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THE BASICS Indiana faces Mississippi State at 8:15 p.m. (EST) Friday in first round play at the Virgin Islands Paradise Jam. The loser of the game faces the loser of the Iowa State/Virginia Tech game at 6:15 p.m. on Saturday, with the winners squaring off in the championship game set for 8:15 p.m. (EST) on Saturday.
ON THE AIR Sunday's game will be broadcast live on 105.1 WHCC Radio Bloomington with Jeremy Gray calling all the action. The game can also be heard on the internet at www.iuhoosiers.com.
INJURY UPDATE Senior captain Jamie Gathing will not play in this weekend's Paradise Jam, as she is out for the year after sustaining a knee injury during individual workouts. LeeAnn Stephenson is also out with a knee injury sustained in practice. She will undergo surgery and will be back in the lineup in three to four weeks.
ABOUT THE PARADISE JAM In existence since 2000, the Virgin Islands Paradise Jam is broken off into two halves and is played out on two separate islands. Indiana is part of the field competing in the St. Thomas Division, while Georgia Tech, James Madison, Southwest Missouri State and West Virginia compete in the St. John Division.
Last year's field in the St. Thomas Division included eventual-champion South Carolina, runner-up Boston College and Oregon. The three teams played in a round-robin format, as opposed to this year's four-team setup.
For more information, visit www.paradisejam.com
THE COACHES Fourth-year head coach Kathi Bennett leads the Hoosiers into action this week. Bennett has compiled a 52-40 record during her tenure in Bloomington and a 276-143 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.
Mississippi State is led into action by veteran coach Sharon Fanning. Fanning is in her ninth year at the helm of the Lady Bulldog program after an eight-year stay at Kentucky and an 11-year tenure at Chattanooga. She has guided Mississippi State to NCAA Tournament appearances in four of the last five years. She was recognized as the 2000 SEC Coach of the Year after leading Mississippi State to a 24-8 record.
DEMUTH HONORED BY BIG TEN Indiana junior Jenny DeMuth earned Big Ten Player of the Week honors for her performance at the Indiana Classic last 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.
"This is a great honor to have, especially in a conference where there are so many great players," DeMuth said. "What makes it even better is how well we played as a team, and to start the season as well as we did, it really gets us going on the right track."
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.
MORE ON DEMUTH Jenny DeMuth's performance on Sunday was not only the best of her career, but it made her one of only nine players in Indiana history to record a 30-point, 10-rebound game.
ALL-TIME 30-10 GAMES 1) Denise Jackson (1981-84) 3
2) Rachelle Bostic (1981-84) 2
Cindy Bumgarner (1985-88) 2
Karna Abram (1984-87) 2
Jill Chapman (1999-2002) 2
3) Jenny DeMuth (2002-present) 1
Dawn Douglas (1990-93) 1
Lisa Furlin (1993-96) 1
Jenny Dittfach (1994-96) 1
DEMUTH IN THE RECORD BOOK Jenny DeMuth sunk 14-of-15 attempts from the free throw line against North Texas on Sunday. In doing so, she matched her previous career high for free throws made in a game (a single-game mark that also ranks second all-time at Indiana). Her 15 attempts from the line on Sunday also match a career high for her (a single-game mark that also ranks third all-time at Indiana).
CHARTING DEMUTH'S CAREER PATH The only player on Indiana's roster with more than 20 starts under her belt, DeMuth is clearly the veteran leader on the floor for Indiana. DeMuth has scored 605 points during her career (9.9 ppg). She is on pace to become the 18th 1,000-point scorer in Indiana history.
In addition, she has 322 career rebounds (5.3 per game). Should DeMuth continue her pace and finish her career with more than 600 rebounds, she would join Denise Jackson, Shirley Bryant and Zan Jeffries as one of only four Hoosiers under six feet tall to score 1,000 points and grab 600 rebounds.
DEMUTH IN TOURNAMENT PLAY Jenny DeMuth has excelled in early-season tournaments throughout her career. Not only was she the MVP of last week's Indiana Classic, but she was also an all-tournament selection at last year's Hampton Inn/Fazoli's Classic played at IU and an all-tournament honoree at the Great Alaska Shootout.
During her career, DeMuth averages 18.5 points and 8.1 rebounds per game in early season tournaments.
LAST TIME OUT:NORTH TEXAS Indiana claimed its seventh consecutive Indiana Classic championship with a 79-60 win over North Texas in the title game.
Jenny DeMuth had a career day for the Hoosiers, 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. For her efforts, she was recognized as the tournament's most valuable player.
