Hoosiers Top Iona in WNIT Second Round, 74-71
March 19, 2007
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Junior Nikki Smith scored a team-high 18 points to pace four Hoosiers in double figures as Indiana beat Iona 74-71 in the second round of the Women's National Invitation Tournament (WNIT) at Assembly Hall on Monday, March 19.
Smith earned her 18 points on 6-of-9 shooting from the floor, 2-of-4 beyond the arc and 4-of-5 from the free-throw line. Sophomore Kim Roberson added 16 points on 6-of-15 shooting from the floor with a 3-pointer, and registered three steals off the bench. Senior Sarah McKay netted 15 points on 6-of-13 shooting and added a team-high nine rebounds to go along with three steals and three assists, while senior Leah Enterline scored 10 points and added six rebounds in the win.
Down by six, 42-36, with 16:23 remaining in the game, the Hoosiers (19-13) put together a 7-0 run to take their first lead since the 14:16 mark in the first half. A 3-pointer by Smith sparked the run that included a basket by Whitney Thomas and a layup from McKay to take the 43-42 lead. A pair of free throws by Tiara Headen gave Iona (21-13) a one-point lead, but a McKay layup sent Indiana on an 18-11 run that put the Hoosiers on top, 61-55, with 8:37 remaining in the game. Iona and Indiana battled throughout the final eight minutes of the contest, as the Gaels cut the Hoosiers lead to just one, 72-71, with 18 seconds remaining. However, a pair of free throws from Smith iced the three-point Hoosier win.
With a closely contested first seven-plus minutes of the game, the Gaels used a 10-2 run to take a 21-14 lead with 10:10 remaining in the first half. A pair of free throws from Jamie Braun stopped Iona's surge and ignited a 6-0 Indiana run that cut the visitor's lead to just one, 21-20, with 8:45 to go. A layup from Martina Weber increased Iona's lead to three, as the Gaels put together a 12-4 run to regain a seven-point advantage, 32-25, with 3:53 left in the half. A pair of free throws by McKay put the Hoosiers within five, but a layup from Anna McLean kept the deficit at seven, 34-27. Back-to-back layups by Roberson sent the Hoosiers into the break with some momentum, but down by three, 34-31.
The Hoosiers held a 33-31 advantage on the boards and registered 11 steals off of 21 Iona turnovers. Iona shot 55.8 percent (29-of-52) from the floor, while Indiana shot 40.3 percent (25-of-62) from the field on the game.
Weber led all players with 32 points on 13-of-17 shooting from the floor and a perfect 6-of-6 from the free-throw line. Headen also reached double figures with 13 points, while adding a team-high nine rebounds.
Indiana will hit the road to face South Dakota State in the third round of the WNIT on Thursday, March 22 at 8 p.m. ET in Frost Arena in Brookings, S.D. Thursday night's battle between the Hoosiers and Jackrabbits is sold out.
Indiana vs. Iona
Indiana head coach Felisha Legette-Jack
On whether getting the first WNIT win gets the monkey off the team's back:
On Kim Roberson's steal in the waning seconds:
On the leadership of the seniors:
Indiana senior Sarah McKay
On playing against Martina Weber:
Indiana junior Nikki Smith
On the motivation to play:
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