TERRE HAUTE —
Rose-Hulman women’s basketball player Lauren Meadows has known for a while that she probably didn’t have a future in the WNBA.
A 5-foot-7 senior guard, she knew last fall that she didn’t need to return from two significant injuries for her final season in order to attract attention from pro scouts.
At the NCAA Division III level, that rarely happens. But Meadows, who started her college career as a freshman reserve at DePauw before transferring to Rose in 2010, was determined to come back in 2013-14 because she loves basketball.
“I couldn’t imagine not playing while still being eligible and in college,” she said.
Meadows estimated that she’s at about 85 to 90 percent of her pre-injury form, but she’s still second on the Engineers in minutes played (223) and fourth in scoring average (6.8 points per game). She’s also the most accurate free-throw shooter on the squad, connecting on 17 of 19 attempts (89.5 percent).
By now, you may be wondering: What were her injuries?
Well, the first was a torn right anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) suffered during open gym in September 2011.
“I drove from the left baseline, then I went up for a layup with my right hand and right leg,” Meadows said, recalling how the injury occurred. “I landed on someone’s foot when I came back down. I heard it pop on my way down and I just fell. I was scared and not sure what was wrong. … A few days later, I got an MRI and found out what it was.”
She admitted that the lengthy rehabilitation process after her October 2011 surgery was not easy.
“It’s the most pain I’ve ever been in,” Meadows insisted. “It was really tough, not just physically but mentally. I actually gained 20 pounds during the rehab process – completely bad weight. I was sad for a while and I couldn’t do what I wanted to. … So I realized if I wanted to play again, I was going to have to lose a lot of weight.”
Keeping her promise to herself, she shed 30 pounds before school ended the next summer. Then she lost 20 more pounds over the summer of 2012.
“I was in the best shape of my life,” Meadows said proudly.
So Meadows started the first eight games of the 2012-13 season and she was pleased with how she played.
“I was starting to progress in my role with the team and being really aggressive,” she said.
Coming off a 23-point performance in an 80-74 victory over Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Meadows was playing a home game against Hanover when a different injury derailed her season.
“I was going up for a spin move around the free-throw line and I shot a layup on the left side of the basket,” she mentioned. “I landed unevenly on my right leg. … and all the rest of my weight went to my left leg. It just buckled and I went down to the ground, screaming loudly.”
An MRI revealed she had two bone bruises in her left knee. That initially put her out for two or three weeks, then she tried to practice again. But she went down again during a defensive drill.
After that second fall, Meadows saw the doctor again and got a second MRI.
It revealed that her bone bruises were healing, but she had a sprained medial collateral ligament (MCL) in her left knee.
She was able to return to action late in the season, but she acknowledged that she was a shell of her old self.
“I was really tentative,” Meadows explained.
“It was just a huge mess. I thought I was OK to come back, but I fell again and I fell again. It was a real guessing game.”
So the summer of 2013 turned into another rehab process for Meadows.
“I tried to stay away from jumping,” she noted. “I decided I was just going to lift and get as strong as I could. So I lifted all summer and got my knee really strong for when I came back [in the fall of 2013].”
Entering preseason practices, Meadows thought her right knee (2011 ACL tear) was fine, but she wasn’t so sure about her left knee (2012 bone bruises and MCL sprain).
“I was unsure if I would ever be able to play competitively,” she admitted. “I was scared I would be too tentative to even be competitive. It was mostly a mental thing for me at the very beginning.”
After participating in a few scrimmages and a few games, Meadows gradually regained confidence in her ability to play aggressively.
“I had played a couple times in the preseason and things went OK,” she assessed. “I was still tentative, though. Then something clicked. I don’t know what it was, but I started going harder and faster and I was able to do the things I could before.”
“She worked extremely hard over the summer, but she was scared she wouldn’t be able to perform,” Rose-Hulman women’s coach Jon Prevo pointed out. “She’s kinda now getting more confident and comfortable playing without constantly thinking about further damaging the knee. … She’s a much better player now.”
