TERRE HAUTE —
Climbing the ladder of success includes getting knocked down a rung on occasion.
Indiana State coach Teri Moren leads the Sycamores into the Women’s NIT today, making her first Division I postseason appearance as a head coach. The 18-12 Sycamores have lost three out of four, but it’s been an enjoyable season as ISU looks to match the most wins in a season since the 2006-07 team went 19-11.
Youngstown State is coming off a 72-45 loss in the Horizon League Tournament semifinals, but it’s been a historic season for the Penguins (22-9), who have made one of the best one-year turnarounds in the NCAA this season.
The Penguins are 13-1 at Beeghly Center, site of tonight’s 7:05 p.m. (WIBQ-FM 98.5) women’s basketball contest in the first round of the WNIT.
“We definitely embrace the challenge of going on the road. Youngstown State is 13-1 at home so it’s going to be a tough game but I have faith in us,” ISU sophomore guard Natasha Zurek said.
Third-year coach Bob Boldon inherited a team that went 0-30 in the year before his arrival.
“He’s done a good job. It’s always difficult to inherit a program where there’s some work to do. It’s always a process. We didn’t inherit a program quite like that. It takes time to get your system in place,” Moren said.
The Penguins are led by 2,000-point scorer Brandi Brown, who ranks 14th in the NCAA with a 20.5 scoring average. The 5-foot-11 senior, who also averages 11 rebounds per game, was named Horizon League Player of the Year.
ISU forward Racheal Mahan said the Sycamores are hungry to get back on the court after a 71-60 MVC Tournament loss to Northern Iowa.
“Once you lose and you get another chance, it’s an opportunity you have to take advantage of,” Mahan said. “We’ll just have to be quick on our feet and play our help defense.”
The Penguins will be a tough challenge for the Sycamores’ stingy defense.
“She’s really not a post, she wants to put it on the floor and use her athleticism,” Moren said of Brown. “They’re really five guards running an open post. They can all shoot it a little bit.”
The Penguins average 8.8 3-pointers per game, which ranks seventh in the NCAA.
Zurek said it’s similar to playing conference foe Bradley, which played a perimeter-oriented lineup. ISU swept the Braves.
Zurek, a 5-9 sophomore, is coming off a season-high 12 points against Northern Iowa. She’s better known for her hard-nosed defense off the bench.
“I like coming off the bench because I’m able to see what’s going on in the game, sit and watch for a little bit. I can see how the opponent is playing. Just making sure I can contribute in any way possible, whether it’s with my defense or hitting open shots,” Zurek said.
The St. John native might have earned herself an even larger role.
“Natasha’s going to find herself playing more minutes. She may get herself in the [starting] lineup [today],” Moren said. “She obviously brings a spark off the bench which I like. She’s always going to play hard defensively, get 50-50 balls and make special plays. She’s really becoming more of an offensive presence.”
Zurek has knocked down mid-range jump shots with confidence at times, but she’s at her best attacking the paint.
“She’s a rugged guard that isn’t afraid to mix it up with players that are bigger than she is. She’s not afraid of the physicality of this level,” Moren said.
ISU’s coach said after a quality practice Tuesday that her players are looking forward to extending the season.
“We’re grateful for the opportunity that we get to extend our season and practice together and get on the road together again and play another game. It’s just another building block to what we’re trying to accomplish with this program in terms of postseason play,” Moren said.
TERRE HAUTE —
Climbing the ladder of success includes getting knocked down a rung on occasion.
Young gun: Freshman Belyea leads Engineers to second straight victory over Saint Mary-of-the Woods
Freshman women’s college basketball players sparked Saint Mary-of-the-Woods and Rose-Hulman on Wednesday in Hulbert Arena. Playing her first major minutes of the season, Rose-Hulman guard Kristen Belyea was the clutch shooter for the Engineers. In the second half, Belyea knocked down 4 of 6 from the field and 2 of 3 from the 3-point arc to help the Engineers earn a second straight victory in the rivalry with a 74-54 decision.
