Women's Basketball

    Hoosiers Close Out Non-Conference Season With No. 13 West Virginia Saturday Afternoon

    Go Hoosiers! Junior Whitney Thomas grabbed a career-high 19 rebounds against Cincinnati on Dec. 22.
    Go Hoosiers!
    Junior Whitney Thomas grabbed a career-high 19 rebounds against Cincinnati on Dec. 22.
    Go Hoosiers!

    Dec. 21, 2007

    West Virginia Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader

    No. 13 West Virginia (10-1) at Indiana (6-5)
    Saturday, Dec. 22, 2007 • 3 p.m. ET
    Assembly Hall (17,357) • Bloomington, Ind.

    Radio: WHCC 105.1 FM - Scot McCauley (play-by-play)

    The Hoosiers close out the non-conference portion of the season with No. 13 West Virginia on Saturday, Dec. 22 on Branch McCracken Court in Assembly Hall.

    The Indiana women's basketball team downed the Cincinnati Bearcats, 66-59, Thursday night for their second straight win and the 25th win for the Hoosiers under head coach Felisha Legette-Jack. Junior Whitney Thomas led the way with a career-high 19 rebounds in addition to her 13 points scored.

    It marked her third double-double of the season and 13th of her career. Thomas hauled in nine offensive boards and cleaned the defensive glass with 10 more rebounds. Her 19-rebound performance is the 10th best outing in school history. Senior Nikki Smith dropped in a team-high 17 points on 5-of-9 shooting from long range to go along with two foul shots.

    The Hoosiers took an early 5-0 lead within the first minute and a half of the game on a Haylie Linn 3-pointer at 19:06 and a layup by Thomas at the 18:29 mark. However, the Bearcats answered in a big way moments later, scoring 20 unanswered points for a 20-8 advantage with 10:06 remaining in the half. The Hoosiers then responded by outscoring Cincinnati, 19-4 in the final eight minutes of the half to take a 27-24 lead into the break.

    Indiana kept it coming in the second half, seizing the first five points off a Kim Roberson lay-up and Smith 3-point bucket for a 32-24 lead. The Cream and Crimson later took a 12-point advantage at 43-31 with 14:17 left before Cincinnati was able to put together yet another surge. This time, the Bearcats responded to the large deficit by scoring 11 of the next 12 points to cut the deficit down to a lone point at 43-42 at the 10:36 mark of the second stanza.

    Aided by two Smith three-balls within a minute, the Hoosiers lengthened their lead from there and never looked back in the victory. Indiana was able to force 21 UC turnovers with stout defense and 12 steals. One key to the victory was the Hoosiers' ability to capitalize on the miscues, tallying 29 points off turnovers. Team ball movement was another key to the game as 18 of IU's 26 field goals were the result of an assist.

    Four different Hoosiers scored double figures as Amber Jackson added 10 points and Roberson knocked in 13.

    IU head coach Felisha Legette-Jack enters her second year at the helm of the Hoosier program with a career mark of 79-82 over six seasons. She led the Hoosiers to the third round of the 2007 WNIT and to a 19-14 overall mark last season.

    West Virginia head coach Mike Carey enters his seventh year with the Mountaineers. Carey owns a career coaching mark of 405-181 over 19 years and a record of 116-79 at West Virginia.

    • Saturday's game marks the third meeting all-time between Indiana and West Virginia. The series is currently tied at 1-1 with the Mountaineers.

    • Saturday's game against West Virginia will be the second straight against a BIG EAST opponent. The Hoosiers knocked off Cincinnati, 66-59, on Dec. 20, stopping the Bearcats' seven-game home winning streak.

    • Junior Whitney Thomas' 19 rebounds against Cincinnati on Thursday night ranks as 10th best in the IU single-game record book. Her effort tied Denise Jackson, who accomplished that effort on two occasions: 1981 vs. Minnesota and 1984 vs. Purdue.

    West Virginia enters Saturday's meeting with IU ranked 13th in both polls and on a six-game winning streak. Most recently, the 10-1 Mountaineers knocked off Presbyterian, 93-26, on Dec. 15.

    The 26 points scored by Presbyterian was a WVU school record for fewest points allowed in a game. The Mountaineers were led by a 19-point effort from Meg Bulger. Bulger was one of six to score in double-digits as Liz Repella followed her with 13 points. Ashley Powell recorded 11 assists, while team came away with 24 steals as it forced Presbyterian into committing 33 turnovers in the contest.

    West Virginia is led by Olayinka Sanni, who is averaging 16.3 points per game and a team-best 6.6 rebounds per contest. Also averaging double-digit scoring is Bulger with 13.5 points, LaQuita Owens with 13.0 points and Chakhia Cole with 10.7 points per game.

    The Mountaineers are averaging 76.6 points per game as a team and allowing just 47.3 points per contest. WVU is shooting 47.8 (303-of-634) percent from the floor and averaging 41.5 rebounds per outing.

    The Hoosiers have posted at least one double-double in each of their games during the month of December.

