Rutgers finishes Indiana in second half, 66-51

For one half, the Hoosiers were nearly the Scarlet Knights’ equal.

But it was hard for an undersized Hoosier team to keep up with the No. 17 team in the country, especially when their shots were not falling, as Rutgers pulled turned a four-point halftime lead into a 15-point victory Sunday at Assembly Hall, 66-51.

IU hit 15-of-50 (30 percent) from the field against Rutgers. While the Scarlet Knights hit 43 percent of their shots, they were aided by 21 IU turnovers and a 45-33 advantage on the glass. Rutgers forward Betnijah Laney missed her team’s last game against Iona with a sprained left thumb, but she played Sunday, and played well, producing 20 points and 10 rebounds.

In the first eight minutes of the second half, Rutgers was able to expand a 28-24 halftime lead to 41-32, but Rutgers’ Cynthia Hernandez sucked the air out of Assembly Hall with three 3-pointers in a little over a minute. That gave Rutgers a 50-34 advantage with 10:23 remaining in the game.

Larryn Brooks led IU with 13 points, while Amanda Cahill scored 9 and Tyra Buss 7 in their Big Ten debuts.



  1. Rutgers is a very, very good team obviously ranked # 17 in the nation and Sunday afternoon they showed IU that bigger and more athletic teams are going to be a real problem for our young team. While talking to two fans before the game I mentioned that in order for us to have a chance against Rutgers we would have to shoot at least 45% and keep our turn overs under 11 or 12. Well, we missed out in both areas by only shooting 30% and turning the ball over 21 times. We also hit only 6 of 23 three point attempts which really hurt. One of the stats which might go unnoticed was only posting 7 assists in the game, this from a team which has been averaging around 16 to 18 assists a game. The low assist total comes as a result of the poor shooting from the field. another contributing negative was hitting only 15 of 23 free throws. We have not shot free throws well all season long. We were only down 4 points at the half but Rutgers really turned up their defensive pressure in the second half making it very difficult for us to get into our offense.

    One thing that was a positive today was having a very nice crowd of 3,925. This was good to see, I only hope that fans will not fail to return and support these girls because of today’s result. The girls played very hard in the first half but, I think Rutgers intense defense really took some of our intensity away. Their defensive pressure is something we have not seen yet this year. This is something I mentioned in a post a couple of weeks ago about our very soft pre-conference schedule. In order to better prepare us for conference play, our schedule next year needs to be upgraded dramatically! In the conference, we will not always face a defense like Rutgers plays but, there are many conference teams that are much better than us athletically and quite a bit bigger than us. Seeing teams like that in the pre-conference schedule would certainly better prepare us for conference play.

    Without a doubt our young team will learn from this loss and will be better prepared for the future. These girls, especially the freshmen have now seen what conference play is all about and have a much better idea of what they will be facing down the road.

  2. Very disturbing that the Hoosiers were as shaky as they were today. I expected them to be more composed. Like the men’s team, lack of size is going to be a big problem. That said, both Rutgers and Maryland are tough opponents and will raise the bar for all the teams in the conference.

  3. Chaz, now don’t get me wrong, I still believe in this team, but when you play a team with the extreme quickness of Rutgers and you have not faced a team that possesses that trait yet, you will appear to be shaky. When you consider how young this team is, especially while playing 3 freshmen a ton it is no surprise we struggled. These freshmen have never faced a team with this athleticism before. As I and you stated, we will struggle this year against this kind of quickness and size. One other note, our next opponent (Michigan St.) was beaten tonight by Northwestern who may be the most improved team in an already super strong conference this year.

    One thing to note tonight was that this game was very competitive in the second half until we let the Hernandez girl hit three 3 pointers in a row midway through that really stretched Rutgers lead out. This was from a team that just doesn’t shoot very many threes. That is not an important part of their game and they don’t emphasize shooting them. We now need to put this one behind us, learn from it and move forward.

  4. Indiana has Tyra Buss. It’s time for the coach to realize that there are times when she is going to have to let Tyra Buss shoot more to win some games like Jackie Stiles did at Southwest Missouri State. After all what is the point of having a player like Tyra Buss on your team if you don’t utilize her to her full potential?

  5. It is time for the coach to start utilizing the best shooter and play maker on the team. She has been sitting on the end of the bench all year seeing almost no playing time. Why? Maura Muensterman can shoot and pass better than any player on that team. Ask her teammates.

  6. Milt, lets don’t get confused here, Tyra is not even close to Stiles! Although Tyra is very talented, her biggest difference to Stiles is her size. Styles was much bigger than Buss in her body. She was thick and very strong. If you watched the game last night very closely, it was quite apparent that Tyra simply could not get open against Rutgers size and quickness. When she tried to drive she was cut off or if she did get to the basket her shot was blocked or she was stripped of the ball. She did pass up the opportunity to shoot a couple of times but, not enough to make a difference. As I stated, Tyra is very talented but, don’t let her high school stats make you think she can score like that in Division 1 basketball. In high school, most of the teams she played against were comparable to class 1 A teams in Indiana and her team had no one else but her that was capable of scoring a lot of points. As I stated in an earlier post, she is now playing against players that are as quick if not quicker than her and she will see this the rest of the season. She will be a very good player playing within the structure of the offense but, will never be the scorer she was in high school,.

