IU women wrap: Butler

WHAT HAPPENED: Four Hoosiers scored in double digits to lead Indiana to an 84-69 victory Saturday against Butler. IU never trailed and used a run midway through the second half to help put away its fifth win of the season. The Hoosiers’ 5-0 is the best start for the program since the 2006-07 season, when IU also won its first five games of the year.

It’s also the fourth time in five games Indiana has scored 80 points.

WHO MADE IT HAPPEN: Larryn Brooks scored 19 points and has led Indiana in scoring in each of her first five college games. Sasha Chaplin added 14 points, while shooting 6-for-6 from the field. Chaplin has scored on each of her last 12 field goal attempts dating back to the Indiana State game on Nov. 15. Tabitha Gerardot scored 10 points and finished two rebounds shy of her first double-double in an Indiana uniform. Alexis Gassion added a career-high 10 points.

As a team, the Hoosiers shot 47 percent from the field. IU’s reserves played valuable minutes for the second straight game, adding 22 points and giving Indiana a spark in the second half. Reserve forwards Simone Deloach and Milika Taufa combined for 14 points underneath.

KEY STAT: 18 assists against four turnovers. Indiana has now had 10 or fewer turnovers in three of its first five games.

QUOTE OF THE NIGHT: “We had four turnovers total? I’d say that’s pretty good.”
— IU forward Tabitha Gerardot on learning her team held on to the ball a bit more than she may have realized.

MIKE’S ‘WHAT THE HECK’ MOMENT: I was the only member of the media in the press room after the game, making for the most formal one-on-one interview situation I’ve encountered.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN: This team is probably ahead of where most people thought they’d be through five games. What that indicates, I’m not sure. On one hand, it’s still the non-conference season and the team’s they’ve played aren’t close to the level of talent that Indiana will see in the Big Ten. But standing undefeated through five games, including a pair of road wins, is probably more than most people would have expected coming into the season. Consider, the program has nine players suiting up for the first time. That includes three freshmen and a transfer in the starting lineup, along with a sixth-year senior who’s seldom been healthy in her time at IU. Against the competition they’ve faced, the Hoosiers are playing fun, up-tempo basketball. They’re scoring and scoring in style. Larryn Brooks looks like she has the potential to be one of the top guards in the conference within the next few years. Taylor Agler sees the court well and makes great use of her open teammates. Tabitha Gerardot is a great fit for this program, both with her skill set as a versatile forward but also as a heady leader who understands her role both on the court and off of it.

Of course, the winning masks some of the blemishes of this young and inexperienced team. The Hoosiers’ 18 assists are a season high and perhaps a testament to both the skill and early chemistry among teammates, with players knowing how and when to find each other. But Miller still wants to see more and better passes. Brooks, for one, has a tendency to force shots. She can dish, but sometimes tries to do too much while a teammate stands open. For others, it’s a matter of shooting with the open look rather than passing on an opportunity at the basket. Their shot selection isn’t always great either.

But the adjustments will come later once the team enters the conference season. That’s when things will get interesting — how will Brooks handle the extra attention from better, quicker guards? Can Indiana’s frontcourt continue to set the tone against bigger, deeper posts? That sort of the stuff. There are still plenty of questions, but they’ll be answered in time. Indiana doesn’t open Big Ten play until Jan 2. That’s a span of eight games. Until then, the Hoosiers have a chance to pick up wins in most of those contests.

And have fun doing so.

NOTABLE:

  • Kaila Hulls returned to action Saturday, playing five minutes and sinking 1 of 2 3-pointers and picking up a rebound and an assist. Miller said he’s still tentative to give her big minutes after she tweaked her bruised right knee in practice and felt a little uncomfortable on it during the pregame shootaround.
    “I want to make sure she’s fully healthy before I put her in tough situations,” Miller said. “But I wanted her to get out there and not fear. So i wanted to give her a few minutes against a real quality opponent.”
  • Jenn Anderson participated in warmups and was available to play. It’s an encouraging development for Miller and the Hoosiers after Anderson underwent surgery for an avulsion fracture in her left hand two weeks ago. The team originally anticipated a December return for Anderson.
    “She’s got to continue to show that she’s comfortable catching the ball,” Miller said. “She’s close. We’ll have both of them back at full strength here shortly.”
  • Including Saturday’s game, Indiana has had four double-digit scorers only three times since Miller took over.
  • 15 of Indiana’s points came off 13 Butler turnovers.
  • The Hoosiers limited the Bulldogs to only 5-of-18 from 3-point range. For the year, IU is holding opponents to only 19 percent from beyond the arc.

Video above courtesy of IU Athletics

One comment

  1. Great job team, keep it up. Besides winning, you are representing IU with professionalism and integrity. Proud of you and your efforts.

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