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.
THE BASICS Indiana is back on the road to battle Illinois at 8 p.m. (EST) Thursday at Assembly Hall in Champaign. Thursday's contest is the fourth Big Ten road game in a six-game span for the Hoosiers.
ON THE AIR The game will be broadcast live on 105.1 WHCC Radio Bloomington with Jeremy Gray calling all the action. In addition, the broadcast can be accessed worldwide on the internet at 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.
THE COACHES Fourth-year head coach Kathi Bennett leads the Hoosiers into action. Bennett has compiled a 59-47 record during her tenure in Bloomington and a 283-150 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.
Theresa Grentz is in her ninth season as head coach at Illinois. A 2001 inductee into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame, Grentz has compiled a 616-258 career record in her 30 seasons as a head coach that included a two-year stint at St. Joseph's before a 19-year tenure at Rutgers. Grentz is a two-time honoree as Big Ten Coach of the Year (1997, 1998) and has led Illinois to five NCAA Tournament appearances.
HEAD TO HEAD Kathi Bennett and Theresa Grentz have split their four head-to-head meetings. Indiana picked up an 85-82 win over the Illini in the last meeting between the two.
All four meetings between Bennett and Grentz have been decided by five points or less.
WHAT IT MEANS An Indiana win would: * Be the third in the last four games for the Hoosiers over Illinois.
* Improve Kathi Bennett's record to 3-2 against Theresa Grentz (.600 pct.) Prior to Bennett's arrival in 2000-01, Indiana was 1-8 all-time against the Illini under Grentz (.125 pct.)
* Mark the first time Indiana has won back-to-back games over Illinois since the Hoosiers claimed a pair of wins over the Illini in 1994, then made it three straight with a win in the first meeting in 1995.
* Bring Indiana's record to 3-3 in Big Ten games this year. In each of the last two seasons, the Hoosiers were 2-4 through their first six Big Ten games.
* Mark the 60th victory for Kathi Bennett at Indiana, bringing her into a tie with Joy Malchodi for fourth place on Indiana's all-time coaching wins list.
* Snap a five-game losing streak for Indiana in Big Ten road games. The Hoosiers' last win in a conference road game was a 49-48 victory over Wisconsin in Madison on February 16 of last year.
An Indiana loss would: * Be the sixth consecutive loss for the Hoosiers in a Big Ten road game. Indiana's last win in a conference road game was a 49-48 victory over Wisconsin in Madison on February 16 of last year.
* Be consistent with the pattern of the Indiana-Illinois rivalry under Kathi Bennett and Theresa Grentz, as the two have alternated victories in each of the four meetings between the two coaches. Bennett's Hoosiers won the last meeting, 85-82.
LAST TIME OUT Bloomington, Ind. - Forced to play overtime without its leading scorer and top all-around player, Indiana pulled out a 58-55 overtime victory over Northwestern Sunday at Assembly Hall.
The play of Cyndi Valentin down the stretch was a key for Indiana, as the Big Ten's highest-scoring sophomore finished with a career-high 24 points, with seven points coming in overtime to give Indiana its sixth win in seven home games this year. Of Valentin's 24 points, 22 came after halftime.
Jenny DeMuth continued her season-long tear, finishing with 17 points and 12 rebounds for her sixth double-double this year. DeMuth added a season-high five assists before fouling out.
Angela Hawkins scored 11 points and grabbed 11 boards in her first start since December 20.
DEMUTH STARTS WITH "D" Jenny DeMuth made seven steals against Iowa, setting a new career high and matching the fourth-highest single-game total in school history.
Averaging 4.0 steals per game in Big Ten play, DeMuth also has a pair of six steal games this year (vs. Wisconsin and Cornell) to go with two five-steal efforts (vs. Western Illinois and North Texas.)
DeMuth has 48 steals on the year. She was the team leader in steals last year with 50. On her current pace, DeMuth would finish the year with 81 steals, a mark that would rank third on Indiana's single-season chart and would be the highest figure since Lori Burroughs made 90 steals in 1979-80.
DEMUTH ALSO DESCORER Averaging 20.3 points per game, Jenny DeMuth is on pace to score 548 points this year, a mark that would put her at 1,104 points for her career. If DeMuth stays on pace, 548 points would be the fifth-highest single-season total in school history.
DEMUTH IS ON FIRE! Jenny DeMuth has 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 nine times and has six double-doubles on the year.
DEMUTH'S BREAKOUT YEAR Jenny DeMuth is enjoying the biggest breakthrough season of any Big Ten player. Following is a comparison of Jenny DeMuth's stats this year compared to her first two seasons:
VALENTIN LEADS BIG TEN Bloomington native Cyndi Valentin leads all Big Ten sophomores in scoring, averaging 15.0 points per game. In addition, Valentin leads all Big Ten players in free throw percentage at .879 pct.
