Dec. 16, 2012
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BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Indiana's Aulani Sinclair poured in a career-high 34 points to lead Indiana past SIU-Edwardsville, 72-56, on Sunday afternoon in Assembly Hall. Nicole Bell added 11 points for IU as the Hoosiers led from start to finish to guarantee a winning record in non-conference play.
Indiana (7-4) began with a flourish scoring the game's first eight points. Sinclair nailed a 3-pointer before Andrea Newbauer followed with an old fashioned three-point play. Milika Taufa then corralled an offensive board and hit the put back layup to cap the run.
SIUE (6-5) hit a free throw before Sinclair went coast-to-coast to lay it in to give IU a 10-1 advantage with 17:43 on the clock.
"We talked about how important our start was and we haven't had great first halves in the last few games," head coach Curt Miller said. " I think it was such a difference in the game that we came out of the gate and had a good first four minutes. That gave us confidence that not only we could score, but the game plan defensively was working early with forcing some turnovers and forcing some confusion."
The Cougars were resilient using an 11-4 run midway through the half to cut the Hoosier lead to three points, 23-20, with 5:23 to go in the half.
Just as they started the half, the Hoosiers finished on a strong note thanks to back-to-back 3-point field goals from Sinclair in the final minute to give IU a 36-28 lead heading into the locker room.
Out of the break, SIUE narrowed the margin to three points, 37-34, with 17:08 to play. Jasmine McGhee answered with a jumper for Indiana. After a Cougar free throw, Bell nailed a 3-point bomb to increase IU's lead to seven points.
Linda Rubene followed with a pair of free throws and Sinclair polished off an 10-1 IU run to give IU a 47-35 advantage with 13:02 to play.
Indiana would cruise from there and led the rest of the way by double-digits.
Sinclair shot 12-for-23 from the field and 7-for-13 from beyond the arc. It was the first time Sinclair had ever scored 30 or more points in a game. Her seven 3-pointers made ties a career mark and her 12 total field goals made is a new career high.
Sinclair's 34-point performance ties her for the eighth-best total in a single game in IU women's basketball history and with making seven 3-point field goals, that mark ties her for the third most 3-pointers made in a single game in program history.
"Hats off to Aulani (Sinclair) for an unbelievable offensive performance," Miller said. "I thought by the way they chose to guard us that she was going to get some shot opportunities both against their man and zone. Those two 3's in the final minute of the first half really gave her confidence. But we got contributions from everyone and the bench was good tonight. We did an outstanding job as a team guarding Raven Berry, one of the most talented post players that we will guard all year."
As a team, IU hit 10 3-point field goals, marking the first time a Hoosier team has hit 10 or more from beyond the arc in nearly two years. The Hoosiers won the battle of the boards, 38-31, and came down with a season-high 18 offensive rebounds.
Sasha Chaplin led IU with eight rebounds and added six points. McGhee skied for seven rebounds and scored six points with three steals, two blocks and a two assists. Rubene added eight points while shooting 3-for-5 from the field.
The Hoosiers will next take on Xavier in a Friday afternoon bout in Assembly Hall on Dec. 21. That game will tip at 1 p.m. ET.
As a team, Indiana shot 10-for-24 (41.7 percent) from 3-point range. It marks the first time IU has hit 10 or more 3-pointers in a game since hitting 11 at Minnesota on Jan. 2, 2011.
Indiana has shot 40.0 percent or better from beyond the arc six times this season and is 5-1 in those contests.
IU won the rebounding battle, 38-31, marking the sixth time this season that Indiana has outrebounded an opponent. The Hoosiers are 5-1 when outrebounding opponents this season.
The Hoosiers finished with a season-high 18 offensive boards and outscored SIUE in second chance points, 21-16.
Indiana dished for a season-best 18 assists in the game, accounting for 18 of the 26 made field goals as a team.
Indiana forced 19 SIUE turnovers, marking the fourth time this year that IU has forced 19 or more opponent miscues.
Aulani Sinclair scored a career-high 34 points in the game, shooting 12-for-23 from the field and 7-for-13 from beyond the arc. It was the first time Sinclair had ever scored 30 or more points. Her seven 3-pointers made ties her career high. She last connected on seven 3-pointers at FIU on Dec. 18, 2010. Sinclair's 12 made field goals is a new career mark.
Sinclair's 34-point performance ties her for the eighth-best total in a single game in IU women's basketball history.
With Sinclair making seven 3-point field goals, that mark ties her for the third most 3-pointers made in a single game in program history.
Sinclair also had five rebounds, three blocks and two assists. Her three blocks ties her career mark.
Freshman Nicole Bell scored in double-figures for the third time this season with 11 points. Bell connected on three 3-point field goals for the third time this year and for the second time in the last three games. She also set a career mark with five assists.
Sasha Chaplin led IU with eight boards in the game and finished with six points, two assists and one block.
Jasmine McGhee led the team with three steals to tie her season high. She also had six points, seven rebounds, two blocks and two steals.