IU women slow out of Big Ten gate

The press slowed Indiana down some.

The zone slowed the Hoosiers down a little more.

The ensuing bricks the IU offense tossed at the basket left the hosts in a malaise from which they could never recover in a 68-46 loss to Michigan State Thursday night in the Big Ten women’s basketball opener for both teams at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall.

“Michigan State has a good defense, but I don’t think that was necessarily the problem,” Indiana senior guard Tyra Buss said. “We were just kind of being slow and sluggish sort of, especially in that first half where we weren’t getting into plays fast enough. I don’t know if they couldn’t hear the play call or what. We were just kind of moving slow to our spots instead of moving quickly and getting set up.”

It was as close to an explanation as anyone could get for a stagnant performance that saw the Hoosiers shoot 22 percent (4-of-18) in the first quarter and an even more paltry 15 percent (2-of-13) in the second quarter in falling behind 31-17 by halftime. A second-half uptick left Indiana shooting a season-low 29 percent (16-of-55) for the game.

The Spartans used a 2-2-1 fullcourt press to lull Indiana into complacency and fell back into a 3-2 zone that dared IU to execute offensively. The Hoosiers could not.

“Disappointed, obviously, with a lot of things,” IU coach Teri Moren said. “Never got comfortable, never got any kind of rhythm. I didn’t think we showed a whole lot of toughness tonight. Michigan State just came in and punched us right in the mouth, and we didn’t respond, and that was for 40 minutes.

“Shooting the ball 29 percent and allowing them 52 percent, that’s a pretty good night for that team. We just didn’t handle ourselves very well.”

The offensive struggles, highlighted by just eight points on 2-of-11 shooting by Buss, who also had zero assists and four turnovers, stole the spotlight from the Hoosiers’ defensive struggles.

The Spartans seemingly could get the ball anywhere on the floor they wanted. In the first half that was to former IU commit and Bedford native Jenna Allen, a 6-foot-4 center who scored 10 of her 14 points in the first 20 minutes.

In the second half, that was to another Indiana native, Notre Dame transfer Taya Reimer, who finished with 12 points and eight rebounds as part of a 1-2 punch with Branndais Agee, who scored a game-high 21 points on 9-of-13 shooting.

“At the end of the day, when you’re not hitting shots, you’ve got to lock in defensively and play with a higher level of toughness,” Moren said. “There’s no x’s and o’s, no scheme for that. It’s just heart and determination, passion, whether or not your’e a competitor. That’s what that comes down to. We didn’t have that tonight. We didn’t have anybody that was going to compete for 40 minutes. That’s what’s disappointing.”

The closest the Hoosiers came to competing was in the third quarter when they cut the deficit to eight on two occasions but could get no closer.

17 comments

  1. IU ladies and not just athletic freshman are having trouble consistently making baskets when crowded or in traffic and not making passes and handling ball. You have to score to win. Plus there is definitely a lack of team chemistry…confidence and trust and believing in one another. Throw a zone on ladies and shadow Buss to limit her ability to be a play maker, drive and score plus cold at 3’s, guard A.C. not to good with fts equal IU ladies not even competitive. Way to many shots clanking in traffic.

  2. This was an incredibly ugly game from the IU perspective. Starting off, shooting 19% from the field in the first half put us in a 31-17 hole we could never climb out of. For the game, we shot 29% from the floor. We were outrebounded 31-20. We had no points off the bench and the Spartans had 22. The Spartans also scored 30 points in the paint which exhibited their dominance inside. We were terrible defensively as they had more baskets uncontested than I can count.
    Something I would like to point out not making excuses but stating a fact, Michigan State’s size and experience showed up big time. They rotated 3 different 6′ 4″ players inside having 2 in the lineup at all times. Their size inside really effected us as to the fact we only scored 14 points in the paint. One thing that is hurting us so far through the season, we are a very poor perimeter shooting team. No one hits consistently from the perimeter for us! Knowing that, opponents are playing zone against us most of the time and we are really struggling against the zone!
    Speaking of Michigan St’s experience, they only played one freshman the whole game as we played 4 freshmen. Now going to Ohio St. is really going to be tough. Hope we can make it competitive?

  3. That was really painful. And to make it worse, there was a very good crowd.
    One encouraging sign was the large Bedford crowd there to see Jenna Allen play.
    Hopefully when her sister Jori starts to play here, the same crowd will come regularly.
    We’re going to have a tough time this year in the BigTen with our lack of size and experience.
    Hang in there ladies!