The dominance of DeMuth was a huge factor in the win, as was Indiana's defense. The Hoosiers limited North Texas to 19-of-71 shooting in the game (26.8 percent) just one day after the Lady Eagles had scored 86 points on 48 percent shooting from the field against Indiana State.
RECAPPING CORNELL The Hoosiers rolled to a 75-41 win over Cornell in the first round of the Indiana Classic Saturday. IU led, 40-9 at the half, which enabled Kathi Bennett to experiment with her young talent in the second half.
Jenny DeMuth led the way with 19 points, five rebounds and six steals in 23 minutes, while Cyndi Valentin added 12 points and eight boards.
As for Indiana's five freshmen, they combined to score 28 points and grab 14 rebounds. At one point midway through the second half, Bennett fielded a lineup featuring four freshmen and a sophomore (April Williams) that saw limited action last year.
Indiana's pressure defense overwhelmed Cornell, as the Hoosiers limited the Big Red to 4-of-30 shooting in the first half (13.3 percent) and 15-53 shooting in the game (28.3 percent). Indiana forced Cornell to commit 24 turnovers.
ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM Jenny DeMuth was a unanimous selection as the tournament's MVP after averaging 24.5 points and 8.5 rebounds per game during the Indiana Classic. She drained 21 of her 23 attempts from the free throw line (.913 pct.) on the weekend, including a 14-for-15 showing against North Texas. In addition, she established a new career-high with six steals against Cornell, then had five steals the next night.
Cyndi Valentin was also recognized as an all-tournament selection after averaging 14.0 points and 6.5 rebounds per game. Valentin drained 10 of her 11 attempts from the charity stripe in the two games. Valentin was just two rebounds short of registering her first career double-double in Saturday's game against Cornell, scoring 12 points and grabbing eight boards.
FIRST HALF DEFENSE Indiana was dominant in the first half of its two wins over Cornell and North Texas. In the season opener against Cornell, the Hoosiers opened up a 40-9 lead at halftime. Indiana limited the Big Red to 4-of-30 shooting from the field (13.3 percent) and 0-for-6 shooting from three-point range.
The Hoosiers limited North Texas to 7-of-34 shooting from the field (20.6 percent) and 0-for-7 shooting from three-point range during the first half.
In the two games combined, Indiana held the opposition to 11-of-64 shooting from the field (17 percent) and 0-for-13 shooting from three-point range.
The Hoosiers have outscored the opposition by an 84-34 margin in the first half this year.
OFFENSE EXPLOSIVE IN WEEK ONE Indiana has not only been suffocating on the defensive end, but has also been explosive on the offensive end.
The Hoosiers average 77.0 points per game on 46 percent shooting from the field through two games this year. To put those numbers into perspective, Indiana ranked ninth in the Big Ten a year ago in points per game (62.0) and last in field goal percentage (.379).
FOLLOWING THE FRESHMEN Points Team Total 154
Freshman Total 48
Freshman Percentage of Team Total 31.2
Rebounds Team Total 88
Freshman Total 25
Freshman Percentage of Team Total 28.4
Assists Team Total 26
Freshman Total 7
Freshman Percentage of Team Total 26.9
Steals Team Total 19
Freshman Total 2
Freshman Percentage of Team Total 10.5
Team Total 15
Freshman Total 7
Freshman Percentage of Team Total 46.7
GET IT OUT!!! As a team, the Hoosiers blocked 15 shots (7.5 per game) during the Indiana Classic last weekend.
IMPROVING FROM THE LINE Indiana converted on 40 of its 53 free throw attempts last weekend (.755 pct.).
Leading the way for the Hoosiers were Jenny DeMuth (21-of-23 from the line) and Cyndi Valentin (10-of-11 from the line).
To put those numbers into perspective, the Hoosiers ranked last in the Big Ten in free throw shooting a year ago, shooting at a .667 clip.
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.
NO HOOSIER SENIORS Inexperience will be a hurdle for Kathi Bennett's team this year. With Jamie Gathing (the team's lone senior) out for the year with a knee injury sustained during preseason individual workouts, only two juniors appear on the active roster - Jenny DeMuth and LeeAnn Stephenson. Stephenson has no Division I experience, as she is a junior college transfer who came to IU last year and suffered a season-ending knee injury during the preseason.
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 power 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
BRUTAL SCHEDULE A whopping 15 different teams that saw action in post-season play last year headline Indiana's 2003-04 schedule.