Big Ten Sophomore Leaders Points Per Game 1) Cyndi Valentin (Indiana) 15.0
2) Lindsay Bowen (Michigan State) 12.3
3) Ashley Josephson (Wisconsin) 11.5
4) Liz Shimek (Michigan State) 11.4
5) Ifeoma Okwonkwo (Northwestern) 10.6
COMBINING FORCES Jenny DeMuth and Cyndi Valentin form one of the most potent scoring duos in the Big Ten. In fact, among tandems in which both players return next year, DeMuth and Valentin are the highest-scoring in the conference.
Big Ten's Highest-Scoring Duos* 1) J. DeMuth/C. Valentin (Indiana) 35.3
2) A. Williams/A. Yanni (Illinois) 32.0
3) T. Wright/J. Strom (Penn State) 26.3
4) C. Matter/J. Davenport (Ohio State) 25.3
5) L. Bowen/L. Shimek (Michigan State) 23.7
* Both players in the duo must return to their respective teams next season.
DYNAMIC DUO DOING DAMAGE Jenny DeMuth and Cyndi Valentin are the top scorers on this year's Indiana squad. The two players have combined to score 565 of Indiana's 1083 points (52.2 percent).
The two have combined to register 13 20-point or more scoring games and score 20 or more points in the same game on three separate occasions (vs. NC State, Western Illinois and Wisconsin).
DEFENSE THE KEY TO VICTORY Following is a breakdown comparing Indiana's performance in its nine wins against its seven losses. It is clear that defense and turnovers are two of the biggest factors.
Points scored per game in wins 70.1
Points allowed per game in wins 56.1
Points per game in losses 64.6
Points allowed per game in losses 73.1
Field goal percentage in wins .410
Field goal percentage in losses .416
Field goal percentage defense in wins .335
Field goal percentage defense in losses .475
Turnover margin in wins +2.8
Turnover margin in losses -4.0
VALENTIN LOVES BEING HOME Indiana is off to a 6-1 start in home games this year, due largely to the play of Cyndi Valentin. The Bloomington native averages 18.1 points per game on .478 shooting from the field and .414 shooting from three-point range at Assembly Hall. On the year, Valentin averages 15.0 points per game on .434 shooting and .364 shooting from deep.
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 1025
Freshman Total 309
Freshman Percentage of Team Total 30.1
Team Total 559
Freshman Total 170
Freshman Percentage of Team Total 30.4
Team Total 156
Freshman Total 49
Freshman Percentage of Team Total 31.4
Team Total 76
Freshman Total 39
Freshman Percentage of Team Total 51.3
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 A PRESENCE Sarah McKay is emerging as a name to remember for Indiana. Standing 6-7 and only a freshman, McKay averages 2.6 blocked shots per game against Big Ten opponents and had a career-best four block performance at Iowa. McKay is on pace to block 41 shots this year, a mark that would rank second on Indiana's single-season freshman records list.
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 start for IU this year.
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 5.3 points per game in only 12.3 minutes per contest.
Extended over a 40 minute period, Boyd would average 17.2 points per game.
She leads the team with a 44.7 shooting percentage from three-point range (17-for-38).
Boyd had her best day to date against NC 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.
NOT OVER 'TILL ITS OVER Indiana has demonstrated the ability to come back when down by large margins on multiple occasions this year. Following is a look at the Hoosiers' most significant comebacks.
Nov. 28 - IU trailed Mississippi State, 55-34 (21-point deficit) with 12:24 remaining before going on a 33-13 run to bring the score to 68-67 with 19 seconds remaining. The Hoosiers had the ball with a chance to take the lead, but a costly traveling violation gave the ball back to the Bulldogs. With the shot clock turned off, IU was forced to foul and send MSU to the line, where the Bulldogs went on to ice their 70-67 win.
Dec. 7 - Indiana trailed at Georgetown, 23-9 in the first half before erupting behind Leah Enterline's career-high 17 points (15 in the deciding second half) to claim a 72-62 win.
Dec. 22 - IU trailed Western Illinois, 54-38 (16-point deficit) with 11:33 remaining before Jenny DeMuth went on a 17-0 run by herself to give Indiana a 55-54 lead with 6:23 remaining and set up an 81-74 Indiana win.
DOUBLE-FIGURE FROSH In 16 games played, Indiana has already seen a freshman reach double figures on 10 different occasions this year. Leah Enterline, Sarah McKay and Annika Boyd have three double-figure scoring efforts apiece, while Jamey Chapman has one.
HIGH-PERCENTAGE FROSH Against Ball State, 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).
NEXT GAME The Hoosiers host Purdue at 2 p.m. Sunday. If 10,000 fans attend, a $10,000 donation will be made to the Vera Bradley Breast Cancer Foundation.
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, iuhoosiers.com.
Click on the broadcasts link, then follow the prompts to the women's basketball broadcasts and follow the prompts from there.