Indiana puts a cap on its non-conference home schedule when it hosts Western Illinois at 7 p.m. Monday 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.
Kali Kullberg's status is questionable for Monday's game after sustaining a knee injury not believed to be serious. The injury kept her sidelined for each of Indiana's last three games.
Leah Enterline is questionable with an ankle injury sustained in practice Friday. She missed Indiana's game against Arkansas.
THE COACHES Fourth-year head coach Kathi Bennett leads the Hoosiers into action. Bennett has compiled a 55-44 record during her tenure in Bloomington and a 279-147 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.
In her sixth season at Western Illinois, Leslie Crane is the all-time winningest coach in school history and the first-ever coach to record a 20-plus win season. Her 2002-03 squad finished with an overall 21-9 mark and a 12-2 Mid-Continent Conference Championship record.
Crane took her championship team to Western's first-ever trip to the WNIT last March.
WHAT IT MEANS An Indiana win would: * Give Kathi Bennett her 280th career victory.
* Give Bennett a victory in her 100th game as head coach at Indiana.
* Snap a two-game losing skid for the Hoosiers, the longest such streak of the season.
* Snap a four-game winning streak for Western Illinois.
* Improve the Hoosiers' record to 3-0 all-time against the Leathernecks. Indiana claimed victories over Western Illinois during the 1973-74 season and in the 1990-91 campaign.
* Improve the Hoosiers' record to 6-4 on the year, a mark that would be just one game off last year's 7-3 record through 10 games despite the fact that Indiana is vastly younger this year.
* Improve the Hoosiers to 10-1 all-time against teams from the Mid Continent Conference. Indiana's only loss to a Mid Continent Conference foe came at the hands of Valparaiso in 1999.
An Indiana loss would: * Extend the Hoosiers losing streak to three games, which would be the longest such streak of the year and the longest non-conference skid since 1998.
* Move Western Illinois to 2-0 against Big Ten teams this year. The Leathernecks handed Wisconsin a 64-58 setback in Madison on December 1.
* Extend Western Illinois' winning streak to five games.
LAST TIME OUT Saturday's game between Arkansas and Indiana featured two of the early-season stars of college basketball in Arkansas' Shameka Christon and Indiana's Jenny DeMuth. Both players came into the game averaging over 20 points per game.
In the end, it was Christon's Razorbacks that came out with a hard-fought 78-70 win.
Christon finished with a game-high 28 points, while DeMuth led IU with 20. Christon did most of her damage in a key stretch of the game, scoring 19 points down the stretch, creating all the breathing room Arkansas would need.
DeMuth scored 20 points or more for the third consecutive game and the fifth time this year.
A pair of previously unheralded players in Indiana's Sarah McKay and Arkansas' Kristen Peoples had a significant impact on the game. Entering the game, neither player had scored more than eight points in a contest. McKay finished with 19, with Peoples countering with 13 of her own.
The Hoosiers saw their four-game home winning streak that dated back to last year snapped.
The first half was played at a furious pace, with 10 ties and 12 lead changes in the first 20 minutes. Sarah McKay provided quality minutes coming off the bench, scoring a career-high nine points in the first half alone. Both Valentin and DeMuth added eight points in the first half. Arkansas' first-half production was well-spread, with eight different players scoring and Christon leading the way with eight points.
The Hoosiers played without Leah Enterline, who has been one of the most productive players of late. Enterline sustained an ankle injury in practice Friday. The injury is not believed to be serious. Enterline has averaged 14.3 points per game over the last three contests, scoring a career-high 17 points against Georgetown and dishing out a new Indiana freshman record eight assists against North Carolina State last time out.
NOTING THE LAST GAME Saturday's performance was a remarkable one for Arkansas in that it capitalized from the free throw line. The Razorbacks converted on 20 of their 27 free throws (74.1 pct.) Entering the game, the Hogs shot 60.4 percent from the line as a team.
MORE FROM THE LAST GAME Sarah McKay's 19-point effort was a high for all IU freshmen this year and marked the eighth different occasion in which a Hoosier freshman reached double figures in a game this year.
DEMUTH IS ON FIRE! Jenny DeMuth's production and leadership in the first seven games have been exceptional. DeMuth averages 20.6 points, 7.8 rebounds and 2.4 steals per game this year and has already established new career highs in points (30 vs. North Texas), rebounds (14 vs. Maine), steals (six vs. Cornell), three-point field goals made (four vs. VCU), free-throws attempted (15 vs. North Texas) and minutes played (39 vs. Maine).
She was the Big Ten Player of the Week after earning all-tournament and tournament MVP honors at the Indiana Classic in addition to being an all-tournament team selection at the Virgin Islands Paradise Jam.
DeMuth is on pace to score 556 points this year, which would be the fifth-highest total in school history and the highest single-season point total for a Hoosier since Quacy Barnes scored 583 points in 1998.
