Indiana hangs with No. 6 Maryland but falls, 84-74

These are the steps a young team must take, inevitably heading toward defeat, but Tyra Buss was eagerly kicking each foot back so her hands can pet the grips on the bottoms of her sneakers

Down 15 points to No. 6 Maryland with a little more than 90 seconds to play, there was no way for the Hoosiers to win. But there was time to compete, a chance to stick with a top-ranked team.

Buss had just ripped the ball out of the hands of 6-foot-3 forward Brionna Jones, momentum taking her to the ground as it popped free. She laid on the ground for a moment, a familiar position for the Hoosiers in games where they were down. They stayed down.

But the Hoosiers’ 5-foot-7 freshman bounced to her feet. She found her place on the court, kicked her feet back, slapping her hands against the grips of her shoes. She shuffled in-place, preparing for the next opportunity to strike.

The Hoosiers found opportunities, late steals and quick offense in the closing seconds, earning a 84-74 loss against an opponent head coach Teri Moren measured up to be a Final Four contender. In the end, it was still a loss, bitter in many ways, but those gathered in Assembly Hall weren’t left solely with images of defeat.

“Pleased at the fact that we bounced back after a really disappointing loss at Penn State, a game where we should have had a better mindset, a better approach, we needed a better energy level, effort,” Moren said. “I thought we got that out of them today.”

Buss finished with 19 points, six assists and three steals. She crashed off of bigger bodies more than once, but she came back for more. Alexis Gassion, solidified as a starter, produced 18 points and nine rebounds, finding four points in two seconds late in the game — the first, a basket off of a steal by Amanda Cahill; the second, a steal of her own off an inbounds pass.

With 24 seconds left, Moren was still calling 30-second timeouts, trying to foster the confidence her team was building late. But Maryland had dominated too many possessions early.

In the first half, the Terrapins shot 63.3 percent. On the other end, they held IU to 25.8 percent, including 0-of-11 from the 3-point line, on their way to a 47-29 advantage at half.

The Terrapins kept control, pushing their lead to 65-43 midway through the second half. But the Hoosiers, who were stung by a 54-point loss to Ohio State at Assembly Hall a couple of weeks prior, weren’t going to be tossed aside so easily.

“We’ve been working really hard in practice, just competing with each other, and going at it,” Gassion said. “It meant a lot that it actually translated over to the game, and that we did what we’ve been doing in practice.”

In the past week, Moren has said she wanted to see more aggressiveness from some of her freshmen, in particular, including Buss, who come into Sunday’s game averaging 8.4 points per game in Big Ten contests. A little more than four minutes in, she bounced off of 6-foot-4 forward Malina Howard on a drive, but no foul was called.

But she got back up, and even as the Hoosiers finished 2-of-18 from 3-point, the driving ability of Buss helped the Hoosiers outscore Maryland in the paint, 42-34.

“Coaches have really been talking this week about our toughness, keeping fighting and be tough and competing  — just keep competing,” Buss said. “There are going to be a lot more physical and stronger players than me, so I just have to keep fighting. I’m never going to stop attacking and being scared of driving to the basket.”

It was, of course, an imperfect effort, as any loss would produce. Moren liked what she saw offensively from Buss, though she did notice a few defensive lapses from the freshman.

At the same time, the Hoosiers’ head coach couldn’t complain about how it ended, because the clock was the only thing that would call her team to rest.

“Just ran out of time,” Moren said. “If we had more minutes there, we might have made it a little more interesting.”

20 comments

  1. Maryland is a very, very good basketball team that is ranked #6 in the country. They are certainly the best team we will play this year. They showed their domination throughout the first half winding up with an 18 point halftime lead. We only shot 25% from the floor in the first half and 0 for 11 from the 3 point arc which resulted in the halftime lead. In the second half our shooting improved to 56% and we were 2 for 7 from the arc. This improved shooting and a little better defense was what closed the score to a 10 point deficit at the end. Maryland is big and strong and very athletic which is certainly the type of team that continues to give us great difficulty.

