We’re having our weekly Q&A a day early this week because Chris will be on his way to sunny Minneapolis tomorrow morning for Thursday night’s game against the Gophers. Please join us by submitting your IU sports questions here.
The Hoosiers have played 15 games thus far. They have 16 to go before the Big Ten Tournament starts. So technically, halfway point of their regular season isn’t until intermission Thursday night in Minneapolis. But you get the picture…
Here’s a list of mid-season awards that should generate some good discussion. Any other ideas you come up with, feel free to throw them out there.
I’ll let you guys make your cases for a few days then I’ll give you my list on Thursday.
2. Biggest Surprise
3. Biggest Disappointment
4. Best coaching move by Kelvin Sampson
5. Worst coaching move by Sampson
6. Best play
7. Best team performance
8. Best individual performance
9. Remaining game you’re most looking forward to
10. Team left on the schedule that scares you the most
11. This season’s biggest annoyance (I suggest the Big Ten Network)
12. Your post-season prediction
Whitney Thomas posted a gaudy double-double with 17 points and 18 rebounds. The Hoosiers won the caroms category by eight, and five of Thomas’s were offensive. Indiana scored 13 points on second chances to Purdue’s four.
“We’re kind of soft down low. She is the best offensive rebounder in the Big Ten, and I guess we didn’t figure it out,” Boiler coach Sharon Versyp said of her former player.
Said Thomas of the Hoosiers’ 8-0 run to open the second half, the second such spurt in the game: “We knew last time we played them, it was tied at halftime and they made a run right away, and that was a big changing point in the game, so we knew we had to do it this time, and we went out there and did it.”
Jamie Braun recovered from her Purdue drought that has resulted in the two worst games of her career, including a one-point showing at Assembly Hall on Jan. 3. Braun hit for 14 points on Monday and delivered an NBA-range 3-pointer that put the Hoosiers up eight with 3:52 to play.
IU coach Felisha Legette-Jack on telling Braun that Purdue would try to make her a non-factor again: “We said, Jamie, whatever you do, do not leave the game mentally.”
With freshman guard Jori Davis in street clothes on the Indiana bench and a boot cast on her left foot, the door was open for another one of the IU youngsters to make an impact. Ebony Jackson responded with eight points, four rebounds, and two assists in 19 minutes on the floor. Legette-Jack loves to chat about the game as a “Microcosm of Life,” which quite simply means make the most of the opportunities presented to you because you don’t know when you’ll get another chance.
Purdue can’t win two in a row this season since the first two games on the schedule. After then losing four in a row (in all fairness to multiple teams in the top 25), the Boilermakers have won one-lost one for the last 10 games after Monday’s defeat. It’s kind of a down year for the normally national powerhouse, what with Lindsay Wisdom-Hylton and Jodi Howell missing the entire campaign.
But, most notably, the victory for the Hoosiers was just the third in the last 22 meetings between the schools and the sixth in the last 43.
“What a great instate rivalry we’ve created here,” said Legette-Jack. “I came here and I didn’t recognize what it was all about. Whitney and Kim (Roberson) tried to share with me the importance of instate Indiana. I saw it first hand last year.”
INDIANA (10-7, 3-2) downs PURDUE (7-9, 3-2), 66-54
HOOSIERS AVENGE HOME LOSS ON JAN. 3 WITH WIN AT MACKEY
Indiana, Whitney Thomas, 17 points, 18 rebounds, Jamie Braun, 14 points
Purdue, FahKara Malone, 19 points, Danielle Campbell, 15 points, 11 rebounds
Joining you a bit late due to techinal difficulties (i.e. cracking the wireless code at Mackey Arena)…Anyways, a bit of pregame news here as the first half nears the 5 minute-mark. IU freshman guard Jori Davis is sidelined tonight in street clothes with a cast-boot on her left leg, and senior Nikki Smith gets the start.
