Hoosiers Knock Off Michigan on Senior Day, 67-61
March 1, 2009
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Despite being down by 15 early in the second half, the Indiana women's basketball team (18-9, 11-7) came back to defeat Michigan, 67-61, on Senior Day in Assembly Hall. The win was in front of 5,112 fans, the Hoosiers' largest of the season.
Junior Jamie Braun led the Hoosiers with 19 points on 6-of-10 shooting from the field, including 3-of-5 from the 3-point line. She also recorded five assists, four rebounds and two steals. Senior Kim Roberson scored 14 points and tallied six assists, five rebounds and three steals. Senior All-America candidate Whitney Thomas scored 10 points and added a team-high nine rebounds. Freshman Ashlee Mells provided quite a spark in IU's comeback, scoring seven points off the bench, to go along with three rebounds and a pair of steals in 11 minutes.
"I think that we are on our way to somewhere special," said IU head coach Felisha Legette-Jack. "I think Michigan was a team that was very hungry for success and they came out and they threw their hardest punch, and it kind of knocked us back but it didn't knock us out. Our young ladies here are resilient and they fought like crazy to find success. It was a really good game for Senior Day so you can really see and appreciate what we are all about."
"We certainly aren't finished yet," Legette-Jack added. "We still have a long way to go, but we are appreciative of where we are right now. We are 18-9 and 11-7 in the conference, but (the Big Ten) Tournament is wide open for anybody who wants to take it. I think we are putting our name in the hat."
The Hoosiers jumped out to an early 13-7 lead in the first six and a half minutes of the first half, with five points from Roberson. However, the Wolverines (10-19, 3-15) answered and used a 30-18 run over the final 12:58 of the half to take a 30-18 lead into the break.
Michigan built on to its lead early in the second half, holding Indiana to just one field goal in the first five minutes of the second stanza for a 48-33 lead with 15:39 to go. A jumper by Thomas at the 14:08 mark ignited a 20-6 run by the Hoosiers that brought IU back within one 54-53, with 8:31 on the clock. A 30-pointer by Courtney Boylan at the six minute mark stopped the Hoosier run increased Michigan's advantage to four, 57-53, but a 3-pointer from Braun with 5:36 on the clock and a layup from Davis gave IU a 58-57 lead with 5:11 left in the game. The Hoosiers kept building on that lead and fought back to hold on for the 67-61 win.
"I just know when coach asks me to go in to always be ready," said Mells. "I like to bring a little spark into the game because watching from the sideline it seemed like that is what we were lacking. Once I came in I just knew to play ball and play good defense."
The Hoosiers shot 43.6 percent (24-of-55) from the field, 40.0 percent (8-of-20) from the 3-point line and 68.8 percent (11-of-16) from the free throw line. Indiana won the battle on the boards, 36-31, and recorded 11 steals off of 19 Michigan miscues.
Indiana will open the 2009 Big Ten Women's Basketball Tournament on Thursday, March 5. Seedings and matchups will be announced later this evening.
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