THE BASICS Indiana opens Big Ten play when it travels to East Lansing to face off against No. 23/22 Michigan State at 7 p.m. Friday at the Breslin Center.
ON THE AIR The game will be broadcast live on 105.1 WHCC Radio Bloomington with Jeremy Gray calling all the action. As is the case for the remainder of the season, the game can also be heard on the internet at www.iuhoosiers.com.
INJURY UPDATE Senior captain Jamie Gathing will not play, as she is out for the year after sustaining a knee injury during individual workouts.
Kali Kullberg's status is questionable after sustaining a knee injury not believed to be serious. The injury kept her sidelined for the last five games.
THE COACHES Fourth-year head coach Kathi Bennett leads the Hoosiers into action. Bennett has compiled a 57-44 record during her tenure in Bloomington and a 281-147 career mark in her 16 seasons as a head coach. Bennett is coming off a summer in which she served as an assistant coach for Team USA at the Pan American Games, helping the team to a silver medal.
Joanne P. McCallie has steadily built Michigan State into a winner, guiding the Spartans to a 55-44 record during her four years in East Lansing, including a trip to the NCAA Tournament last year. A former player at Northwestern, McCallie has compiled a 222-117 career record in her 12 years as a head coach. Prior to her current tenure at MSU, McCallie coached at Maine for eight years.
PULLING RANK Michigan State is Indiana's first ranked opponent of 2003-04. The last time Indiana beat a ranked opponent was January 12, 2003, when IU downed No. 23 Ohio State, 54-50.
WHAT IT MEANS An Indiana win would:
* Be the fifth win for Indiana over Michigan State in the last seven meetings between the two teams, with all five wins coming under Kathi Bennett.
* Be the first win for Indiana over a ranked opponent since January 12, 2003, when IU downed No. 23 Ohio State, 54-50.
* Be the third consecutive win for Indiana, matching the longest winning streak of the season (the Hoosiers beat Virginia Commonwealth, Georgetown and Maine consecutively earlier this season.)
* Improve Kathi Bennett to 3-1 in Big Ten openers.
* Improve Indiana to 4-1 in road games this year.
* Improve the Hoosiers to 10-12 all-time in Big Ten openers.
* Snap a two-game losing streak to Michigan State.
* Snap a four-game losing streak for Indiana against the two Big Ten schools in Michigan, with the last win a 67-55 victory over Michigan State on February 3, 2002.
* Improve the Hoosiers to 8-4 on the year, a mark identical to last year's 8-4 start through the first 12 games despite the fact that this year's club is far younger than last year's senior-laden squad. This year's 12-player roster is dotted by five freshmen, five sophomores, two juniors and no seniors.
An Indiana loss would:
* Be the third consecutive loss to Michigan State.
* Extend the Hoosiers' losing streak against Big Ten teams from the state of Michigan to five games, with the last win a 67-55 victory over Michigan State on February 3, 2002.
* Be the fourth consecutive Indiana loss to a team ranked in the top 25, with the last win a 57-50 win over No. 23 Ohio State last year.
* Move Indiana to 9-13 all-time in Big Ten openers.
LAST TIME OUT Muncie-- The Indiana women's basketball team defeated the Ball State Cardinals 71-62 on Wednesday night, December 31 to end their non-conference schedule and improve their record to 7-4 on the year. Ball State's record dropped to 5-6.
"This was our first game back from break and you could definitely tell," said Indiana head coach Kathi Bennett. "We were able to fight them off when they got close which was encouraging."
Freshman center Sarah McKay had a breakout game for the Cream and Crimson posting career and season highs in points (24) and rebounds (16) for her first ever double-double. In addition, sophomore guard Cyndi Valentin posted 14 points while junior Jenny DeMuth scored 11. Six of the Hoosiers' seven wins have come when the team has three scorers in double figures.
"Sarah is a freshman playing a ton of minutes and she keeps getting better and better," said Bennett. "She's an exciting player to watch."
Thanks to four points and seven rebounds from McKay in the first five minutes of the game, the Hoosiers had a comfortable six-point lead to start the first half. The Cardinals brought it back to within one, 23-22, with 3:11 left to play on three pointers by Dana Collins and Johna Goff. Indiana was able to hold on to the lead and went into halftime with a 31-24 advantage after an 8-2 run including a buzzer beater by McKay to end the half.
