Park, Florida.
“We did some good things offensively,” IU assistant coach Rhet Wierzba said on the IU radio postgame show on WHCC 105.1. “We shot the ball well again. It’s nice to go into Christmas on a winning streak.”
The Hoosiers had control for most of the night and only trailed or were tied for just one minute of game time. After the first quarter they led by 11. At halftime it was 14. But in the third quarter, the game could have gone a different direction if not for IU junior guard Tyra Buss.
After Stony Brook went on an 8-0 run toward the end of the third quarter, the Seawolves had the Hoosier lead down to just 10. But Buss wasn’t going to let Stony Brook back in it. Instead, she nailed a 3-pointer just before the horn to end the run and put IU back on track.
One area that has been inconsistent for the Hoosiers this season has been their defense, and Wierzba said he saw some issues on that end against the Seawolves.
“I don’t think our defense was as good today as we wanted it to be,” Wierzba said. “They were able to get in the lane way too many times, our help side defense wasn’t what it needs to be. Those are things, when we get back from Christmas we can shore up a little bit.”
This season has been full of players breaking records and eclipsing milestones, and IU’s final night in Florida at the Sunshine Classic followed that trend. The first came in the opening quarter when Buss scored in double figures for a school-record 50th straight game. In another milestone moment, junior forward Amanda Cahill reached the 1,000-point mark for her career.
The Hoosier starters kept up their streak of strong offensive production, as all five reached double digits in scoring. Buss led IU with 15 points while Cahill followed her up with 14. Senior guards Alexis Gassion and Karlee McBride, along with senior forward Jenn Anderson, each scored 10 points.
“When multiple players are able to step up and make shots, it makes you much more difficult to guard,” Wierzba said. “They can’t always just key in on Tyra or Cahill or Gassion, especially with Jenn scoring inside. A lot of different players in different ways are able to step forward for us.”
Points came easy for IU, as they once again eclipsed 70 points for the 12th time in 13 games. The Hoosiers took advantage of Stony Brook's weak interior defense and scored 46 of their 74 points in the paint.
IU now has a week off before it begins its Big Ten schedule with a road game Wednesday, Dec. 28 at Penn State.