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THE BASICS Indiana plays its first home game in 19 days when it hosts the University of Maine at 7 p.m. on Friday 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.
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 54-42 record during her tenure in Bloomington and a 278-145 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.
Maine head coach Sharon Versyp has deep-rooted ties to the state of Indiana, as she was born in Mishawaka, where she attended Mishawaka HS and was selected as Indiana's Miss Basketball before playing collegiately at Purdue from 1985-88. While in West Lafayette, Versyp became the fourth-fastest player in school history to score 1,000 career points (77 games). She finished with 1,565 career points, ranking ninth on Purdue's all-time scoring list.
WHAT IT MEANS An Indiana win would:
* Keep Indiana perfect at home this year, improving the Hoosiers' home record to 3-0. Dating back to last year, it would extend Indiana's home winning streak to four games, the longest such streak since an eight-game winning streak that extended from the end of the 2001-02 season into the beginning of the 2002-03 campaign.
* Improve the Hoosiers to 5-2 on the year, matching last year's start through the first seven games.
* Give Kathi Bennett her 55th win at the head of the Indiana women's basketball program in her 97th game, making her the second-fastest Hoosier coach to reach the milestone (Bea Gorton accomplished the feat in 66 games from the 1971-72 season through the 1974-75 campaign).
An Indiana loss would:
* Mark a defeat for the Hoosiers in their first-ever game not only against Maine, but against any team from the America East Conference.
* Mark a defeat at the hands of a team that returns 11 letterwinners and five starters from a team that finished last year with a 25-6 record and a perfect 16-0 mark in conference play.
* Mark the second win for Maine history over a Big Ten opponent. The Black Bears are 1-4 all-time against the Big Ten, with losses to Illinois, Michigan State, Ohio State and Wisconsin. Maine's lone victory came over Northwestern in 1999. That game also marked the last time Maine faced a Big Ten opponent.
LAST TIME OUT Indiana comes off a 72-62 win over Georgetown in Washington, D.C., last Sunday.
The Hoosiers overcame a 14-point first-half deficit to overwhelm the Hoyas.
The game stayed relatively close throughout the second half, with Georgetown being forced to foul Indiana for the last minute of the game. Led by Leah Enterline's 5-for-6 effort from the free-throw line in the final 50 seconds, the Hoosiers were able to ice the game in clutch time.
Enterline finished with a team-high 17 points and was one of four Hoosiers in double-figures. Jenny DeMuth had 14 points, while Angela Hawkins and Cyndi Valentin added identical 12-point, eight rebound efforts.
RECAPPING VCU Prior to IU's win over Georgetown, Indiana claimed a 68-54 win over Virginia Commonwealth last Friday.
The Hoosiers led just about all game, at one point opening up a 20-point cushion.
Jenny DeMuth continued her torrid play, scoring 27 points and matching a career-high with 12 rebounds for her fifth career double-double.
Indiana held the Rams to 33 percent shooting from the field, marking the third time this season in which the Hoosiers have limited an opponent to under 40 percent shooting from the field. All three of those contests resulted in Indiana victories.
The Hoosiers kept the lead in double figures for all but 47 seconds of the second half.
Both Brigett Branson and Sarah McKay established career-highs in rebounds, with Branson hauling in 11 and McKay collecting eight.
EVERYONE PLAYS Depth has been a staple of the Indiana attack this year, as nine of Indiana's 11 active players average 11 minutes played per game or more. In addition, a 10th player (Sarah McKay) averages 9.5 minutes per game.
With the exception of Jenny DeMuth, Cyndi Valentin and Carrie Smith, every player on the Indiana roster averages between 11.2 minutes played and 20.5 minutes played.
FINDING THE RANGE The single biggest difference between this year's Hoosiers and last year's Hoosiers is the fact that this year's squad is far more proficient at putting the ball in the basket.
Team Field Goal Pct.
2003-04: 40.8 percent
2002-03: 37.4 percent
Team 3FG Pct.
