Hoosiers Win Close Battle With Wisconsin, 64-61
Jan. 15, 2009
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Senior All-America candidate Whitney Thomas led three Hoosiers (12-3, 5-1) in double-digit points as she collected her 29th career double-double in a 64-61 win over Wisconsin (13-5, 3-4) on Jan. 15 in Assembly Hall.
Thomas sank 19 points on 5-of-11 shooting from the field and 9-of-16 shooting from the free throw line. She grabbed 11 boards and recorded four steals and two assists. Sophomore Jori Davis scored 18 points on 5-of-12 shooting from the field and 7-of-8 shooting from charity stripe. She also recorded five rebounds. Junior Jamie Braun netted 14 points on 6-of-16 shooting and added five rebounds, two assists and one steal. Braun is now 16 points away from becoming the 21st Hoosier to reach 1,000 career points at IU.
IU head coach Felisha Legette-Jack is one win shy of her 50th career victory as the leader of the Hoosiers.
"What a game, a game like that just reveals character and I think that the people who came out today to see the character that we exemplify," said Legette-Jack. "Our kids played unbelievably tough and at the beginning we had Amber (Jackson) nursing her knee for a little bit, something happened to her knee and we had to make a change and Lindsay Enterline stepped up, Whitney Thomas stepped up and we just ran the show. We always play for 13, no matter who's out, who's in, we play for 13. And today is another example of this team's togetherness."
The Badgers opened the game with a 3-pointer by Alyssa Karel, only to see IU answer with four straight points by Thomas to give the Hoosiers a 4-3 lead with 19:04 on the clock. A jumper by Mariah Dunham gave Wisconsin the lead for a second time, but a 7-0 run by Indiana capped by a 3-pointer from Lindsay Enterline gave the home team an 11-5 lead with 17:12 to go in the half. A jumper from Jade Davis followed by a layup from Tara Steinbauer cut the Hoosiers' lead to two, 11-9, at the 15:27 mark. A jumper by Davis followed by another jumper by Braun increased Indiana's lead back to six, 15-9, but a three-point play from Lin Zastrow kept the Badgers within three. A 4-0 run, sparked by a pair of free throws from Thomas, gave the Hoosiers' a seven-point lead, their largest of the game. However, Wisconsin fought back outscoring Indiana, 13-8, in the final 9:39 to send both teams into the break knotted at 27-27.
The Hoosiers came out strong in the second half, outscoring the Badgers, 12-2, in the first five and a half minutes, to take a 39-29 lead. But Wisconsin kept fighting back, using a 21-9 run to take a 52-48 lead with 4:47 on the clock. A pair of free throws from Amber Jackson, followed by a layup from Thomas tied the game at 52-52 with 3:55 to go. A 3-pointer by Dunham at the 2:51 mark put the Badgers back on top, but the Hoosiers kept fighting back, scoring their last 12 points on free throws for the 64-61 win.
"We had to figure out Wisconsin (after the first half)," Legette-Jack said. "This is one of the best defensive teams in the country. The Big Ten is the real deal. Wisconsin certainly wasn't trying to give it to us - we had to find a way, to will a way to take it. And we still played the same, we just decided that we had to take it a little bit harder at them and let the chips fall where they may. I thought Jori (Davis) did a great job attacking the basket and if you play Whitney Thomas one on one you're kind of in trouble."
Indiana shot 33.3 percent (19-of-57) on the game and 75 percent from the free throw line (24-of-32), but Wisconsin won the battle on the boards, 40-37. The Badgers shot 42.9 percent (21-of-49) from the field and 66.7 percent (14-of-21) from the free throw line. The Hoosiers forced Wisconsin into committing 20 turnovers.
The Hoosiers return to action on Monday, Jan. 19, when they host rival Purdue at 7 p.m. ET on the Big Ten Network.
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