Free throw shooting was the name of the game in the second stanza with Indiana shooting 17-19 and Ball State shooting 12-18 from the line. Ball State depleted a 13- point lead held by Indiana in the opening minutes of the half, eventually taking over the lead for the first time in the game at the 9:06 mark on a layup by Kate Endress. The Hoosiers regained the lead for the final time 52-49 at the7:28 mark on a layup by McKay. Perfect shooting at the line from then on out secured the win for Indiana.
McKay's 24 points is the sixth most ever scored by an Indiana freshman while her 16 rebounds is the fifth most by a freshman at Indiana.
The Cardinals were led by Endress' 28 points and five rebounds and Goff's 16 points and four rebounds.
NOTING THE LAST GAME Indiana's 11 turnovers against Ball State marked a season-low.
The Hoosiers dominated the low post, outscoring the Cardinals, 40-18 in the paint.
Indiana upped its winning streak to 16 games against Ball State and now owns a 21-3 all-time series advantage over the Cardinals.
DEMUTH IS ON FIRE! Jenny DeMuth's production and leadership have been exceptional. DeMuth averages 20.3 points, 7.7 rebounds and 2.5 steals per game this year and has already established new career highs in points (30 vs. North Texas), rebounds (14 vs. Maine), steals (six vs. Cornell), three-point field goals made (four vs. VCU), free-throws attempted (15 vs. North Texas) and minutes played (39 vs. Maine).
DeMuth earned Big Ten Player of the Week honors twice this year, once after scoring 27 points and grabbing 11 rebounds against Western Illinois. With the Hoosiers trailing by 16 with 10:55 remaining in the contest, DeMuth went on a 17-0 run by herself to give Indiana the lead and set up the eventual IU victory.
She was the Big Ten Player of the Week after earning all-tournament and tournament MVP honors at the Indiana Classic in addition to being an all-tournament team selection at the Virgin Islands Paradise Jam.
The Highland, Ind., native scored 20 or more points six times and has four double-doubles on the year.
DON'T FORGET VALENTIN With Jenny DeMuth establishing herself as one of the top players in the Big Ten during the early part of the season, Cyndi Valentin has gone largely unnoticed.
The Bloomington native averages 15.5 points, 4.1 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game.
Valentin has a pair of 20-point performances against Western Illinois and NC State, respectively, and a 19-point effort against Maine.
She knocked down a crucial three-pointer with Indiana trailing, 66-63 and 17 seconds remaining against Western Illinois to send the game into overtime and allow the Hoosiers to claim the victory.
COMBINING FORCES DeMuth and Valentin lead Indiana. Here is a look at their contribution to the Hoosiers' offensive success:
Team Total/Avg. 800/72.7
DeMuth and Valentin Total/Avg. 393/35.7
DeMuth and Valentin Pct. of Team Total 49.1
Field Goals Made
Team Total 258
DeMuth and Valentin 118
Pct. of Team Total 45.7
Free Throws Made
Team Total 234
DeMuth and Valentin 134
Pct. of Team Total 57.3
FOLLOWING THE FRESHMEN Indiana's 12-player active roster is dotted by five freshmen. Following is a look at what the freshmen are contributing on the stat sheet.
Team Total 800
Freshman Total 255
Freshman Percentage of Team Total 31.9
Team Total 421
Freshman Total 122
Freshman Percentage of Team Total 29.0
Team Total 120
Freshman Total 33
Freshman Percentage of Team Total 27.5
Team Total 52
Freshman Total 22
Freshman Percentage of Team Total 42.3
IU RECORD WHEN THE FRESHMEN... Score 20 points or more 5-2
Score less than 20 points 2-2
Grab 10 rebounds or more 5-1
Grab less than 10 rebounds 2-3
Shoot 40 percent or better from the field 2-3
Shoot less than 40 percent from the field 5-1
IU AMONG NATION'S YOUNGEST Indiana is the fourth-youngest team in the nation in terms of average age of players and the youngest team in the nation among the BCS conferences (ACC, Big East, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-10 and SEC)
Team Avg. Age
1. Wofford 18.77
2. Loyola (Md.) 18.8
3. Utah State 18.9
4. Indiana 19.0
4. Hawaii 19.0
6. Texas Tech 19.08
7. Appalachian State 19.1
8. Central Florida 19.2
9. Northern Arizona 19.3
9. New Hampshire 19.3
MCKAY EXPLODES Freshman Sarah McKay had a huge day against Ball State in the non-conference finale. McKay scored 24 points (the sixth-best single-game mark ever for a freshman at Indiana) and hauled in 16 rebounds (the fifth-highest single-game mark ever for a freshman at Indiana).