“I’m getting there,” Meadows added. “It took a while for me to gain some confidence. These last couple days in practice, I’ve been a lot more aggressive. I always had been really aggressive before in trying to get to the basket.”
So far, Meadows has started four out of 11 games in helping the Engineers compile records of 4-7 overall and 2-2 in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (HCAC). This past Saturday, Rose defeated Bluffton 60-57 in Hulbert Arena to stay in the middle of the HCAC pack.
Rose-Hulman will need to finish among the top six teams to advance to the HCAC tournament.
“We need to cut down on our turnovers,” Meadows emphasized. “We’ve got to focus on the little details that we have been struggling to do in the first part of the season. … We have a great chance of doing well in our conference this season. We just have to buckle down and get it done.”
“We’re very young and somewhat inexperienced,” Prevo chimed in. “We’ve got 15 young ladies who are healthy to play now. They’re really starting to understand their roles and understand the college game. I have six freshmen who are playing quite a bit. The mix of them with the returning players is going well. But we’re still kinda trying to find our identity. … We’re still kind of a work in progress.”
Prevo also mentioned that Meadows’ lack of starts compared to early last season is not an indication of any lack of confidence in her abilities.
“I have a little bit of a luxury that I haven’t had in years past because I have better numbers now,” he said in reference to his fluctuating starting lineups.
“Lauren’s actually playing more minutes now [as a reserve] than she was as a starter. She has become more and more aggressive in taking the ball to the basket.”
Meadows, an Indianapolis resident and a biomedical-engineering major who plans to start work on a master’s degree in engineering management at Rose-Hulman later this year, is one of three seniors on the Engineers’ roster. Others are Kelsey Ploof and Jaci Dalton.
Ploof, a 6-0 forward, is averaging 7.5 points and a team-high 6.7 rebounds per contest.
“Kelsey, over her four-year career here, has really developed and gotten better each year,” Prevo stressed. “It says a lot about her determination. She has fought through some injuries too. She had some back issues in high school and they popped again here. … She understands what she needs to do to put this team in position to have success.”
Prevo said Ploof will get her degree in mechanical engineering at the end of this academic quarter in late February and she’s already accepted a job offer with Frito-Lay in Denver.
“That itself is quite an achievement,” he noted. “That tells you how she’s able to manage her time.”
Rose’s next game will be Wednesday at Earlham.
TERRE HAUTE —
Rose-Hulman women’s basketball player Lauren Meadows has known for a while that she probably didn’t have a future in the WNBA.
METRO ROUNDUP: ISU softball splits pair in Florida
Pitching dominated Tuesday’s opening day of play in the Rebel Spring Games for the Indiana State softball team, which defeated Bucknell 2-0 before falling 2-0 to Creighton.
“The girls did a great job in the first game getting a couple runs,” ISU coach Shane Bouman said. “We leaned on [sophomore] Yvette Alvarez who pitched really well. We probably got as much as we could out of her and probably should have changed earlier so put that on me. We have a couple little things we can clean up and get a little better and we will be ready to go tomorrow.”
Oh snap: Reed's 18-game hitting streak falls in No. 20 UK's loss at No. 16 IU
No. 16 Indiana mounted two-run rallies in the first and fourth innings and the Hoosiers ended the hitting streak of Terre Haute native A.J. Reed at 18 games to post a 7-2 win over No. 20 Kentucky on Tuesday.
Despite going hitless, Reed remains the NCAA leader in home runs (8) and RBI (28) for a potent Wildcats’ offense.
Kentucky (13-4) dropped its first game with the Hoosiers in the last four meetings, with the meeting marking the first time in modern UK history (2003-present) that the two teams faced off as top-20 foes.
Munn named MVC Scholar-Athlete of the Year
Indiana State leads the Missouri Valley with six of the MVC Scholar-Athlete of the Year awards after Anna Munn earned the recognition Tuesday for the 2013-14 season.
Munn joins Kourtney Mennen (2003), Melanie Boeglin (2006), Laura Rudolphi (2007) and Kelsey Luna (2009 and 2010) as winners of the award, which began in 2002.