    Johng, I think that again, Maura is in a numbers battle as far as playing time goes which coach Moren mentioned in a post game press conference a couple of weeks ago. Again, while Maura was a dominate player in high school as all of these kids are normally, it has become a bit apparent that her lack of quickness is a problem and as coach Moren stated in that press conference it has been a problem for her adjusting to the speed of the college game. She also mentioned in that press conference that they have been forced to play Maura up front because of their guard depth. While in high school her size was a big advantage for her as far as passing the ball over players and shooting from the wing and out front. Her lack of quickness is also a liability defensively. Her athleticism is not as great as for example, Jess Walter. Jess is a really good athlete which has shown the last 5 games. It is quite apparent that this team is guard heavy which is not the fault of the coach. Unfortunately, Maura will struggle finding playing time unless we incur an injury to a front court player.

  7. Mike C,
    Jackie Stiles was not bigger and thicker than Tyra Buss. Jackie Stiles played in the same type of competition at a small school in Kansas just like Tyra Buss did..Comments about her maybe not able to play at the next level due to size and level of competition were the same as comments about Tyra Buss. Jackie proved that she could play at any level. I’m not saying that Tyra Buss needs to take every shot…I’ m just saying that there will be games where the coach needs to unleash her in order to win. Tyra Buss had every type of defense thrown at her..She was double teamed, she was triple teamed, etc and she still could score. This was the same as Jackie Stiles. You can’t know what will happen until it’s tried. The coach could even contact the former SWMS to get some insight in how to handle a player like Tyra Buss and how a team plays with a player like that.

  8. Milt, I really don’t want to turn this into an argument but, I watched Stiles play probably 20 games during her career in college and she was quite a bit bigger than Tyra. She was around 5′ 8″ or 5′ 9″ and as I stated yesterday had a much thicker body style than Tyra does. Her strength served her well. Tyra is listed at 5′ 7″ but, I think she is probably closer to 5′ 6″? One thing that Tyra has that Stiles did not have is extreme quickness. Sunday Tyra faced a team that is loaded with quickness that is superior to hers. Rutgers is in the top 5 in the country in defense and it showed. As I stated in my previous post, Tyra simply could not get open in order to get an uncontested shot like she has gotten in previous games against lesser competition. I personally think Rutgers will fight Maryland for the league title this year, they are the two best teams in the league. Another thing about Buss as opposed to Stiles, Stiles played on a team that did not have as much talent around her as IU has around Tyra. Another thing is that the Big 10 is a much stronger league than the league that Stiles played in. While watching the game Sunday, it was very apparent that Tyra simply was not going to be able to get a good shot early on, she consistently tried to drive to the basket and was stopped and when she tried to come off a screen she was picked up immediately by Rutgers switching. Rutgers extreme quickness simply negated Tyra’s ability to get open.

    Your statement of saying coach Moren needs to “unleash” Tyra strikes me as odd since she was not able to get open as it was? In post #5 it seems as though you are throwing coach Moren under the bus a little by not coaching the team correctly by letting Tyra go? I personally think coach Moren has done a great job with this team and it would not be a good thing to simply ask Tyra to “take charge” of a team so to speak by encouraging her to take more shots at her discretion. Larryn is the true leader of this team and has the experience to lead the freshmen since she and the other sophomores have been through the Big 10 last year. This team is very balanced and that is without a doubt one of the true strengths of the team. There have been many games this year where they have had 4 players in double figures and a couple of other players a basket away. This type of balance makes this team truly hard to defend. I would hope that you have not gone into a panic a little bit because of the defeat against Rutgers? They may be the best team we will play this year and their defense is suffocating! This team will improve from this game. This is going to be a very difficult season due to the incredible strength of the conference and our lack of post depth. I would say we will be lucky to finish at 500 in the conference. Going 9-9 would be an incredible achievement when you consider our weaknesses! Not every game is going to be like the Rutgers game but, it is going to be very difficult to compete in this brutal conference. So I would suggest that we let coach Moren lead this team in the way she sees fit and we can sit on the side lines and support them to the best of our ability. Go Hoosiers!

  9. Mike C….
    Jackie Stiles was 5’8″….Tyra Buss is 5’7″…not really a difference.
    Jackie Stiles was a tennis champ…So was Tyra….Jackie was a track was Tyra.
    Tyra played baseball and participated in Punt,pass and kick…Jackie did not. Tyra is very quick and handles the ball way better than Jackie did. Both players were great scorers in high school and sometimes they did not even play the 4th quarter. Tyra Buss already established herself as a college player as evidenced by being a starter and twice being named the Freshman player of the week. But here is the problem…as you said this is more of a team than what Jackie had in college. Tyra herself has admitted that she doesn’t have to score all the time and she can concentrate on defense. So in reality you have a player who is not playing to her full offensive capabilities. That is fine…when your team is winning and your team is playing team basketball…but when you are behind and you lose by 15 and you see that Tyra only took 9 shots and other players took as many or more…well…you are basically not unleashing Tyra and just treating her like any other player..Look at all her accomplishments not only on the court but off the court and you will then see that she just isn’t just “another player”.