    Junior Whitney Thomas posted three double-doubles during December against Dayton, Kansas and Cincinnati (21 pts., 14 reb. on 12/5; 13 pts., 12 reb. on 12/9; 13 pts., 19 reb. on 12/20). Classmate Amber Jackson recorded one against Bowling Green on Dec. 16 as she registered 17 points and 11 rebounds for her first double-double as a Hoosier.

    Senior Nikki Smith recovered from a four-game slump to score 28 points off the bench IU's two wins over Bowling Green and Cincinnati. Smith sank 4-of-9 from the field, including three treys, and grabbed three boards and a steal in the win against the Falcons on Dec. 16 and sank 5-of-9 from the 3-point line and nailed a pair of free throws for a team-high 17 points at Cincinnati on Dec. 20.

    Her effort against the Falcons was her first double-digit outing since she scored 16 points against Wichita State on Nov. 23.

    The 2007-08 Indiana basketball schedule features some of the toughest competition in the nation.

    The Hoosiers boasts games against fourtop-25 teams in this year's ESPN/USA Today Preseason Coaches Poll and five top-25 squads in the preseason AP poll. IU will close out the non-conference portion of the schedule against No. 13/13 West Virginia on Saturday, Dec. 22 in Bloomington. The Hoosiers will also go up against ranked league foes in No. 19/18 Ohio State (1/10, 2/25) No. 23/23 Michigan State (1/20, 2/14) this season.

    In IU's first nine games, sophomore Jamie Braun has proven that she belongs in a starting role. After earning Big Ten Sixth Player of the Year in 2007, Braun has led the Hoosiers in scoring with 14.2 points per game and assists with 3.6 per game.

    She ranks fifth in the Big Ten in steals (2.10), seventh in assists per game and ninth in scoring. Braun has led IU in scoring in five games this season, including a 24-point outing against Ball State on Nov. 17.

    The Hoosiers currently lead the Big Ten in steals per game with 9.50 takes per game. IU has tallied double-digit steals in six games so far this season, with 13 recorded against Wake Forest on Nov. 22. The Hoosiers have also recorded 12 steals in four games.

    Despite missing the 2006-07 season due to NCAA Division I transfer rules, Amber Jackson hasn't lost her touch when it comes to scoring. After ranking second in the nation in field goal percentage as a sophomore at San Jose State, Jackson ranked 13th nationally with a 57.8 (59-of-102) shooting percentage from the floor.

    Jackson is averaging 11.9 points per game with a season-high of 22 points in the Hoosiers' season-opener against Albany. She has netted double-digit points seven of IU's ten games this year.

    Inside IU Women's Basketball With Felisha Legette-Jack returns to the air on Jan. 7 at 8 p.m. ET, with a taped show featuring Coach Jack and host Jeremy Gray.

    Due to the holiday season, the show will no air Dec. 24 or Dec. 31. The Jan. 7 show will be a taped show following Inside IU Basketball With Kelvin Sampson from 7-8 p.m. on the IU Radio Network.

    Fans will have a chance to see the Indiana women's basketball team on the Big Ten Network at least eight times during the 2007-08 season.

    The Hoosiers' tight battle with No. 21/22 Florida State in the inaugural Big Ten/ACC Challenge was the first time IU fans were able to catch the Hoosiers on the Big Ten Network.

    Indiana concluded the non-conference portion of the Big Ten Network schedule with a 75-67 win over Bowling Green on Dec. 16 in Bloomington. The Hoosiers first Big Ten game will be featured on the network when they travel to Evanston, Ill. to take on Northwestern on Monday, Dec. 31 at 3 p.m.

    IU will battle its rival Purdue on the Big Ten Network, both in Bloomington and in West Lafayette. The Hoosiers and Boilermakers first meeting will take place on Thursday, Jan. 3 with an 8 p.m. tip-off in Assembly Hall. The two teams will wrap up the regular season series in West Lafayette on Monday, Jan. 14 at 7 p.m. in Mackey Arena. Indiana contests at Illinois (Sun., Feb. 10/2 p.m. ET), and against Michigan (Sun., Feb. 17/12 p.m. ET) and Ohio State (Mon., Feb. 25/7 p.m. ET) will also be televised nationally.

    The Hoosiers final game of the regular season against Penn State on Sun., March 2 is currently listed as a Big Ten Network Wild Card game with a decision to be made by the network by Feb. 18. Other wild card games on March 2 include Purdue at Illinois, Minnesota at Michigan, Iowa at Wisconsin and Northwestern at Ohio State.

    All dates and times listed above are subject to change.

    The Big Ten Network is dedicated to covering the Big Ten Conference and its 11 member institutions. The Big Ten Network will provide unprecedented access to an extensive schedule of conference sports events and shows; original programs in academics, the arts and sciences; campus activities; and associated personalities. Sports programming will include live coverage of more major men's and women's events than ever before, along with news, highlights and analysis, all complemented by hours of university-produced campus programming. The network is available to all cable and satellite carriers and television distributors nationwide, with most programs offered in stunning high-definition television (HDTV). The Big Ten Network is a joint venture between subsidiaries of the Big Ten Conference and Fox Cable Networks.




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