Bloomington, Ind. -- In its final game of the exhibition season, the Indiana women's basketball team downed the Reebok Lady Stars 73-62 behind a spirited defensive effort. The Hoosiers held the Stars to a 27.1 shooting percentage in the game and out-rebounded the Lady Stars 52-44.
"I thought we had some improvement tonight," said Indiana head coach Kathi Bennett. "I didn't think Reebok was that good. I thought AIA was a lot better, but at least we did much better. We took some steps, but I was disappointed after holding them to 18 points in the first half and then letting them have 44 in the second half."
Offensively, sophomore Cyndi Valentin paced IU with 21 points to go along with five rebounds. Freshman Jamey Chapman added 17 points, drilling five of seven field goals.
On the boards, freshman Sarah McKay finished with a game-high 12 rebounds, including four on the offensive end. McKay narrowly missed a double-double, ending the night with eight points. Junior Jenny DeMuth aided McKay on the glass with seven boards.
"I thought the post players really showed great progress," said Bennett. "I thought Sarah McKay, and April Williams were great. The highlight for me was seeing April play so well and so aggressive. I can't wait to watch her on tape. I was really happy with her. Also, for Jamey Chapman's first game, she did a really good job. She's really not 100% yet. I thought Sarah McKay showed huge strides, especially defensively, and showed she learned from practice and put it into play."
The Hoosiers turned in an impressive performance in the opening stanza, holding the Lady Stars to an 11.4 shooting percentage, out-rebounding the Stars 30-21 en route to a 33-18 lead.
IU jumped out to an early 8-4 lead after a pair of three-pointers from Chapman and freshman Leah Enterline.
Valentin provided an offensive spark, knocking down a trey and converting a three-point play to extend IU's lead to 16-7. Valentin closed the opening half with a game-high 10 points.
Indiana opened up a comfortable 24-10 lead after a Chapman lay-up and a three-pointer by freshman Annika Boyd, closing out the half with its 15-point advantage.
In the half, the Hoosiers converted four of five from downtown, while the Lady Stars did not make a three-point field goal in six attempts.
The Lady Stars opened the second half with a 14-7 spurt, cutting the deficit to 40-32. However, sophomore April Williams halted the run, knocking down a 10-footer from the baseline, spurring a 10-2 Hoosier run.
Williams also added a three-pointer during the stretch and Chapman contributed three points.
Valentin converted her second three-pointer of the game and DeMuth nailed two free throws, giving IU its largest lead of the game at 64-44.
Despite a late run by the Lady Stars, the Hoosiers closed out their exhibition season with the11-point victory.
Williams turned in a solid performance with 10 points and five rebounds, while Enterline closed out the game with five points, four rebounds and three assists.
Up next, Indiana opens the regular season on the Assembly Hall floor when it hosts the Indiana Classic. IU faces Cornell in the tournament opener at 6:00 p.m. on Sat., Nov. 22. The Hoosiers will face Indiana State or North Texas the following afternoon to conclude their opening weekend.