    We did have some pretty good performances today with Tyra Buss scoring 19 points and assisting 6 times. Alexis Gassion had 18 points and 9 rebounds and Jenn Anderson had 12 points before fouling out. We were outrebounded again by 13 rebounds which continues to be a pressing issue for this undersized team.

    Although moral victories are something that nobody cares about, I think it shows by our second half that we have advanced a bit in our maturity since the Ohio St. game which we basically gave up and went through the motions after trailing 49-17 at the half. Today we fought through a difficult start and ground out a competitive attitude after the half. This Maryland team was in the final four last year and only graduated one player from that team and by the way only has one senior on this team. This is life in the Big 10 and things will not get any easier. While our team is undersized and not as athletic as most of our conference opponents and that is not going to change this year we may have turned a bit of a corner in the second half of this game. We need to continue to scrap and scrape as we did in the second half and hopefully good things may come of it? We now go to Michigan St. and face a team we really handled at home earlier this year but, the Breslin Center is a very tough place to play and I am sure they will be very tough to beat at home seeking revenge from that earlier defeat.

  2. Great job tonight ladies. Gassion needs to be a permanent fixture in the starting lineup! She’s really showed up these last few games.

  3. I hope her friend and former teammate Versup leaves sooner rather than later so Moren can move on to her dream job in West Lafayette before she completely squanders two great recruiting classes.

  4. Here again, another “IU women’s basketball insider” speaks forth about our coach. It seems “he” knows that our coach is sitting in her office patiently waiting for another job, really? And I suppose “he” has inside information from someone “in” our program that the “other” job is her “dream job”? This stuff never ends. Why can’t some “so called” Hoosier fans be a little more positive about our program?
    Again for some of you fans, this team although talented to a certain extent is young and undersized and less athletic than most of the conference teams they play against! All you have to do to realize this is actually watch them play, the eye test doesn’t lie. When we get bigger and a bit more athletic you will see a difference.
    Let’s remember that last year’s team only won 5 conference games and that roster had much more height than this team. A 6’4″, 6’3″ and 6′ center and a 6’2″ forward who were all seniors. We were able to combat the bigger teams last year with those players and the 6’4″ and 6’3″ centers were very athletic. We don’t possess that kind of size this year. Even if coach Miller were to have returned this year, I don’t think that he could have done any better with what we have considering our deficiencies. Some of our critics say that coach Moren keeps using the same excuses of being shorter and less athletic than most of our opponents, well, IT IS A FACT! As I said use your eyes and you can see it! It’s time to R E L A X and let this play out, Rome wasn’t built in a day. And simply let our coach do her job, these kids on this current roster are not going to get more athletic and grow 2 or 3 inches this year.

  5. great job ladies coming in second….out of two teams.
    i have to agree with mike c. this team is not going to grow and become more athletic in the next two years. when some of you players are replaced with bigger, better and more athletic players the team will get better. you will see a difference. the eye test doesn’t lie. so until then, keep coming in at least second when you play.

  6. I agree with gary1959, I fear coach Moren is just tredding water until she can move north too.
    I agree with MikeC, coach Moren is as good at making excuses as was coach L-J.
    I agree with coachv, 2nd place in a two team game is no place.
    As to “bigs”, correct me if I’m wrong but didn’t coach Miller have a great commit in the young lady from BNL who was run off to MSU by coach Moren’s lack of interest?

  7. I do not understand all the heat (or does it just seem like a lot of heat because of the handful of bloggers who are dishing it out on the scoop) directed to T. Moren. She was an emergency or late hire. However, her success will be determined by recruiting, player relations, academics and winning games down the road 3 or 4 years from now.