ISU win streak at 12
Ryan Keaffaber recorded his sixth save in seven opportunities Monday as Indiana State won its 12th straight college baseball game, holding off a rally by visiting Western Illinois for a 7-4 victory on Bob Warn Field at Sycamore Stadium.
Another Rose freshman making big splash
The Rose-Hulman men’s swimming team received a much-needed boost last season when a talented freshman from Ohio entered to set school records, rack up conference titles and qualify for the NCAA Division III championships. So when the Rose women’s swimming team needed a boost this season, what did it do? Yep, the Engineers found another talented freshman from Ohio to do pretty much the same things.
Metro sports: Indiana State's Abdul-Qaadir honored by MVC again
Bilquis Abdul-Qaadir of Indiana State has been named Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Week for women’s basketball, the league announced Monday.
Guts, sweat, tears: Sycamores fall to perfect Shockers
No one on Indiana State’s men’s basketball needed to say a word about the Sycamores’ 83-69 loss to Wichita State in Sunday’s Missouri Valley Conference Tournament championship game.
Todd Golden: Sycamores ran with the best
It’s hard to run with Secretariat. Secretariat, for the uninitiated, won horse racing’s Triple Crown in 1973 and famously stormed to victory in the Belmont Stakes by an unfathomable 31 lengths. Secretariat is widely considered to be the greatest thoroughbred of all time, and his Belmont performance is one of sports’ all-time greatest moments. In Missouri Valley Conference terms, Wichita State is Secretariat.
FROM THE PRESS BOX: Odum rises to WSU challenge
When you’re getting ready to play the No. 2 team in the country — the undefeated No. 2 team in the country and the best Missouri Valley Conference team in a generation — the unwritten rule says you’re not supposed to rile them. That you’re not supposed to poke the hornet’s nest.
Clock problems delay start of Indiana State semifinal game
Time stood still in Scottrade Center on Saturday.
Not by design.
Sycamores advance to Arch Madness title game
No one said advancing to the Missouri Valley Conference men’s basketball tournament championship game was going to be easy.
ISU women grab share of MVC regular-season title
The preseason Missouri Valley Conference favorite lived up to its expectations, as the Indiana State women’s basketball team grabbed a piece of the regular-season title with an 85-72 triumph over host Northern Iowa on Saturday afternoon inside McLeod Center.
Robinson leads No. 12 Michigan over Indiana
Glenn Robinson scored 20 points, including a tie-breaking 3-pointer with 1:10 to play, and Jordan Morgan had a double-double in his final home game to help No. 12 Michigan finish off its Big Ten championship season with an 84-80 victory over Indiana on Saturday night.
Michigan (23-7 15-3) avenged last year’s defeat in the last game of the regular season. In that game, Morgan’s tap-in rolled off the rim as time expired, giving the Hoosiers the victory and costing the Wolverines a share of the conference title.
ISU headed to MVC title game
Indiana State defeated Southern Illinois 62-59 on Saturday to advance to Arch Madness championship game.
Ramblin’ On: Sycamores use defensive stops to reach Missouri Valley semifinals
It sounds counter-intuitive, but to go forward in the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament you must first get stops. In Friday’s MVC Tournament quarterfinal against Loyola, ISU followed that bit of zen to a tee. The Sycamores never let the Ramblers get comfortable offensively and put a hammer-lock on Loyola standout Milton Doyle. ISU rode its defense to an easy 75-62 victory at Scottrade Center.
ISU baseball looking to carry success home
Indiana State had pitching questions coming into the season, having lost its entire starting staff from a year ago.
So far anyway, those questions have been answered. The Sycamores are 9-1 going into their home opener today against Western Illinois.
Metro sports: Rose-Hulman picks up baseball win
A late run in the eighth-inning broke a 4-all tie and proved to be the game winner for Rockford College in a 5-4 decision over the Rose-Hulman baseball team Friday at the Chain of Lakes Complex.
Indiana State women move within one win from MVC title
Senior Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir had 23 points to lead Indiana State to a 73-71 win at Drake on Thursday. The point guard led four Sycamores in double figures in the win.
