The women’s basketball team is two wins away from capturing the WNIT championship. So far, the Hoosiers have defeated four opponents in the tournament, all by double digits, and all games have been at home.
Most recently, IU beat UC Davis and saw Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall packed as 6,001 fans showed up — the most since 2012 and the most this season.
After already surpassing the point in which it advanced last year — the final eight teams — IU now sees the reality of a title much clearer than two weeks ago.
But, before a title birth, the Hoosiers have TCU in the way. The Horned Frogs have done much of the same as IU in the tournament, beating all their opponents by eight-plus points and averaging over 70 points a game.
Here’s three things you need to know about TCU before the game tips off at 7 p.m. in Assembly Hall.
It’s been no secret all year that IU has lacked height and been out-sized for a majority of their season. TCU presents no different scenario for the Hoosiers.
TCU Junior center Jordan Moore stands at 6-foot-3 and averages 13.2 points per game on 57-percent shooting.
Sunday against UC Davis, IU handled a 6-foot-4 center with good help defense. But the UC Davis player was mainly just a back-to-the-basket player. Moore, on the other hand, can post up, face up and blow by defenders.
So, IU Coach Teri Moren said her team will have to do quick digs like they did against UC Davis, but will also double team if necessary.
TCU junior forward Amy Okonkwo leads the team in scoring with 14.5 points per game, and she has not started one game for the Horned Frogs this year.
This year, Okonkwo was named Big 12 Sixth Man of the Year. She stands at 6-foot-2 and shoots 50-percent from the field.
No player from the Horned Frogs average more than 27 minutes per game. They have a 12-player rotation, with everyone averaging five-plus minutes.
Whereas IU has four of its five starters clock in 34-plus minutes each game, and the bench plays limited minutes with an eight-player rotation.
IU has dealt with depth all year, but a team as deep as TCU could make it more of an issue.
“They are very deep,” Moren said. “All of their guards can shoot it, and they have fantastic post players.”
Used to packed opposing territories
When the Horned Frogs played at home, they got an average of about 2,000 fans showing up at their games. However, when they traveled their opponents averaged 4,000 fans each game. TCU was 7-6 on the road this season, so they are no strangers to winning in a loud environment, which is exactly what Assembly Hall will pose tonight.
The Hoosiers averaged 4,000 and some change in attendance in the regular season, but if the last two games foreshadow anything, it’s that Hoosier nation will be packing the Hall once again.
The last two games IU has topped its season record with 5,564 fans against Purdue on March 22, then 6,001 fans against UC Davis on March 24.
“It’s so fun to play in front of this crowd,” freshman guard Bendu Yeaney said. “It’s amazing. I’ve never been able to play in front of a crowd like this. It’s unbelievable. I’m overwhelmed.”