  4. Certainly their length hurt us , but our defense seemed non existant, allowing 52% and shooting only 29% will not win any games. What a nice crowd to see us lose but I hadnt thought it was because of Jenna Allen. Maybe next year we will gain that audience as Jori will be here. OOPs,,,, Jori is only a junior. Another blowout coming sunday if we cant hit shots from the outside as it will be zone, zone, zone.

  5. They look tired. They shoot tired. The defense looks tired. And they just had a long break..buss seemed sick or something..maybe just a terrible game. Moren blamed royster, penn, and bendu in post game interview. It’s not going to get easier from here

  6. She also blamed herself for not having them ready to play. Hoosierfan, lets not have selective hearing, lets pass the blame around as she did. She did say in her postgame that Royster was told to front her post player on defense and never did the whole game letting them get the ball down low which accounted for their points inside?

  7. Yes, she said those other things too. Nothing about our pg not moving the ball, taking horrible shots, including one that somehow went in. She just seemed to go on and on and about kym royster and jaelynn penn for not stopping the ball on fast breaks. I think if the primary ball handler is having as bad of a game as she did our coach would have at least mentioned her by name too since she had 0 assists/4 turnovers in 38 min to go along with 2-11/1-6 shooting from the floor. Worst stat line of anyone on the court..

    That is why moren blamed the whole team because she isn’t gonna to blame buss. Doesn’t want a phone call from tim buss..

    I for one would be blaming the leaders of this team (buss, Cahill, and moren), not the freshman and a first year starter.

    On another note, I wonder which up and coming coaches are eyeing the iuwbb job right now

  8. We are young and inexperience . Who’s fault is that ? We have no depth . Who’s fault is that? we have no shooters . Who’s fault is that . ? we get 0 production from our bench because we have never developed a bench . That also creates a lack of team chemistry . Rinse and repeat .What will happen if one girl on our team gets hurt . We have been extremely lucky the last 3 years especially since we play girls 40 minutes .

  9. BTW Hoosierfan, its kind of hard to get assists when a team shoots 29% from the floor, just sayin. I am sure the coach is REAL concerned about a phone call from Tim Buss, OMG, you have made some ridiculous statements over the years but, that is one of your best 🙂 Keep up the good work…..”

  10. Just another thing. Yes, Buss had a bad game just as the whole team did, it happens. Of course every game we play you know that the opponent ‘s defense will concentrate on Buss and Cahill because of the inexperience of the other players. More bad performances will come for these two players this year for that very reason! Until the freshmen improve, we are going to have to put up with this fact. This team will play better as the freshmen improve, it’s as simple as that.

  11. I really don’t think Hoosier fan believes anyone is calling coach moren but mike you obviously are ignorant of the buss family . Noticed you ignored all of my questions just like coach ignores her bench .

  12. I have seen this scenario in sports before. Sometimes players have their best and most satisfying years as sophomore and junior due to experienced players lost by graduation and not coming back to team. I think this is A.C. and T.B. situation. IU ladies lost a lot of experience from last year replacing them with freshman. For me goal is to finish one game above 500 and T.B. to reach 2000 point mark which she will have to do to win one game above 500.

  13. Nathan, all of your questions have the same answer, aren’t you clever? Of course the coach is responsible. I have just one question for you, before the season began, what were your expectations of the team this year? Since we are now 14 games into the season with a 500 record, it is easy for you to say what you will? But, before it all began, honestly, what were your expectations? Just curious because I know you are not A Buss or Moren fan. It’s quite funny how you are so critical of Buss as she is about to break the all time assist record. There are very few players in NCAA history that become the career assist and scoring leaders at their respective universities. That is a tough double for anyone to accomplish! But, go ahead and give her another shot when you can, do you realize how petty you sound?

    1. I figured about 500 for this years team . That’s what happens when you consistently lose people to transfer and never developed anyone . When you play for 4 years every game for almost 40 minutes for a coach who lets you do what ever you want of course you rack up stats . She probably is the all time leader in missed shots and turnovers too . By the way mike she played 40 minutes today had the ball in her hands all the time and had 0 assists . Last game vs Michigan state 38 minutes today 0 assists . Maybe she won’t break assist record at this rate .

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