Karna Abram is the only Hoosier to average 20 points or more for an entire season. She accomplished the feat in both 1985 and 1987.
VALENTIN QUIETLY PRODUCING With Jenny DeMuth establishing herself as one of the top players in the Big Ten during the early part of the season, Cyndi Valentin has gone largely unnoticed.
The Bloomington native is averaging 15.1 points, 4.6 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game. Valentin has drained 14 of her 38 attempts from three-point range (.368 pct) and is an 88 percent free-throw shooter.
She scored 20 points at NC State last week, just one game after putting 19 on the board against Maine. In the two games combined, Valentin drained six of eight three-point attempts.
A WHOLE NEW TEAM This year's young Indiana squad is far more proficient than last year's senior-laden group when it comes to putting the ball in the basket.
Following is a comparison of this year's team to last year's team in various offensive categories:
Points Per Game 2003-04 --- 72.0
2002-03 --- 62.0
FG Pct. 2003-04 --- .429
2002-03 --- .374
3FG Pct. 2003-04 --- .364
2002-03 --- .306
FT Pct. 2003-04 --- .751
2002-03 --- .666
FOLLOWING THE FRESHMEN Indiana's 12-player active roster is dotted by five freshmen. Following is a look at what the freshmen are contributing on the stat sheet.
Points Team Total 648
Freshman Total 193
Freshman Percentage of Team Total 29.8
Rebounds Team Total 340
Freshman Total 84
Freshman Percentage of Team Total 24.7
Assists Team Total 98
Freshman Total 31
Freshman Percentage of Team Total 31.6
Steals Team Total 60
Freshman Total 10
Freshman Percentage of Team Total 16.7
Blocks Team Total 38
Freshman Total 14
Freshman Percentage of Team Total 36.8
IU RECORD WHEN THE FRESHMEN... Score 20 points or more 3-2
Score less than 20 points 2-2
Grab 10 rebounds or more 3-1
Grab less than 10 rebounds 2-3
Shoot 40 percent or better from the field 1-3
Shoot less than 40 percent from the field 4-1
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
SATURDAY MCKAY'S DAY Freshman Sarah McKay turned in a 19-point, four rebound, two block performance against Arkansas Saturday.
Her 19 points were the most for any Hoosier freshman this year, and the fact that she did it by shooting 9-for-11 from the field makes it even more impressive.
Entering the Arkansas game, McKay's previous career high was eight points, and she was averaging 2.9 points per game.
When asked after the game, Arkansas head coach Susie Gardner said "McKay wasn't even on our scouting report."
ENTERLINE SETS RECORD When Leah Enterline dished out eight assists at NC State on December 14, she established a new Indiana freshman record, surpassing the mark of seven assists, accomplished by Heather Cassady in 1999 and Kristi Green twice in 1996.
BOYD EXPLOSIVE Freshman guard Annika Boyd has been one of the most productive Hoosiers in terms of points per minutes played.
The Minneapolis native ranks fifth on the team in scoring, averaging 6.6 points per game in only 12.3 minutes per contest.
Extended over a 40 minute period, Boyd would average 21.5 points per game.
Boyd had her best day to date against North Carolina State, scoring 13 points on 5-for-6 shooting from the field and 3-for-3 shooting from three-point range in only 11 minutes of action.
DOUBLE-FIGURE FRESHMEN Indiana has already seen a freshman reach double figures on eight different occasions this year. Leah Enterline and Annika Boyd have three double-figure scoring efforts apiece, while Sarah McKay and Jamey Chapman both have one.
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 five 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 in action on December 31 when they travel to Muncie to square off against in-state rival Ball State in a rematch of last year's thrilling 103-95 double-overtime IU win at Assembly Hall.
The game will be broadcast on 105.1 WHCC Radio Bloomington with Jeremy Gray calling all the action. The broadcast can also be accessed worldwide on the internet at the official site of Indiana Athletics, www.iuhoosiers.com.
Click on the broadcasts link, then follow the prompts to the women's basketball broadcasts and the Western Illinois game.
ABOUT WESTERN ILLINOIS Entering Sunday's contest with a 6-3 record are the Western Illinois Leathernecks. WIU comes off an impressive 75-67 win over Indiana State in which 6-7 center Zane Teilane posted a triple-double, scoring 13 points, grabbing 10 rebounds and blocking 10 shots.
Forward Tiffany Cornelius, Teilane and Jessica Cook all average double-figure scoring totals, with Cornelius leading the way at 13.6 points per game.
Kathi Bennett says: "Western Illinois is the real deal. They are very athletic and have great quickness. They play with a purpose and are very well-coached. They play with a confidence and their point guard is good. They won 20 games last year. It's going to be a tough game for us, but we want that going in, we are going to get tested again."