Hoosiers out in Indy

It’s really a bummer that Indiana couldn’t hold on to snag a Big Ten quarterfinal win against bitter rival Purdue on Friday. The loss adds to the lately dismal performance in the all-time series with the Boilermakers, who have won 20 of the last 23 meetings.

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FahKara Malone crippled the Hoosiers with a Purdue tournament record eight steals and a HUGE 3-pointer that put the Boiler up five with 3:23 to play. Coupled with Purdue’s 13-10 steals advantage against the best thieving team in the conference (though coach Sharon Versyp was quick to point out the teams tied in the category in league play), was a 14-4 advantage on fastbreak points. Malone jetted down for a layup after two of her thefts and fed Kalika France for an easy score on another.

“For FahKara to get eight, it’s kind of like that vision when you’re pitching, you know, you just get in a zone, and she was in a zone tonight,” said Versyp.

Another factor was Purdue freshman Keshia Mosley, who scored 12 points in 16 minutes off the bench. At one point in the second half, she scored seven straight points in the game, taking the Boilermakers from down two to leading by five. This might not be as noteworthy if she hadn’t done something similar against the Hoosiers this season. In PU’s win at Assembly Hall on Jan. 3, she scored 10 points, blocked two shots, got a steal and a rebound in just 11 first-half minutes. Mosley is 6-1 but has a ton of size to maneuver with.

“She’s amazing. I wish everyone else would realize what we realize,” Malone said. “She’s just a big body in there. Every time she comes in she produces, every single time, and we expect nothing less from her than to knock someone over and get a basket.”

Hoosier freshman Jori Davis on experiencing the Big Ten Tourney for the first time, and the hunger she’s got now to bring with her on her next visit to Conseco Fieldhouse: “I’m very upset about the game, but as far as it being my first Big Ten, I never look at it as, ‘Ooh, the Big Ten.’ I always look at it as another chance to win a game and get (IU) to the NCAA again. And we wanna come back strong.”

NOTES:The Hoosiers entered Friday shooting 33.0% from behind the 3-point line. Their game total of 3-for-18 was 16.7%…Malone wasn’t the only one who got highlight reel steals, as fellow Big Ten All-Defensive team member Kim Roberson ripped the ball out of Lakisha Freeman’s hands at midcourt and got an And-1 layup to drop. She hit her free throw for the final three points of the half, when Indiana led 27-26…Selection day for the WNIT is Monday, March 17, and the Hoosiers have an argument for a bid. Last season, they were a half-game better with an overall record of 18-13 and got in, but this season they beat two Top 25 opponents and Purdue on the road.

Game 6 Final (UPSET ALERT):
(9) Illinois 64, (1) #22 Ohio State 58
(9) Illinois vs. (4) Minnesota/(5) Michigan State, Saturday, Approx. 8:30 p.m.