Indiana opens its Big Ten home schedule when it hosts Wisconsin at 7 p.m. Thursday at Assembly Hall.
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 six games.
THE COACHES Fourth-year head coach Kathi Bennett leads the Hoosiers into action. Bennett has compiled a 57-45 record during her tenure in Bloomington and a 281-148 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.
Lisa Stone is in her first year at the helm of the Wisconsin program after a highly-successful career at Wisconsin-Eau Claire and Drake. Stone has compiled a 340-123 career record at all schools. Her 12-year tenure at UW-Eau Claire resulted in a 277-59 record (.824 pct) and 11 NCAA Tournament appearances, with two trips to the Final Four.
HEAD TO HEAD Bennett and Stone faced each other in the Division III ranks, with Bennett owning a slight 10-9 advantage over Stone from 1989-96 when Bennett coached Wisconsin-Oshkosh and Stone led Wisconsin-Eau Claire. Bennett's Titans won the last four meetings against Stone's Blugolds.
WHAT IT MEANS An Indiana win would: * Be the third straight Hoosier win over the Badgers and the fourth in the last five meetings.
* Improve Indiana to 35-12 all-time against the Badgers, with the 35 wins marking the most for the Hoosiers over any opponent.
* Be the 14th Indiana win in the last 15 meetings played at Assembly Hall against Wisconsin dating back to 1987.
* Improve the Hoosiers to 5-1 at home this year.
An Indiana loss would: * Be the second consecutive home loss to Wisconsin after rattling off 13 consecutive wins over the Badgers at Assembly Hall dating back to 1987.
* Mark Indiana's first 0-2 Big Ten start since 1999-2000.
* Bring the Hoosiers and Badgers even at four wins apiece since 2000-01.
* Snap a two-game winning streak for Indiana over Wisconsin.
* Be the Hoosiers' fourth loss in their last six games.
* Be consistent with Indiana's pattern this year. Each of the Hoosiers' first four losses came in pairs, with Indiana coming off a loss to Michigan State.
LAST TIME OUT East Lansing, Mich.- The Indiana women's basketball team dropped its Big Ten opener 59-41 to 23/22 Michigan State in East Lansing 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 33-24 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.
NOTING THE LAST GAME Cyndi Valentin's streak of 12 consecutive double-figure scoring games was snapped against the Spartans, as she finished with four points.
DEMUTH IS ON FIRE! Jenny DeMuth's production and leadership have been exceptional. DeMuth averages 20.3 points, 7.8 rebounds and 2.6 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 seven times and has four double-doubles on the year.
HARD WORK=BETTER OFFENSE The work ethic of this year's Indiana team is remarkable, and it has translated directly on the court.
This year's Indiana squad is better in every aspect of the offensive game than last year's group, and a large reason is the fact that it is not uncommon at all to see players working on their game on their own time far more than in the recent past.
Following is a look at some of the drastic differences from this year to last year:
Points 2003-04 70.1
Free Throw Percentage 2003-04 .744
Field Goal Percentage 2003-04 .412
Three-Point Percentage 2003-04 .346
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.
Points Team Total 841
Freshman Total 263
Freshman Percentage of Team Total 31.3
Rebounds Team Total 451
Freshman Total 131
Freshman Percentage of Team Total 29.0
Assists Team Total 127
Freshman Total 37
Freshman Percentage of Team Total 29.1
Team Total 56
Freshman Total 26
Freshman Percentage of Team Total 46.4
IU RECORD WHEN THE FRESHMEN... Score 20 points or more 5-2
Score less than 20 points 2-3
Grab 10 rebounds or more 5-1
Grab less than 10 rebounds 2-4
Shoot 40 percent or better from the field 2-3
Shoot less than 40 percent from the field 5-2
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
8. Michigan State 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.
Over a three game span vs. Arkansas, WIU and Ball State, McKay averaged 17.3 points, 10.0 rebounds and 2.0 blocks per game.
McKay is one of three freshmen to have started for Indiana this year. She is on pace to block 31 shots this year, a mark that would rank as the fourth-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 fifth on the team in scoring, averaging 6.2 points per game in only 12.4 minutes per contest.
Extended over a 40 minute period, Boyd would average 20.0 points per game.
She leads the team with a 46.9 shooting percentage from three-point range (15-for-32).
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 12 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. The two players combine to score 417 of Indiana's 841 points (49.6 percent).
With the exception of an off-night for Valentin against Michigan State, both players have reached double-figures every game this season, with the two combining to register nine 20-point or more scoring games.
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 six of the Hoosiers' seven wins, there has been a third double-figure scorer.
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 face Michigan at 4 p.m. Saturday at Crisler Arena in Ann Arbor.
The contest is televised and can be seen on Fox Sports Chicago.
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.