NEXT GAME Following the Paradise Jam, Indiana embarks on a two-game road swing. The Hoosiers face Virginia Commonwealth at 7 p.m. on Friday, December 5 in Richmond, then head to Washington, D.C., to square off against Georgetown at 3 p.m. on Sunday, December 7.
ABOUT MISSISSIPPI STATE Mississippi State comes into Friday's contest with an 0-1 record after an 88-45 setback at the hands of Baylor in Waco on November 21.
The Lady Bulldogs had no answer for Baylor's offense, as the Bears were able to shoot 55.4 percent from the field in the contest. Mississippi State fell apart in the second half, shooting 6-of-34 from the field (17.6 percent) in the final 20 minutes to seal its fate.
No Lady Bulldog player finished the game in double figures, with Jessica Carter, Tiania Burns and Tiffany Burton had eight points apiece.
Mississippi State couldn't find the range from deep, knocking down only two of its 16 attempts from three-point range. When the Lady Bulldogs' two exhibition games are factored in, MSU has drained only 14 of its 62 attempts from downtown this year (22.5 percent).
Mississippi State compiled a 24-8 record last year and competed in the NCAA Tournament, however, the Lady Bulldogs lost their top player when senior LaToya Thomas graduated and selected by the Cleveland Rockers with the first overall pick of the WNBA Draft.
Tan White is MSU's top returning player. A two-time All-SEC selection, the versatile White started all 32 games last year, averaging 18.1 points, 6.8 rebounds, 3.9 assists, 3.3 steals and 1.0 blocked shots per game.
Head coach Sharon Fanning is in her ninth year at the helm of the Lady Bulldog program after an eight-year stay at Kentucky and an 11-year tenure at Chattanooga. She has guided Mississippi State to NCAA Tournament appearances in four of the last five years. She was recognized as the 2000 SEC Coach of the Year after leading Mississippi State to a 24-8 record.
ABOUT IOWA STATE Iowa State sits at 1-0 after its season-opening 73-51 win over Cleveland State on November 22.
The Cyclones claimed the victory despite playing without senior guard Erica Junod and freshman point guard Lyndsey Medders. A victim of a paperwork error by the Iowa State administration, Junod was ruled ineligible by the NCAA for competition at the Paradise Jam as well. Medders missed the season opener after sustaining an ankle injury in practice the day before. She is listed as a key reserve for the Paradise Jam.
Head coach Bill Fennelly has built Iowa State into a Big 12 power during his tenure in Ames. Now in is ninth season, Fennelly has guided the Cyclones to two Big 12 championships, six NCAA tournament appearances that include a pair of trips to the Sweet 16 (2000, 2001) and a berth in the Elite Eight (1999). Under Fennelly, Iowa State has compiled a 100-17 record at home (.855 pct). Under Fennelly, the Cyclones have spent 34 weeks ranked in the top-10.
Iowa State lists four guards and a center as probable starters, with no player shorter than 5-11. Five separate players scored in double figures against Cleveland State (guard Mary Fox-15 points, guard Anne O'Neil-16 points, guard Megan Ronhovde-12 points, center Lisa Kreiner-10 points and center Brittany Wilkins-11 points)
Iowa State has a balanced mix of young talent and veteran experience, as five freshmen and five juniors dot the roster. Junod is the team's lone senior.
ABOUT VIRGINIA TECH Virginia Tech enters the Paradise Jam sitting just out of the AP Top 25. After a 63-62 win at then-No. 24 Virginia, the Hokies are receiving more votes than any other team not ranked in the top 25.
Center Ieva Kublina leads the way for the Hokies. The first-team All-Big East honoree is one of the best players in Virginia Tech history. Kublina has scored 1,244 career points and has grabbed 658 career rebounds. The Riga, Latvia, native stands 6-4 and ranks second on the school's all-time blocked shots list. She will likely finish her career as the all-time leader, as her 188 career blocks are only 16 short of the school record. Kublina gets to the free-throw line a lot, but can also knock down the open three.
Head coach Bonnie Henrickson is in her seventh year at Virginia Tech and has compiled a 137-54 career record (.717 pct.) Under her guidance, the Hokies have advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament four times, made an appearance in the Sweet 16 (1999) and have won both the Atlantic 10 regular season and tournament championships. Henrickson earned Atlantic 10 Coach of the Year honors in 1999 after guiding the Hokies to a 28-3 record. She has Big Ten ties, serving as an assistant coach at Iowa from 1995-97 and helping the Hawkeyes to a Big Ten regular season title (1996), a Big Ten tournament title (1997) and two NCAA Tournament appearances.