    I am from Kansas and the women’s team that I am a fan of is Stanford. I found out about Tyra and now also support Indiana. It will be an Interesting season for both of these teams. I wish both of them the best.

  10. Milt, While I understand some of your points, let it be said that I would think that maybe you have not seen Tyra play in college yet in person? If that is true, let me tell you that if you would have actually seen the Rutgers game, you would understand some of my points. I have been a women’s season ticket holder for over 20 years and have seen all of this year’s home games. As I have stated in the past several times, I have been very critical of the schedule this year and it’s inability due to the strength of the schedule in preparing us for conference play. The Rutgers game was a semblance of what we are facing this year in conference. Rutgers as I stated may be the best or one of the top 3 defensive teams in the nation, this proved out in the game by us shooting 30% from the floor. We absolutely could not get open shots and if you would have seen the game you would understand how difficult it was for Tyra to find shots! It was not as if she was passing up shots, she simply could not find shots because of Rutgers defensive pressure, that is why she only took 9 shots. Yes, she had a tremendous high school career, I followed it for 2 1/2 years when she verbally committed to IU. I saw many of her games on tape and read all there was to read about her and I know the level of competition she played against. When we play teams that exhibit the quickness, size and athleticism of Rutgers, she will struggle to score just as most of her team mates will!

    At no time did I say she was just another player, her skills are excellent but, she has not played against these type of athletes yet and now she will learn from this. I am well aware of her high school accomplishments, but, in high school as I stated before she played at a very small school and against a ton of players that were not near her ability. Her scoring records are a product of hard work and God given talent, no doubt. But at I have laboriously stated, she is playing against a different level of competition now (some of the best in the country) and the learning process may be a little slower than we would like. Trust me, if you had actually seen the game you would understand what I am expressing to you. She has never faced the type of athleticism before that she faced in the Rutgers game. She and the team will get better because of this game.

  11. MikeC: I have followed your posts and you seem to have very well thought out assessments on IU basketball. I do feel compelled to comment further on Maura Muensterman and her lack of playing time. You mentioned her supposed lack of quickness and poor defensive ability and athleticism. How have you been able to assess these qualities since she has had extremely limited playing time? Are you going on coach Moren’s assessment of her? Frankly, I don’t buy the coach’s explanation of her lack of playing time. Why didn’t coach use the pre- conference schedule to evaluate her abilities @ 4 position while they were blowing weak opponents out by 30 points? She claims that it wouldn’t be fair to Maura. I contend that it wasn’t fair to Maura that she wasn’t allowed to show what she could do at 4 during that period. The reason i said “ask her teammates” is that they know who is worth their salt and who is not. Again, referring to lack of quickness, Moren is playing several players now who are nowhere near the athlete Maura is, nowhere near the shooter and nowhere near the playmaker she is. All of the previous aside, what would it hurt to see what she can do when IU is 15-20 points behind or 20-30 points ahead? It just doesn’t wash with me. And i know that I am not alone in my thinking. I have heard as much in the stands and down on the flood after home games

  12. Johng, I am basically referring to what coach Moren said in the post game press conference that I referred to in a previous post. While I can not argue your point about coach not playing her during the pre-conference season, I don’t quite understand your comment about other players who are according to you “nowhere near the athlete, playmaker or shooter she is”. I would be interested in knowing what players you are referring to? When I think of players coming off the bench; McBride is one of the best pure shooters on the team, Walter is a terrific athlete who can really pass the ball and has proven to be a pretty good shooter, Gassion who is one of our best athletes and very best defender and a very good rebounder and Leikem has to play off the bench as a backup to Anderson. I guess I should wait on your explanation of those players you are referring to who Maura is better than. I will agree that it is hard to see how good Maura is because of her lack of floor time. The one thing that you or I don’t know is how these girls practice on a day to day basis and that is only something the coaches know. Having coached girls and women for over 20 years I do know better than to listen to statements that other players on the team make about their team mates. It is a fact that team mates will defend each other because of the closeness of their relationships, that is a fact. Not that I know that this is the fact in this instance but, I would be a little leary of players on a team talking about why or why not certain players are playing or not? Sometimes close friendships can cloud reality.

    I am not saying that Maura is not good enough to play, what I am saying is I have not seen enough of her to know one way or the other? But like I just stated, players defending each other is not something I would put a good deal of stock in, I have been around to much of that in my experience. Johng, like I said earlier, I would like to see her play more just so we can see how good she is? The problem is that at this point in the season with conference play now going on, we may not see it?

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