INDIANA (7-5) downs No. 13 WEST VIRGINIA (10-2), 79-66
The No. 13 Mountaineers have only begun a season 10-1 one other time in school history. The game is the last of the non-conference slate for Indiana, which plays at Northwestern on New Year’s Eve.
FINAL STATS: Meg Bulger and Chakhia Cole both posted 19 points for the Mountaineers, while leading scorer Olayinka Sanni finished with 14
For the Hoosiers, Jamie Braun hit for 17 points and a career-high 13 rebounds, Kim Roberson also had 17, and Amber Jackson 16
IU 37, WVU 32: Meg Bulger has started strong in the second half for the Mountaineers. She now leads the floor with 14 points.
IU 51, WVU 38: Kim Roberson, always stoic on the jumpers, hits one from near the top of the key, and a wide open Jamie Braun nets a 3. It could be Big Ten Upset Day, as No. 23 Michigan State fell, 54-51, at Hartford earlier.
IU 54, WVU 40: The clock reads 7:50, and the crowd is anticipating a Hoosier win. Nikki Smith hit a 3-pointer soon after Braun, and LaQuita Owens of the Mountaineers gave an exasperated look towards the ceiling. We’ll see if West Virginia has enough “Oomph” to make a late run.
IU 58, WVU 48: West Virginia coach Mike Carey is upset after Bulger and Whitney Thomas of IU get tangled up. The call is a jump ball which goes to the Mountaineers, but Carey wanted a foul called, yelling “No Way!” and leaping out of his chair. He continues to give the official grief, prompting some fans behind me to scream “T Him Up,” wanting a technical foul. Bulger hits a 3-pointer, giving her 19 points on the day.
IU 61, WVU 51: WVU got back within seven, but Smith keeps them down 10 with another 3-ball. Smith has four 3-pointers made today and 13 points.
IU 65, WVU 54: Bulger, who’s been wearing a bulky knee brace on her left leg, goes down with 2:13 left and is helped off the floor after a few moments on the court.
IU 69, WVU 61: With 1:27 to go, it’s looking to be a lot of free throws for IU from here on out. Bulger is back out on the floor. She was just shaken up apparently.
IU 71, WVU 61: Whitney Thomas fouls out with 1:09 left in the game. She tried to take a charge and was whisteld for a blocking foul. While Owens waits to shoot her free throws, Carey is yakking with the officials again because they said he couldn’t sub in some bench players at that time.
FINAL: IU 79, WVU 66: Roberson drives for a layup in scrap time and the Hoosiers should be pleased as punch with this victory. They don’t play again for nine days, so this one will sit nice with them over Christmas. Coach Jack grabs the mic after the game and tells the crowd, “This West Virginia team is awesome, and we’re trying to get where they’re at. We’re gonna be awesome too.”
Indiana 5, West Virginia 3: Haylie Linn, again in the starting lineup for the Hoosiers, makes an early 3-pointer to make the score 5-0, but WVU answers on the other end as Chakhia Cole hits one.
At 15:21 left in the first half, West Virginia has already been whistled for four fouls.
IU 13, WVU 6: The Hoosiers went almost five minutes without scoring before Kim Roberson hit a jumper and Amber Jackson followed with a layup the next trip down. The offense went a bit stagnant as Jackson keeps hollering for the ball underneath. The team was not getting her the ball until now as she scores again with 9:55 left in the half. During the drought, freshman Whitney Lindsay made a bad pass that was stolen, but Roberson snuck up from behind and took the ball back. WVU missed some close-range jumpers that allowed IU to keep the lead.
IU 15, WVU 10: Roberson nails another 15-foot jumper, but Meg Bulger for the Mountaineers hits a pair of shots on two consecutive trips down the floor. Timeout with 7:54 to go.
IU 19, WVU 17: Roberson and Bulger trade 3-pointers. Both have seven points to lead the game’s scoring.
IU 24, WVU 19: Now it’s Jori Davis making waves for the Hoosiers. She hits a jumper from the right wing and then a 3-pointer from the left. 4:30 to play.
IU 29, WVU 21: Nikki Smith hits a crowd-pleasing 3 at 3:25 or so, and right after, Jackson and Cole for WVU exchange a few smack-talking jibes. An official saw it right away and broke it off before push turned to shove. Both players stayed on the floor, but a double technical was called.
IU 35, WVU 23: Jackson got loose underneath again for a layup against Cole. She has eight, and Jamie Braun knocks down a 3-ball right after. There’s 35.2 seconds to go as Smith makes 1 of 2 free throws.
HALFTIME SCORE: IU 35, WVU 23: The Hoosiers force a turnover in the waning seconds and Smith drains another 3, but it’s a split second after the buzzer and no good.
Amber Jackson 8 points, Jamie Braun 6 points and 5 rebounds, Kim Roberson 7 points for IU
Meg Bulger 9 points, Chakhia Cole 7 points for WVU
IU shot 52% in the first half, while the Mountaineers were at 30%, and IU outrebounded them, 21-14