  8. coachv, I love you, your sarcasm, it is cute although demeaning. NanC, one day after coach Moren signed to come to IU, Allen decommited and verballed to Michigam St., she was obviously committed to Miller and when he was out, so was she. If that timeline is correct, coach Moren had no time to connect to Allen. t, finally someone speaks with some common sense. It amazes me that coach Moren hasn’t been here for a full season yet and some want her out the door? As I have stated, if you don’t give her a couple of years or so, how do you know how good or bad she is?

    After all, we had coach Jack for 6 years and she was pretty good her first 2 years when she had players other coach’s recruited, when those players left and she had her own players she was terrible. What did that show us? She was a very nice lady I discovered having talked to her but, she was a terrible recruiter and game coach, her record proved that. Again, give coach Moren a chance and we will see, time will tell.

  9. MikeC, you will see a similar outcome with moren as we did with coach jack. And Idk where you heard Allen decommitted the next day, moren never made any contact with her.

    And to address queries about so many negative comments about moren… If it smells like a rat and looks like a rat, it probably is a rat…

  10. It seems as though forwards and centers would like to play for T. Moren. That is where she likes to go with plays and T. Buss in a couple years could really be a great floor general in that type of setting. (hopefully Buss can improve her 3 point shooting). I do not think Allen made that great of a decision by going to MSU even though I am sure she was looking for program stability. Program stability was not T. Moren’s fault and yes it did happen quickly. If anything T. Moren had to bring some stability because the pervious coach created instability by being fly by night.

  11. t, thanks a ton for the response concerning my comments on Allen situation. I am really starting to get a little dizzy beating my head against the wall if you know what I mean. Hoosierfan, and again more degrading comments concerning our coach, must everything be so negative with you? Still wondering what this woman has done to you? Did she steal your first born or ignore you in a mall somewhere? Why all the hate?

  12. MikeC has a condition that many on the internet forums seem to have. He has an addiction to having the last word!

    MikeC, I know you can’t understand my purpose here, its to comment my opinion! Welcome to America!

    I wouldn’t care to comment if i wasn’t very fond of these girls and didn’t want the best for them. It angers me how this coaching staff acts like they’re getting along famously with this group when it just isn’t true. She barely communicates with them and is very cold and short with the players. I’m more inclined to believe the players than i would believe the coaching staff. Go ahead MikeC, i know you are itching to reply! Go Hoosiers!

  13. There are different styles of leadership and discipline (not meaning abuse). I think it is important that T. Moren installs a system of leadership that things will be done her way if the ladies are going to gain national prominence. Unlike, Curt Miller who seemed his style was to have a good time and shoot 3’s, I do not know how far that would have taken them in the long run. T. Moren was doing a good job at Indiana State in the relatively short time she was there. For me one question will be if she can recruit talented larger forwards and a center (Allen recruit does not count. Zero fault of T. Moren) with efficient guards that can compete at a big ten or national level. If she can do that I think that will be her game plan to be physical on both offense and defense (get what they want inside offensively with play making, passing, and efficient (not a lot of) 3 point shooting guard play plus tough defensive play with rebounding). For that to have a chance to happen she is going to have to install her style of leadership. Good for her. As far as recruiting goes the first class I will hold her completely responsible for is the class of 2016 because of her very late start for 2015 class. I think T. Moren has very high expectations for her program and she has a vision to get there. College age players who want to think they know or actually think they know, don’t know.

  14. Hoosierfan, I am amazed at how short your memory is, I made the very same statement to you a while ago about fans having their own opinions on this website, now you are throwing that at me? As I also stated in a past post, we will see next year or during the off season if your predictions are true about players flying out of here. It would not surprise me if maybe 2 players would leave because of their decreased playing time but, the whole sophomore class, just don’t see that?

    t, it’s certainly refreshing to see a voice of reason on this website instead of someone spewing hate at every turn. Bias, hate and name calling are certainly something the world needs less of. Stating your opinion is one thing but, in a hateful way is a bit disconcerting. As a fellow once said, “Can’t we all just get along?” And yes, I agree Hoosierfan, Go Hoosiers!

