Indiana Tops Colorado State to Conclude Caribbean Classic, 47-39
Dec. 21, 2011
CANCUN, Mexico - The Indiana women's basketball team overcame an early 14-point deficit to top Colorado State, 47-39, to conclude the Caribbean Classic on Wednesday afternoon. IU freshman Quaneisha McCurty was a force, finishing with a career-high 20 points while adding 14 rebounds and six blocked shots in the game. The Hoosiers held the Rams to just 24.2 percent shooting for the game.
The Hoosiers (4-8) came out with some defensive intensity forcing a Colorado State (3-9) shot clock violation on its first possession. Chaplin put IU on top, 3-0, with a free throw and a field goal in the game's first two minutes.
The lead was short lived as the Rams put together a 14-0 run over a 5:27 span before Chaplin stopped the bleeding with a put back bucket and a free throw to complete the three-point play as IU trailed, 14-6. CSU would build its lead to as much as 14 points, 20-6, with 7:14 left in the opening frame.
From that point on, the Hoosiers, led by McCurty off the bench, would not look back. McCurty scored Indiana's next 15 points, going on a 15-3 run by herself to pull IU within two points of the Rams, 23-21, after nailing a 3-point field goal with 2:24 to go in the half.
Aulani Sinclair connected on a jump shot to tie the contest at 23-23 at the 1:45 mark. After a pair of CSU free throws, Sinclair connected again with just nine seconds to go from 3-point range to propel the Hoosiers ahead, 26-25, heading into the halftime break.
McCurty continued her stellar play to begin the second half with a jumper, which was followed by a Linda Rubene 3-pointer to give IU a six-point cushion, 31-25. Rubene's shot capped a 9:37 span in which the Hoosiers outscored Colorado State, 25-5. Indiana also held the Rams without a field goal over a stretch of 9:42, before CSU's Kara Spotton hit a jump shot to pull her team within two of IU, 31-29, with 16:14 remaining.
Colorado State tied the contest at 31-31 with a field goal by Meghan Heimstra at the 13:43 mark, but the Rams would never sniff the chance to lead the remainder of the afternoon.
Jasmine McGhee hit back-to-back jumpers to push IU ahead by four points. After a Colorado State field goal, Sinclair hit two free throws and jump shot to give the Hoosiers a six-point lead. McGhee capped an 11-2 Indiana burst with a 3-point bomb to put IU in control, 42-33, with 6:24 to play.
CSU pulled within five points on two occasions down the stretch, but Indiana held off the Rams in the final minute to preserve the win.
McGhee scored nine points, all in the second half, and also brought down 11 boards in the game. Sinclair tallied nine points for the afternoon as Sasha Chaplin added six points and five boards. Indiana won the battle of the boards, 48-42. Indiana held the Rams to the lowest shooting percentage of any opponent this season (24.2 percent).
"We found some courage during the process of this game," head coach Felisha Legette-Jack said. "I tell our young ladies, if we want success and if we continue working hard, our time is going to come. But in that process, we have to learn how to win. Quaneisha McCurty was huge today, just as Simone Deloach was yesterday. We need players to continue to feed off of each other with performances like those to help us build to where we want to go."
The Hoosiers will return to Bloomington for a pair of contests beginning on Tuesday, Dec. 27 vs. Texas A&M Corpus Christi at 7 p.m. in Assembly Hall. Indiana will then welcome Michigan State to open Big Ten play on Dec. 30 at 6 p.m.
Jasmine McGhee had 11 rebounds for her third double-digit rebounding performance of the season. McGhee also had nine points, all in the second half.
Linda Rubene played 26 minutes, the most she has played since the season opener at Central Arkansas (33 minutes vs. UCA). She set a career-high with three assists and nailed a 3-point field goal in the second half.
Indiana outrebounded Colorado State, 48-42. It is the sixth time this season that IU has outrebounded it's opponent, as the Hoosiers are 4-2 in those contests.
The Hoosiers held the Rams to just 24.2 percent shooting for the game. That is the best defensive performance by Indiana in terms of an opponent's shooting percentage on the season. IU has held two opponents to under 30 percent shooting this season for an entire game. Indiana held Belmont to 28.3 percent shooting from the field on Nov. 18.
Indiana held the Rams without a field goal from the 5:56 mark of the first half until the 16:14 mark of the second half. That is a total of 9:42 without a CSU field goal.
IU also had a 25-5 run over a 9:37 span, beginning with a Quaeneisha McCurty jumper at the 6:49 mark of the opening half and capped by a Linda Rubene 3-pointer at the 17:37 mark of the second half. Indiana trailed 20-6 when the ran begin, and were ahead when it concluded, 31-25. IU would lead the rest of the way.
Indiana had 16 points in the paint to CSU's 12.
IU had 23 points come from the bench, led by McCurty's 20.
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