Here’s a brief first-half recap before we get a little more indepth and up-to-the-minute in the second half. Purdue opened with a 7-0 lead before Jamie Braun hit a 3-pointer, one of two from long range for her in the period. Whitney Thomas helped out with a traditional 3-point play and Nikki Smith hit a 3 to give the Hoosiers a 13-12 lead. Braun’s second 3 brought IU within one after trailing 19-15, and freshman Haylie Linn also nailed one to tie the game at 21. Ebony Jackson also pitched in with some 3-pointers, complete with her signature hi-arc on the ball that produces some true floaters. All in all, the Hoosiers hit 6-of-10 from 3-point range, and Braun’s free throws with 47 seconds left put the score at 31-30 in favor of the visitors. Incredibly, Purdue got six more jumpers off before the buzzer and missed them all.
Thomas has nine points plus 10 rebounds and Braun eight points to lead the Hoosiers, while Boilermaker point guard FahKara Malone has 13 points.
Indiana 37, Purdue 30: Timeout with 16:55 remaining, and the Hoosiers have scored the first six points of the half. Whitney Thomas has already recorded a double-double in the game, scoring between two buckets from Kim Roberson. Thomas has 11 points and 12 rebounds.
Indiana 43, Purdue 34: IU topped off the 8-0 run to begin the half with another Kim Roberson bucket. After Kalika France scored for the Boilers, Nikki Smith dropped another 3-pointer on them, her third of the game.
Indiana 43, Purdue 38: Danielle Campbell excites the Purdue faithful with a 3-point play. She hits a tough layup after running underneath the basket at top speed. On the other end, Amber Jackson looks like she’s answered with a score in the lane amidst heavy traffic BUT the basket is waved off on a traveling call.
Indiana 43, Purdue 40: Campbell posts up Jackson again and is rewarded with a layup that spins around and around before falling through.
Indiana 47, Purdue 42: The teams trade a couple baskets and Amber Jackson gets in a shoving match with Campbell. Much to the crowd’s dismay, BOTH players are assessed technical fouls even though it appeared that Jackson was the instigator. Jackson had another confrontation at Assembly Hall earlier this season with Chakhia Cole of West Virginia…7:32 left to play
Indiana 52, Purdue 47: Campbell gets a roar of approval for a bucket that gets the home team within three, and Smith makes 1-of-2 free throws at the other end. FakKara Malone does the same then for purdue, and Jamie Braun makes a soft running jumper.
Indiana 55, Purdue 47: It’s “Downtown” Jamie Braun with a 3!!!! to give the Hoosiers a small but doable cushion with 3:23 to go.
Indiana 55, Purdue 50: FahKara Malone keeps the Boilers in sight with a 3-pointer….2 minutes remain
Indiana 59, Purdue 50: There’s 1:26 left to go and Purdue has started fouling the Hoosiers in desperation.
Indiana 61, Purdue 52: Braun fouls Malone and would probably like to have that one back as Malone sinks both FTs with the clock stopped…1:12 left
FINAL: Indiana 66, Purdue 54
Indiana is now ranked No. 9 by the media and No. 10 by the coaches.
The Hoosiers are the top-ranked Big Ten team, as Michigan State fell to No. 11 in both polls after scoring just 36 points against Iowa and losing.
By the way, didn’t Hawkeyes guard Justin Johnson have like 36 points in the final two minutes against Indiana?
Wisconsin, at No. 17, is the only other conference team ranked. Ohio State received three votes in the media poll.
But if you’re in Bloomington you won’t be able to hear it until 9 p.m.
Hoosier Country 105.1 will broadcast the IU-Purdue women’s game and then air the Sampson show, which will be taped at it’s usual time â€” 7 p.m. â€” at it’s usual place â€” The Hoosier Den at Foster Quad.
If you can’t wait until 9 to hear the words of Sampson, head over to the Quad. According to some of the Scoop’s most solid regulars, there’s an excellent joint over there by the name of Taco John’s.