  15. If “t” isn’t Teri morens best friend…than they are Teri Moren herself. They ALWAYS have something to say when moren is brought up. I guess Allen is a liar BTW since she claims after Miller left, the new coaching staff never reached out to her. Is she a liar? I’m sure she is because Moren would say that isn’t true..and every word that comes from her mouth must be true. I’m an IUWBB fan but i don’t have to be a Moren fan. MikeC you always ask what Moren has done to me, its one of your favorite questions.. She’s ruining the basketball careers of some girls i really care about! Was so excited at the direction this program was going. WAS. Past tense. Its all about the coach here, not the players.

  16. Also, t, (can i call you teri?) since you’re going to hate on the offensive style that was designed for this team “shooting threes and having a good time” please call me when moren has one tenth of the career that curt miller has had. Oh, and maybe that’s why you have so many great shooters on this team not shooting. Maybe that’s why conference play is struggling? I thought you weren’t going to change the offense?
    Now go on and insult c miller so you can feel adequate please

  17. 1. Allen made a quick de-comitt after Miller departure, period.
    2. T. Moren is going to install her leadership with her system and charge forward. (little bit of BK style, I have heard T. Moren refer to that time in IU mens BB history)
    3. Do I hear a dissatisfied parent who’s child is not getting to play, her minutes reduced, or not getting to shoot the ball and score points?
    4. Maybe a couple transfers.
    5. It is going to be OK.

  18. Hoosierfan, It still boggles my mind how you come up with all this inside information from the players and a recruit that decided not to come? That aside, now we are talking since you brought up Miller. You can go back to my post the off season when coach Jack was let go and we were in limbo looking for a coach, I posted on this website that I was hoping that Glass was considering two coaches to go after at that time, one was Matt Bollant and the other was Miller. You can look this up if you care? One week after I wrote that post Illinois hired Bollant and then a short time later IU hired Miller, I was elated! I had a chance to talk to Miller his first season before one of our home games, he was standing just inside the hall way leading to our locker room watching the girls during the pre-game shoot around. I walked up to him and told him how happy I was that he was here. We had a very short conversation and he was very courteous towards me which I very much appreciated. I really liked his style and especially loved his recruiting although the one thing that bothered me was his lack of recruiting bigs? He only had one center coming and that was Allen. His approach of recruiting girls who could actually shoot the ball was a great revelation from Jack’s approach of recruiting the best athlete’s she could find who were not necessarily actual basketball players. That was her downfall. I loved coach Miller’s sideline demeanor and his emotion. There was basically nothing about him I didn’t like. There is no doubt in my mind if he was still here that the future would be very bright! Now, what ever transpired between him and the administration is quite strange to say the least? I am not buying the excuse given for his departure? I know he did have heart issues a few years ago at Bowling Green but, I have heard many rumors which have not been confirmed about his reason for actually leaving? It absolutely crushed me when I heard he was leaving. I was a huge Miller fan!

    I guess we should all feel very lucky that we have somebody on this website that has an inside ear to the girls in the program and the recruit who has decided not to come so that we will know the actual scoop. And once again, we are playing in a conference that has the highest RPI than any in the country and we are putting a team on the floor that is inferior in athleticism and height trying to compete in this conference. I know you are getting tired of hearing that but, the eye test confirms this. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that if you are actually watching the games? I still say that you need to give her a chance to see if what you say happens, remains to be seen? I, if you believe this or not, do respect your opinion, I just don’t respect the way you present it in your wording and how you seem to enjoy getting a bit personal in your approach to our coach. But, as I stated several posts ago and you stated, these are our opinions. So be it.

  19. By the way, I liked C. Miller and what he did coaching IU women’s BB as well. Excitement and recruiting was very much on the upside plus he was winning some.

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