Her 24-point effort against Ball State came on the heels of a 19-point performance against Arkansas two games prior and a nine-point, 10-rebound showing against Western Illinois immediately before.
McKay started the season on the Hoosier bench, but has worked her way into the regular rotation and eventually into the starting lineup.
In her last three games, McKay averages 17.3 points, 10.0 rebounds and 2.0 blocked shots per game.
McKay is one of three freshmen to have started for Indiana this year. She is on pace to block 27 shots this year, a mark that would rank as the sixth-highest single-season mark for a Hoosier freshman.
ENTERLINE SETS RECORD When Leah Enterline dished out eight assists at NC State on December 14, she established a new Indiana freshman record, surpassing the mark of seven assists, accomplished by Heather Cassady in 1999 and Kristi Green twice in 1996.
BOYD EXPLOSIVE Freshman guard Annika Boyd has been one of the most productive Hoosiers in terms of points per minutes played.
The Minneapolis native ranks fourth on the team in scoring, averaging 6.7 points per game in only 12.7 minutes per contest.
Extended over a 40 minute period, Boyd would average 21.1 points per game.
She leads the team with a 48.4 shooting percentage from three-point range (15-for-31).
With the exception of the North Texas game, Boyd has knocked down at least one three-pointer in every game in which she has attempted a trey (Boyd was 0-0 against Maine).
Boyd had her best day to date against North Carolina State, scoring 13 points on 5-for-6 shooting from the field and 3-for-3 shooting from three-point range in only 11 minutes of action.
DOUBLE-FIGURE FROSH In 11 games played, Indiana has already seen a freshman reach double figures on nine different occasions this year. Leah Enterline and Annika Boyd have three double-figure scoring efforts apiece, while Sarah McKay has two and Jamey Chapman both have one.
HIGH-PERCENTAGE FROSH Against Ball State, Sarah McKay was Indiana's most productive player. She was not the only freshman to contribute, however, as Indiana's freshmen combined to score 40 of the team's 71 points (56.3 percent), and grab 26 of the team's 46 rebounds (56.5 percent).
DOUBLE TROUBLE Jenny DeMuth and Cyndi Valentin are the top scorers on this year's Indiana squad. Both players have reached double figures in all of Indiana's games this year.
THIRD SCORER WANTED DeMuth and Valentin are scoring points this year, but for Indiana to be at its best, it needs production to come from a third source
In five of the Hoosiers' six wins, there has been a third double-figure scorer.
DEMUTH HONORED BY BIG TEN Indiana junior Jenny DeMuth earned Big Ten Player of the Week honors for her performance at the Indiana Classic in the season's opening week.
DeMuth earned tournament MVP honors after averaging 24.5 points, 8.5 rebounds, 5.5 steals and 1.5 assists per game against Cornell and North Texas in leading the Hoosiers to the tournament title.
Against North Texas in the championship game, DeMuth had a day to remember, scoring 30 points and grabbing 12 rebounds (both career-highs) to lead the way for Indiana. DeMuth also shined on the defensive end, adding five steals.
MARK THE DATE NOW January 25, 2004 will be a big day for Hoosier women's basketball. Indiana hosts Purdue at 2 p.m., but the rivalry is hardly the story. When the Hoosiers and Boilermakers tangle, fans will have an opportunity to help fight cancer simply by showing up.
In honor of IU Women's Basketball fans, Vera Bradley Designs will donate $10,000 for breast cancer research if the Hoosiers 'Pack the Hall' with 10,000 people.
ATTENDANCE JUMPS Indiana shattered both its single-game and single-season attendance records last year.
The Hoosiers drew 7,986 fans for their game against Wisconsin on January 24, leading Kathi Bennett to donate $5,000 of her own money to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation in commemoration of IU establishing a new single-game attendance record.
Average attendance for Indiana home games saw an 84.6 percent increase from the 2001-02 season to the 2002-03 season.
In fact, the Hoosiers established three of the top eight single-game attendance marks in school history during the 2002-03 campaign.
BRUTAL SCHEDULE A whopping 15 different teams that saw action in post-season play last year headline Indiana's 2003-04 schedule.
NEXT GAME The Hoosiers return to action when they host Wisconsin at 7 p.m. on January 8 at Assembly Hall.
The game will be broadcast on 105.1 WHCC Radio Bloomington with Jeremy Gray calling all the action. The broadcast can also be accessed worldwide on the internet at the official site of Indiana Athletics, www.iuhoosiers.com.
Click on the broadcasts link, then follow the prompts to the women's basketball broadcasts and follow the prompts from there.