2003-04: 32.2 percent
2002-03: 30.6 percent
THE RIGHT PEOPLE AT THE LINE A large part of Indiana's success at the line this year stems from the fact that IU's top shooters have made a concerted effort to get to the line this year.
Jenny DeMuth and Cyndi Valentin lead the way, converting on 74 of 84 attempts, combined (88 percent). Leah Enterline has taken the third-highest amount of free throws, sinking 15 of her 19 attempts from the line (79 percent).
GET IT OUT!!! One of the storylines for Indiana this year is the fact that the Hoosiers have blocked 26 shots as a team through the first six games (4.3 blocks per game).
If Indiana continues at this pace, the Hoosiers will finish the regular season with 116 blocks, a mark that would be the fifth-highest in school history.
Angela Hawkins leads the way with nine blocks, with Sarah McKay and Brigett Branson swatting four shots, respectively.
FOLLOWING THE FRESHMEN On an 11-player active 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 420
Freshman Total 120
Freshman Percentage of Team Total 28.6
Team Total 247
Freshman Total 65
Freshman Percentage of Team Total 26.3
Team Total 63
Freshman Total 19
Freshman Percentage of Team Total 30.2
Team Total 40
Freshman Total 6
Freshman Percentage of Team Total 15.0
Team Total 26
Freshman Total 9
Freshman Percentage of Team Total 34.6
IU RECORD WHEN THE FRESHMEN... Score 20 points or more 3-0
Score less than 20 points 1-2
Grab 13 rebounds or more 1-0
Grab less than 13 rebounds 3-2
Shoot 40 percent or better from the field 1-1
Shoot less than 40 percent from the field 3-1
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
9. Northern Arizona 19.3
9. New Hampshire 19.3
ENTERLINE SHINES True freshman Leah Enterline has made an instant impact for the Hoosiers. Averaging 4.8 points and dishing out a team-best 15 assists, Enterline also leads the team in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.5.)
The Monroeville, Ind., native (Heritage HS) could crack into the starting lineup this week with Kali Kullberg injured. Although she did not start in any of Indiana's first six games, Enterline logged 20.5 minutes per game, including the bulk of the minutes at key stretches of games.
BOYD EXPLOSIVE Freshman guard Annika Boyd has been the most productive Hoosier in terms of points per minutes played.
The Minneapolis native ranks fourth on the team in scoring, averaging 7.0 points per game in only 11.2 minutes per contest.
Extended over a 40 minute period, Boyd would average 25.5 points per game.
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.
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 all four of the Hoosiers' wins, there has been a third double-figure scorer.
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.
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 are back on the road to battle North Carolina State in Raleigh at 2 p.m. Sunday.
The game can be heard on the radio on WHCC Radio Bloomington with Jeremy Gray calling all the action.
The broadcast can also be accessed on the internet at www.iuhoosiers.com.
ABOUT MAINE Maine head coach Sharon Versyp has deep-rooted ties to the state of Indiana, as she was born in Mishawaka, where she attended Mishawaka HS and was selected as Indiana's Miss Basketball before playing collegiately at Purdue from 1985-88. While in West Lafayette, Versyp became the fourth-fastest player in school history to score 1,000 career points (77 games). She finished with 1,565 career points, ranking ninth on Purdue's all-time scoring list.
Now in her fourth year at Maine, Versyp has built a strong program, guiding to the Black Bears to a 57-36 record. Last year's squad compiled a 25-6 overall record and a perfect 16-0 mark in conference play, leading to Versyp's selection as America East Coach of the Year.
The Black Bears are a veteran team, returning 11 letterwinners and all five starters from last year's squad that won 21 consecutive games at one point.
Senior forward Heather Ernest is the reigning America East Conference Player-of-the-Year after averaging 20.0 points and 10.2 rebounds per game a year ago. Ernest shot 54 percent from the field, 41 percent from three-point range and 81 percent from the line last year.
Junior guard Kim Corbitt earned America East Defensive Player of the Year honors last season, coming up with 56 steals.