Hoosiers outshine rivals

Whitney Thomas posted a gaudy double-double with 17 points and 18 rebounds. The Hoosiers won the caroms category by eight, and five of Thomas’s were offensive. Indiana scored 13 points on second chances to Purdue’s four.

“We’re kind of soft down low. She is the best offensive rebounder in the Big Ten, and I guess we didn’t figure it out,” Boiler coach Sharon Versyp said of her former player.

Said Thomas of the Hoosiers’ 8-0 run to open the second half, the second such spurt in the game: “We knew last time we played them, it was tied at halftime and they made a run right away, and that was a big changing point in the game, so we knew we had to do it this time, and we went out there and did it.”

Jamie Braun recovered from her Purdue drought that has resulted in the two worst games of her career, including a one-point showing at Assembly Hall on Jan. 3. Braun hit for 14 points on Monday and delivered an NBA-range 3-pointer that put the Hoosiers up eight with 3:52 to play.

IU coach Felisha Legette-Jack on telling Braun that Purdue would try to make her a non-factor again: “We said, Jamie, whatever you do, do not leave the game mentally.”

With freshman guard Jori Davis in street clothes on the Indiana bench and a boot cast on her left foot, the door was open for another one of the IU youngsters to make an impact. Ebony Jackson responded with eight points, four rebounds, and two assists in 19 minutes on the floor. Legette-Jack loves to chat about the game as a “Microcosm of Life,” which quite simply means make the most of the opportunities presented to you because you don’t know when you’ll get another chance.

Purdue can’t win two in a row this season since the first two games on the schedule. After then losing four in a row (in all fairness to multiple teams in the top 25), the Boilermakers have won one-lost one for the last 10 games after Monday’s defeat. It’s kind of a down year for the normally national powerhouse, what with Lindsay Wisdom-Hylton and Jodi Howell missing the entire campaign.

But, most notably, the victory for the Hoosiers was just the third in the last 22 meetings between the schools and the sixth in the last 43.

“What a great instate rivalry we’ve created here,” said Legette-Jack. “I came here and I didn’t recognize what it was all about. Whitney and Kim (Roberson) tried to share with me the importance of instate Indiana. I saw it first hand last year.”