East Lansing, Mich. The Indiana women’s basketball team dropped its Big Ten opener 59-41 to 23/22 Michigan State in East Lansing, Michigan on January 2. The Hoosiers drop to 7-5 overall and 0-1 in Big Ten action. Michigan State improves to 10-1 overall and 1-0 in the Big Ten.
Indiana was led in scoring by junior Jenny DeMuth with 20 points and eight rebounds marking the seventh game this year where DeMuth has had 20 or more points. Sophomores Cyndi Valentin and Brigett Branson scored four points each while freshman Sarah McKay registered six rebounds. Michigan State was led by Rene Haynes with 11 points and Liz Shimek with nine rebounds.
“Michigan State is legit,” said Indiana head Coach Kathi Bennett. “Their strength is their defense. “We played well enough to win defensively, but where the game was decided was early in the second half when we got five straight stops with no points for us.”
The two teams started off the game with balanced scoring and the score stood tied 8-8 at the 13:20 mark. With the Hoosiers struggling against Michigan State’s full court press, the Spartans broke the game open with a 14-0 run and forced Indiana into ten turnovers. Jenny DeMuth sparked some offense for Indiana, scoring seven points in the final five minutes of the half but it was not enough and the Hoosiers went into halftime with a 24-33 deficit.
Freshman Jamey Chapman also had some quality minutes in the first half scoring a three pointer and contributing a blocked shot and one rebound.
The Hoosiers got into offensive trouble early in the second stanza where they continued to struggle against Michigan State’s defense. The Hoosiers had a tough time at the free throw line the entire game, shooting just 10-22. In their 11 games prior to tonight, the team averaged 21.3 points per game from the free throw line.
Indiana’s 41 points were the fewest scored since the team scored 38 against Michigan State on February 11, 1990.
The Cream and Crimson are back at home on January 8, 2004 to face Wisconsin at Assembly Hall. Game time is set for 7 p.m.