IUWBB: Hoosiers lose to No. 20 Rutgers, 71-60

For the second time in five days, the Hoosiers made things interesting with a top 25 team on the road.

But on the second leg of their East Coast trip against No. 20 Rutgers, Indiana (14-15, 4-14 Big Ten) again couldn’t keep pace in the second half in a 71-60 defeat Sunday at Rutgers Athletic Center.

Both the Scarlet Knights and the Hoosiers were without their starting centers because of injury, but it was Rutgers’ ability to run in transition that hurt IU. The Scarlet Knights scored 18 points in transition and held the Hoosiers to zero; they were led by Kahleah Copper, who finished with 24 points and seven rebounds. Betnijah Laney added 18 points and 13 rebounds, while Tyler Scaife had 16 points.

“We allowed them to have some runouts, based on our turnovers, which got their crowd into it,” IU head coach Teri Moren said. “Proud of our effort at times, but as I said to the kids, it’s a 40 minutes game. It’s not 35, it’s not 28. We need to grow and learn that.”

Two freshman led IU. Tyra Buss had a team-high 14 points. Amanda Cahill, despite being limited to 20 minutes because of foul trouble, added 11 points. A third freshman, Jess Walter, started the game in Jenn Anderson’s place and finished with nine points.

Anderson is day-to-day with concussion-like symptoms suffered during Thursday’s Maryland game. With Cahill in foul trouble, an already small Hoosier lineup became even smaller.

“I’m disappointed that Cahill gets in foul trouble early on and we have to go really small. We would think having more perimieter players would help to spread the floor out a little bit more,” Moren said. “But we just turned the ball over too many times.”

The Hoosiers were able to tie up the rebounding battle, 35-35, but extra guards in the lineup didn’t prevent IU from finishing with 19 turnovers.

“They didn’t out-rebound us, which was positive, but I felt like there was a stretch out there in the second half where we seemed disengaged a little bit,” Moren said. “Our effort, energy level, all of that wasn’t good enough to make a run at Rutgers.

The Hoosiers shot 38.5 percent from the field, including 7-of-24 (29.2 percent) from 3-point range. Five of those 3s came in the first half, as the Hoosiers went into the locker room trailing 30-26.

But the Scarlet Knights outscored the Hoosiers 17-5 in the opening eight minutes of the second half and had control over the action from there.

With the loss, their fifth straight, the Hoosiers are the No. 12 seed in the Big Ten tournament and will play in the opening game 6 p.m. (ET) Wednesday against No. 13-seed Penn State (6-23, 3-15), which lost its regular season finale to Wisconsin Sunday. The Hoosiers lost to PSU 79-75 on Jan. 22.

“It is a new season. That’s what you talk to your players about, that anything can happen in a tournament setting,” Moren said. “We only got to see Penn State once, at their place and felt like we didn’t show up and decided to make it a game there toward the end.

“Again, it’s a 40-minute game and that’s what you learn from experience. Hopefully, as we said to them, we are going there not to play just one game. Hopefully that will motivate them, inspire them to know they have a new season to look forward to over the next couple of days.”

3 comments

  1. Another tough game against a ranked team on the road. During the 5 game losing streak, IU has played 4 ranked teams explaining their struggles. As explained in the article, the 19 turnovers were the difference in the game. Rutgers scored 19 points off of the turnovers by IU. We desperately missed Jenn Anderson’s size underneath due to her concussion. At times we did not have a player on the floor over 6 feet tall. Even with that disadvantage, we were even in rebounding 35-35. With inadequate size on the floor, Rutgers was able to shoot over us inside all day. Along with Anderson unable to play, Cahill only played about 3 minutes in the first half due to foul trouble. IU only had Buss and Cahill in double figures with 14 and 11 points respectively.
    Hopefully we will have Anderson able to play in the upcoming Big 10 tournament considering we are playing the biggest team in the conference in Penn St. who we lost to by 4 points at their place earlier this year. It has been a tough year in conference play that has really shown the difference in height and athletic ability between us and the other talented teams in the league. We have been pretty competitive against some of the better teams in the league but, the difference in talent has shown through in most games. Hopefully, with next year’s recruits coming in and the addition of Liz Stratman, we will be more athletic and more able to battle the size we will see in most games. Go Hoosiers!!

  2. Mike C;

    How can we NOT be better in every aspect of the game?
    We lost a grand total of five points from this year’s squad, and bring in a bunch of height next year, including a skilled fifth-year senior from Butler.
    The future is so bright I need my shades!

  3. I’m going to go out on a limb here and predict that Andrea Mize is not the only player on the roster that will not be returning next season. Coach Moren has worked too hard for that not to happen.

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