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THE BASICS Indiana travels to Richmond, Va., to take on Virginia Commonwealth at 7 p.m. on Friday, December 5.
ON THE AIR The 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, 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 has undergone surgery and will be back in the lineup in one-to-two weeks.
THE COACHES Fourth-year head coach Kathi Bennett leads the Hoosiers into action. Bennett has compiled a 52-42 record during her tenure in Bloomington and a 276-145 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.
Former Notre Dame standout Beth Morgan serves as VCU's head coach. One of the youngest coaches in the nation, Morgan is in her first year in Richmond. She is the daughter of Indiana baseball coach Bob Morgan.
WHAT IT MEANS An Indiana win would:
* Snap a two-game losing streak and get the Hoosiers above the .500 mark.
* Mark Indiana's first road win since February 16 of last year (a 49-48 win at Wisconsin). The Hoosiers have dropped their last two road games.
A VCU win would:
* Extend Indiana's losing streak to three games.
* Mark the first time a team from the Colonial Athletic Association has defeated Indiana.
DEMUTH HONORED IN PARADISE Indiana junior Jenny DeMuth earned all-tournament honors at the Virgin Islands Paradise Jam.
DeMuth averaged 14.0 points and 4.5 rebounds per game in St. Thomas.
The Highland, Ind., native scored 15 points and grabbed five rebounds in only 24 minutes against Mississippi State, then came back to score 13 points and grab four rebounds against Iowa State.
LAST TIME OUT Indiana comes off a 75-59 loss to Iowa State last Saturday at the Virgin Islands Paradise Jam, played in St. Thomas.
The Hoosiers had no answers on the defensive end for the Cyclones, who shot 51 percent from the field (26-of-51) and 50 percent from three-point range (5-for-10).
Jenny DeMuth and Cyndi Valentin led the way for Indiana, combining to score 30 points.
Indiana's post players were rendered ineffective, as Jamey Chapman, Sarah McKay and Angela Hawkins combined to score only six points, yet commit eight turnovers.
RECAPPING MISSISSIPPI STATE The day prior to Indiana's loss to Iowa State, the Hoosiers dropped a 70-67 heartbreaker to Mississippi State.
The Lady Bulldogs took a five-point lead into the half, then opened up a 21-point advantage in the second half.
Indiana rallied and cut the deficit to only one point and had the ball with less than 20 seconds remaining, but April Williams traveled in the corner to give the ball back to Mississippi State. Forced to foul, IU sent MSU to the line, where it extended its lead to three.
DeMuth got a quick trey up from the corner that missed the mark with time expiring to seal the MSU win.
GET IT OUT!!! One of the storylines for Indiana this year is the fact that the Hoosiers have blocked 19 shots as a team through the first four games (4.8 blocks per game).
If Indiana continues at this pace, the Hoosiers will finish the regular season with 130 blocks, a mark that would be the second-highest in school history behind only the 1980-81 squad's mark of 138 blocks.
Angela Hawkins and Sarah McKay lead the way with four blocks apiece, with Jamey Chapman and Brigett Branson each swatting three shots, respectively.
GETTING TO THE LINE... Through the first four games, the Hoosiers have gotten to the free throw line 103 times (25.8 per game). Last year, Indiana got to the line 20.6 times per game.
...AND CAPITALIZING ON IT The Hoosiers have made the most of their trips to the charity stripe, converting on 79 attempts (19.8 points per game coming from the line). Last year, Indiana got 13.7 points per game from the free throw line.
BENNETT EXPERIMENTING With an 11-player active roster comprised of 10 players that are either freshmen or sophomores, head coach Kathi Bennett has given everyone a chance to make their mark.
Of the 11 active players on the Indiana roster, 10 have played an average of 10.0 minutes per game or more.
FIRST HALF DEFENSE Indiana has outscored its first four opponents, 138-97 in the first half.
The Hoosier defense has been effective in the first 20 minutes this year, limiting opponents to an average of 24.3 points on .299 shooting from the field.
FOLLOWING THE FRESHMEN On an 12-player roster dotted by five freshmen, the production of Indiana's rookies will go a long way in determining the fate of the Hoosiers in 2003-04.
Following is a look at what the freshmen are contributing on the stat sheet.
Team Total 280
Freshman Total 76
Freshman Percentage of Team Total 27.1
Team Total 157
Freshman Total 45
Freshman Percentage of Team Total 28.7
Team Total 44
Freshman Total 13
Freshman Percentage of Team Total 29.5
Team Total 29
Freshman Total 4
Freshman Percentage of Team Total 13.8
Team Total 19
Freshman Total 9
Freshman Percentage of Team Total 47.4
INDIANA'S RECORD WHEN THE FRESHMEN COMBINE TO... Score 20 points or more 2-0
Score less than 20 points 0-2
Grab 13 rebounds or more 1-0
Grab less than 13 rebounds 1-2
Shoot 40 percent or better from the field 2-1
Shoot 40 percent or less from the field 1-0
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
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.
DOUBLE TROUBLE Jenny DeMuth and Cyndi Valentin are the top scorers on this year's Indiana squad. Both players have reached double figures in all of Indiana's games this year.
The duo has done a significant amount of damage from the free throw line, as DeMuth and Valentin have combined to sink 53 of 58 free throws (91.4 percent).
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 both of the Hoosiers' wins, there has been a third double-figure scorer. Annika Boyd scored 11 points against Cornell, with Jamey Chapman adding 11 points against North Texas.
Angela Hawkins scored 10 points in IU's 70-67 defeat at the hands of Mississippi State.
DEMUTH HONORED BY BIG TEN Indiana junior Jenny DeMuth earned Big Ten Player of the Week honors for her performance at the Indiana Classic in the season's opening 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.
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 against North Texas 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.
DEMUTH IN THE RECORD BOOK Jenny DeMuth sunk 14-of-15 attempts from the free throw line against North Texas. 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.
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.
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 continue their East Coast road swing when they battle Georgetown at 2 p.m. on Sunday.
The two teams met last year, with Indiana claiming a 72-65 win over the Hoyas at Assembly Hall.
Kathi Bennett coached Georgetown star center Rebekkah Brunson this past summer at the Pan American Games in the Dominican Republic.
ABOUT VIRGINIA COMMONWEALTH * Virginia Commonwealth is led by first-year head coach and Bloomington native Beth (Morgan) Cunningham. Cunningham is the daughter of Indiana baseball coach Bob Morgan and takes over the VCU program after spending two years as an assistant coach for the Rams. Cunningham starred collegiately at Notre Dame and went on to a career in the WNBA with the Washington Mystics. The all-time leading scorer in Notre Dame women's basketball history, she scored 2,322 career points and earned All-America honors twice during her career. Cunningham attended Bloomington South HS, where she left as the school's all-time leading scorer.
* The Rams' offense starts with guard Cyndy Wilks. Wilks averages 24.0 points and five rebounds per game. Wilks exploded for 31 points against North Carolina A & T in VCU's season opener on 9-of-16 shooting from the field (2-of-5 from three-point range) and 11-of-12 shooting from the line.
* Turnovers have been a problem for VCU, as the Rams give up the ball 25.5 times per game, through their first two games. Starting guard Natalia Oehninger committed 12 turnovers in 35 minutes against Liberty.
* Forwards Lauren Hogan and Maria Giovannetti also pose a threat. Hogan is VCU's top rebounder, averaging 9.5 boards per game to go with her 6.0 points per game average. As for Giovannetti, she has been solid as well, averaging 6.5 points and 4.5 rebounds per game.