Anna Munn, Jasmine Grier and Chelsea Small each chipped in 11 points as ISU shot 10-of-21 from 3-point range as a team.
Sycamores rejuvenated heading into MVC Tournament quarterfinals
Indiana State point guard Jake Odum is sick-and-tired of being sick and tired.
He’s tired of hearing about the team’s three-game losing streak. He’s tired of the Sycamores playing below par. He’s tired of the team not fulfilling its potential.
He plans to do something about it this weekend. Second-seeded ISU begins its Missouri Valley Conference Tournament trek at 7:05 p.m. tonight against either No. 10 Loyola.
Rose-Hulman seniors lead Engineers into NCAA Division III Tournament
For Rose-Hulman’s six senior men’s basketball players, this weekend will mark the beginning of their third and final appearance in the NCAA Division III tournament.
Having left Terre Haute by bus Thursday, Rose (22-5) will open the Division III four-team regional at Hope College in Holland, Mich., today against Wheaton College (19-8) at the unique time of 5:30 p.m.
Coach Jim Shaw’s Engineers are coming off Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (HCAC) regular-season and tournament championships for the second consecutive year.
ISU women seek top MVC seed
Defense and rebounding are the staples of Teri Moren’s fourth Indiana State team, a squad that hits the road trying to defend and rebound its way to a regular-season conference title. The Sycamores women’s basketball can clinch the No. 1 seed in the Missouri Valley Conference with wins tonight against Drake and Saturday against Northern Iowa.
Nebraska completes sweep of Indiana
Indiana’s slim hopes of an NCAA Tournament bid are all but done, unless the Hoosiers can win the Big Ten Tournament. Nebraska never trailed Wednesday night, completing a season sweep of the Hoosiers with a 70-60 win. The loss ensures a losing conference record for IU (17-13, 7-10 Big Ten) while boosting the Huskers’ chances at an at-large berth.
ISU reserve Smith earns two MVC honors
Indiana State sophomore Khristian Smith has been named to the Missouri Valley Conference’s All-Bench and Most Improved Teams, according to an announcement by the league office Wednesday.
Two Sycamores with Scott during Saturday incident
A Vigo County’s Sheriff’s case report of Brenton Scott’s arrest last Saturday indicated that Scott, an Indiana State basketball player, tried to pass himself off as his twin brother and that two of his teammates were with him at the time of the incident.
Metro Sports: Sycamores to be represented at NCAA indoors
Three members of the Indiana State track and field team will compete in the 2014 NCAA indoor championships March 14-15 at Albuquerque, N.M. Senior Greggmar Swift will represent the men, while sophomore Katie Wise and senior Mary Theisen will represent the women.
Rose meets Wheaton in NCAA opener
Rose-Hulman will open its third straight trip to the NCAA Division III basketball tournament at 5:30 p.m. Friday when the Engineers play Wheaton in a four-team regional hosted by Hope College.
Metro: No ISU baseball today; home opener now Friday
Indiana State’s baseball home opener that was to be played today has been pushed back, according to Sycamore head coach Mitch Hannahs.
ISU's Scott booked for OWI, possession
Indiana State men's basketball player Brenton Scott was booked into the Vigo County Jail on Saturday for operating while intoxicated, possession of marijuana/hash, possession of paraphenalia and false reporting/informing.
Odum can't get roll on game-winning attempt on Senior Day
The storybook was ready to be opened at Hulman Center on Saturday.
Down two with 4.5 seconds to go, Indiana State rebounded a free throw miss by Northern Iowa’s Seth Tuttle. ISU senior point guard Odum timed his dash perfectly up the floor. He released his shot from just behind the 3-point line at just the right second. The shot was true and online.
TODD GOLDEN: Lansing's belief in his team has not wavered
In the wake of Indiana State’s 71-69 loss to Northern Iowa on Saturday, and the three-game losing streak that comes with it, ISU coach Greg Lansing wanted to get one point across crystal clear in his postgame press conference.
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