IUWBB: Hoosiers advance to WNIT title game with win over TCU

Indiana advanced to its first WNIT title game with a 71-58 win Wednesday over TCU at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall.

The senior duo of Tyra Buss and Amanda Cahill led the way with 22 and 14 points, respectively. Buss and Cahill set a career wins record for a class with 81. Three other players — Jaelynn Penn (13), Kym Royster (10) and Bendu Yeaney (12) — finished in double figures.

IU will face Virginia Tech in the WNIT championship game on Saturday.

IU led for much of the first quarter, but TCU was able to take a late lead thanks to an offensive rebound and putback by Jordan Moore. Moore, the 6-foot-3 junior, got one more at the line, but missed. Her teammate Adeola Akomolafe came down with an offensive board and dished to Kianna Ray for a jumper. TCU went into the second quarter up, 14-13.

In the second period, TCU tried to employ a press defense, but the Hoosiers were able to break it for layups. Bendu Yeaney also came away with a timely dig into TCU’s post, causing a turnover that resulted in a Jaelynn Penn layup to make it 24-19, IU. On the Hoosiers’ next possession, Buss hit a stepback 3-pointer to give IU an eight-point lead.

But after a technical foul called on TCU coach Reagan Pebley, Buss missed both free throws. Dakota Vann hit a 3 on the other end to cut it to five points. A layup by Buss pushed it back to 31-24, but a layup by Amy Okonkwi and a jumper by Sydney Coleman made it 32-28 at halftime.

At the half, TCU was 33 percent from the field, unable to consistently finish in the post. The Hoosiers were 8-of-14 from the field in the second quarter to finish 46.7 percent in the first two quarters. IU and TCU were tied at 20 boards apiece at half, but TCU had an 8-4 advantage in offensive boards.

Jaelynn Penn and Buss led the Hoosiers with nine points apiece. Buss was 2-of-8 from the free throw line.

Buss came out firing in the third quarter. She hit a 3, followed by a Cahill 3, that gave the Hoosiers a 40-30 lead early in the period. IU outscored the Horned Frogs 12-3 in the first half of the third quarter to lead 44-31 with 4:58 left. Cahill drained another big 3 with 28 seconds left in the period to give the Hoosiers an 11-point lead.

With .8 seconds left in the half, TCU fouled Cahill on an inbounds, allowing her to hit two free throws to make it 51-40 heading into the final period.

IU continued to clamp down on TCU’s Jordan Moore in the post, leading to more run-outs. Junior forward Kym Royster was the beneficiary of two — one from Buss, another from Yeaney — to put the Hoosiers up, 57-43 with 6:29 left. IU held on from there.

11 comments

  1. Been to 5 conference and 4 or 5 non-conference IU men’s game and 2 women’s games in the last 4-5 yrs, but tonight’s crowd made the most noise. We were an hour early but spent most of the extra time hunting a parking space. Wow what a game by the ladies. Anybody know the attendance?

  2. Another amazing crowd of 7,815 at Assembly Hall tonight. In the post game press conference Amanda Cahill said that when the team came out of the dressing room before the tip off, as the crowd cheered she got goose bumps and Tyra said the same thing. What a great thing for these girls to finally over the last 3 games get the following they deserve! I have said for the last several years that I don’t understand why the women can’t average at least 5,000 at home. It’s certainly great to see what has happened over the last 2 weeks!
    A great win tonight to propel this team into the championship game Saturday. The defense again was the difference in the win holding a team that was averaging 81 points a game to 34% shooting from the floor. The big challenge for IU tonight was to stop TCU’s 2 post players. Well, they did a job on them (Moore & Okonkwo) were held collectively to 7 for 24 from the field. Every time they got the ball in the paint about 3 feet from the basket, IU simply smothered them defensively giving them very little room to operate. Marchese & Royster and Cahill double teamed them at every opportunity. IU also shot almost 55% from the floor. We are averaging over 50% from the floor for the tournament. We turned 13 TCU turnovers into 17 points. This team has now won 14 of their last 16 games and are playing as well as they have all year long! Can’t wait for another hugs crowd Saturday in the championship game. Come on out Hoosier Nation. Go Hoosiers!!

  3. It certainly was an electric crowd. I agree with MikeC, I don’t understand why the Women don’t draw at least 5,000 fans a game. I bought my tickets after the game last night and I was standing in 1 of 4 lines inside on the south side that was back to the windows that overlook the floor. IU had all the TICKET WINDOWS open and they were all full. Hope like hell this kick starts their attendance for next season. Love the way this team competes.

  4. At one point IU ladies were @ 8 wins and 12 loses. Now, @ 22 wins and 14 loses with one loss after four overtime win the night before. There has been a paradigm shift in IU ladies basketball program since T.Moren, staff, T.B., A.C. and T.Moren coached teams have arrived on the scene. Distinguished representation on and off court, leadership, defense, rebounding, athleticism, skilled players that can score after playing defense, and the joy of winning demonstrated in the concept of teamwork. It is great to see IU administration including Glass and Pres McRobbie support for IU ladies basketball program. They had better take care of T.Moren and staff as it is definitely one of the best things going for Indiana University. IU ladies can rival attendance for their home games anywhere in the country and will shift the recruiting paradigm upward.

  5. t, yes we owe a deep debt of gratitude to Glass and McRobbie for bring the games to Bloomington. Many fans probably don’t realize that in order for IU to host all of these games in the NIT, we had to bid on them. Each school participating in the NIT has to submit a bid to the NIT and hope that theirs is the highest to host each game. Our administration obviously out bid each team we played in order to play in Bloomington. This shows great confidence that the administration had in our team in order for our great fans to see this drive toward a championship. Hats off to Robbie & Glass in this regard. Women’s basketball is becoming a staple in Bloomington. Go Hoosiers!!

  6. BTW, congratulations to Tyra Buss for being named Senior Class Award First Team All-American. She joins Duke’s Lexi Brown, Western Illinois’ Emily Clemens, Mississippi State’s Victoria Vivians and U-Conn’s Gabby Williams. What a terrific honor for Tyra. How cool for Tyra and our program. Go Hoosiers!!

  7. OK I will try again previous entry would not take computer blip. Great crowd, Great team win. This team did not win because they are better or more talented than anyone else, it was because of great defense, just shows how far this team has come from that 1-6 in the big ten. TCU was avg 82 ppg in the tourney and IU holds them to 58. In fact because IU wins these games by 24,22,20,15, and 13 pts shows that IU’s defense is no joke. So now we have Virg. tech coming who no doubt is a good team to advance this far but they are sort of like us in the fact they only go 7 deep. Glass has done his part to try and back this team by getting more people in the seats . He feels something special is about to take place and will be worth it. So c,mon hoosier nation lets fill SSAH and send these seniors Buss and Cahill out in style with a win and a banner. Go Hoosiers!

  8. What a fun ride this has been! The benefit of playing such a tough schedule this season is really paying off in this WNIT championship run. I’m really glad that Tyra and Amanda get to play their final game at home in front of all of us in what will be an incredible atmosphere. Although this will be the end for those two trail blazing seniors it is only the beginning for this program.
    See you all on Saturday.
    Keep on keepin’ on!

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