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January 18, 2014

Sycamore women have momentum heading into Southern Illinois

TERRE HAUTE — Though it’s just four Missouri Valley Conference games — and coach Teri Moren is nowhere near satisfied — the Indiana State women’s basketball team has shown progress in becoming a championship-caliber defensive team.

The Sycamores rank first in the league in points allowed at 56.0 per game and second in field-goal percentage defense at 37.1.

ISU sophomore Marina Laramie said Saturday in Hulman Center those numbers are evidence of the Sycamores’ development and coachability.

“We’ve grown so much since preseason, especially at the defensive end,” Laramie said. “We try to improve every game. We’ve also done a lot of switching up and working on our “12” zone. We’re adapting and listening to the coaches in timeouts as far as adjusting to making changes.”

ISU visits Southern Illinois today (3:05 p.m, WAWV-TV) seeking a 5-0 start to MVC play. The Salukis (3-11, 1-4 MVC) are allowing 78.6 points in league play and have lost four straight by an average of more than 16 points.

SIU is led by 6-2 center Dyanna Pierre, who’s averaging 14.2 points, 9.2 rebounds and 1.9 blocks. Pie

“This is a team that has some talent. I love their post players. They’re really doing a good job of getting the ball inside. This is going to be a good test for our 4s and 5s,” Moren said. “Most of the time it’s been a guard’s game. I think tomorrow afternoon is going to be about post play and how our posts show up ready to defend on the low block without getting into foul trouble. Moving their feet, contesting shots and keeping their 4s and 5s under their average.”

Laramie had a season-high 19 points in Thursday’s win at Evansville, and the Sycamores held the Aces to 27.9 percent shooting. Evansville was without starting forward Mallory Ladd, who had a concussion. SIU will be at full strength in the post.

Laramie said the Sycamores have to be focused on the task at hand.

“You never want to play down. This team, you can’t put anything past them. They have posts averaging 14 points a game, anything can happen. We can’t take this game lightly at all,” Laramie said. “Against Evansville, we knew our post play would be our way to win. Here, it will be a little different, we gotta depend more on our guards from outside.”

As previously stated, the Sycamores’ focus in practice continues to be improvement on the defensive end.

Moren is encouraged by her players’ picking up what the coaching staff is teaching.

“Our quote today is you have to be comfortable being uncomfortable. You have to adjust to different gameplans, and a lot of that’s maturity leadership,” Moren said.

The Sycamores have solid athletes like Jasmine Grier Kasey Johnson, who each blocked two shots Thursday, to defend on the perimeter off the bench.

“The depth gives you opportunities to play differently, whether you trap, switch or switch everything because you have some length and athleticism,” Moren said. “Or you go to a zone with that length. The more pieces we have has given us an opportunity to change it up defensively.”

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College
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