Senior guard Tyra Buss split two defenders and sealed the game winner with just three ticks remaining as Indiana Women's Basketball upended Western Kentucky, 73-71, on Friday night in Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall.
Four Hoosiers scored in double figures including Buss's 22 points as she also dished out four assists. Senior forward Amanda Cahill notched her third-straight double-double with 15 points and 13 rebounds to go along with six assists. Freshman guard Jaelynn Penn earned her first career double-double with 10 points and 11 board while junior forward Kym Royster dropped 17 points and added six rebounds, including five rebounds.
As a team, IU shot 42.2 percent from the floor and 70 percent from the line but struggled from long range (21.7 percent). They grabbed 16 offensive boards and led in rebounding, 44-35. They picked up 26 second chance points and dished out 14 assists.
Indiana (3-0) led by as many as four in the first quarter, but fell silent the final 2:09 of the quarter as the Lady Toppers (1-3) went on an 8-0 run to lead 24-19. Facing its largest lead of the game in the second quarter with 5:51 remaining, the Hoosiers would get a boost from Royster and a pair at the line by Cahill to shave down the double-digit deficit. Battling its way into the break, Cahill drained a big 3-pointer from Buss with 53 seconds left in the quarter before grabbing an offensive board and getting the fouled on the putback. Sinking one of two at the line, Indiana trailed 36-31 at halftime.
The third quarter belonged to the Cream and Crimson, outscoring WKU 29-13 by shooting 50 percent in the frame. Buss started off the third with one of her two 3-pointers of the night off a feed from Cahill. Freshman guard Bendu Yeaney tied the game up at 38-38 after her drive to the bucket earned her a pair at the line. Ignited by Royster, a 5-0 run forced a Lady Topper timeout as Indiana increased its lead up to 11, 52-41 with 4:36 to play.
Royster once again gave IU a boost, with a feed from Penn with 1:25 to play gave them its largest lead of the game, 60-45. Western Kentucky staged a comeback in the fourth, chipping away at the Hoosiers' lead with 5:38 remaining in the game. They would close the gap on a pair of layups by Sidnee Bopp and tied the game up at the line with 2:37 to play.
A steal by WKU led to a basket and a 71-68 lead before Buss took over. Her 3-pointer from the left win on a feed from Penn at the top of the key tied up the game at 71-all with 1:15 left on the clock. A missed layup by the Lady Toppers with 50 second remaining gave IU the ball back.
With fouls to give, WKU foul three times, eventually give the Hoosiers the final possession with 15 seconds remaining. Setting up, Buss drove to the lane, splitting the defense and getting the floater to fall with just three seconds left. Following a WKU timeout and ball advancement, they would get a final look at the basket but the shot would rim out as the buzzer sounded.
Head coach Teri Moren
"This was a really good win. We just beat a really good team, they have been in the NCAA tournament the last two years and have won their conference. I would suspect that they are going to do the same thing this year. Well coached, they have a lot of weapons, and in the first quarter it didn't seem like they were going to miss. We made some adjustments defensively. Instead of switching, we just decided to fight like heck to get over ball screens. Give our kids credit for one, being able to make the change and make the adjustment, and then just their overall toughness. I am really just proud of how hard they played. Make no mistake, we made a lot of errors their and mistakes, but I am really happy for our team and how they played when they got down. The third quarter was obviously really big for us and then the fourth quarter was back and forth. I didn't anticipate anything in terms of getting away from this team, I knew they were going to make a run, which they did. The good thing is that we had the last shot, and that's what we wanted. I didn't think that Tyra was going to miss that last free throw, but nonetheless we did a great job defensively. They got a look, but it wasn't as clean of a look as they probably wanted."
- Senior guard Tyra Buss logged 40 minutes and led the Hoosiers with 22 points, her third 20-point game this year.
- Buss delivered in the clutch for the Hoosiers, scoring a tying 3-pointer with 1:11 left in the fourth quarter and Indiana's game-winning layup with three seconds remaining.
- Senior forward Amanda Cahill recorded her third double-double of the season (15 points, 13 rebounds) and the 32ndof her career, tying Whitney Thomas (2006-09) for the fourth most double-doubles in program history.
- Over Cahill's career, the Hoosiers are 23-9 when she earns a double-double.
- Junior forward Kym Royster scored a season-high 17 points with seven rebounds. Royster was flawless from the field at halftime (3-for-3) and made her first seven field goal attempts without a miss.
- Freshman guard Jaelynn Penn notched her first career double-double (10 points, 11 rebounds). Both figures are season highs for Penn.
- Indiana uncorked a 23-6 scoring run that lasted 9:51, stretching from the middle of the second quarter to the middle of the third quarter. Cahill led the effort with six of her 13 first half points and eight points in total during the run.
- The Hoosiers found another important scoring run in the third quarter, a 17-5 streak over four minutes, with seven points coming from Royster. It gave Indiana an 11-point lead entering the final quarter.
- Indiana won the battle on the boards with a 44-35 rebound advantage, earning a +11 rebound differential for the second time this season.
- Indiana collected 16 rebounds, a season high, which led to a season-best 26 second chance points.
- In all three games this season, Indiana had at least four players achieve double-digit scoring figures.
- Teri Moren is now 21-1 in home regular season non-conference games as Indiana's head coach.
- The Hoosiers have won their last 16 non-conference home games, and haven't dropped an out-of-conference regular season game in Bloomington since November 30, 2014.
Indiana wraps up its four-game season-opening homestand with Chattanooga on Monday night. Tip in Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall is set for 7 p.m.
Story and photo from IU Athletics