Strickland leads RHIT men to win
Rose-Hulman opened its Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference men's basketball season with a 66-50 victory at Anderson University on Wednesday.
Metro: Boys county title games set for tonight
A pair of championship games in the Vigo County middle school boys basketball tournament will be played today in West Vigo High School’s main gym. At 6 p.m., Woodrow Wilson will take on Sarah Scott for the sixth-grade title. Then at about 7:30, Wilson and Honey Creek will tangle for the seventh-grade crown.
METRO ROUNDUP: Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Rose-Hulman set to battle for Clabber Girl trophy
With the Clabber Girl Trophy hanging in the balance for the 21st time, the Rose-Hulman women’s basketball team will welcome crosstown rival Saint Mary-of-the-Woods to Hulbert Arena today for a 7:30 p.m. matchup.
The Engineers (0-4) will look to defend their title after capturing the Clabber Girl Trophy for the first time since 2008 with last season’s 80-74 victory.
ISU’s Underwood named first team All-MVC
Sophomore linebacker/defensive end Connor Underwood was named to the all-Missouri Valley Football Conference first team on Monday, heading a list of five Indiana State players honored.
Red-hot Strickland leads Engineers past Wabash 77-68
Julian Strickland tied his career-high point total with 31 Monday night — his third consecutive 30-point game this season — as host Rose-Hulman downed Wabash 77-68 in Hulbert Arena.
Metro sports: ISU women play today at No. 15 LSU
Indiana State’s women finish a three-game road swing by playing nationally ranked LSU at 12:30 p.m. today at Baton Rouge.
Rose-Hulman women fall short to Marian
A clutch 3-pointer and free throws down the stretch sealed the home victory for Marian University in Saturday’s competitive 50-45 nonconference victory over the Rose-Hulman women’s basketball team.
Strickland pours in 30, but the Engineers fall in home opener
Carroll University withstood a last-minute challenge by Rose-Hulman to earn a 67-64 men’s basketball victory in the Engineers’ home opener Saturday afternoon in Hulbert Arena.
Indiana State holds off hot-shooting Pepperdine
Indiana State’s men’s basketball team is very much a work in progress defensively. Evidence of that came Saturday when Pepperdine shot 57.8 percent against the Sycamores in the fourth-place game of the Great Alaska Shootout.
But when it came down to winning time? Pepperdine’s Waves crashed on the rocks of ISU’s defense.
Hoosiers gain 692 total yards, re-claim Oaken Bucket
Although his team fell well short of defending its possession of the Old Oaken Bucket Saturday against Indiana, Purdue’s freshman quarterback Danny Etling — a Terre Haute South grad — showed poise and talent in bringing the Boilermakers back in the second half in a 56-36 loss.
Sycamores outpace Seawolves
Indiana State wanted a better defensive effort in its Great Alaska Shootout consolation semifinal game against host Alaska-Anchorage on Friday, but the Seawolves weren’t going to give the Sycamores an orthodox offense to assess themselves with.
Prep/Metro roundup: Marshall girls pick up big wins at Robinson
Marshall’s Lions got a huge girls high school basketball victory Friday afternoon at the Robinson Thanksgiving Tournament, downing Mt. Carmel and 2013 Illinois Miss Basketball Tyra Buss 57-53.
Uneven Sycamores fall 63-62 to Tulsa
Indiana State loses to Tulsa 63-62 in opening game of Great Alaska Shootout
Tulsa's switching defenses confounded Sycamores
Tulsa paid Indiana State the respect they feel the Sycamores earned with a 3-1 start and a win at Notre Dame on Nov. 17.
So the Golden Hurricane threw multiple defenses at the Sycamores.
On target: Sycamores spreading the wealth with their shooting
Indiana State’s men's basketball team did many things right during the 2012-13 season, but one thing it couldn’t get a handle on was its 3-point shooting. The Sycamores shot 32.1 percent from 3-point range, ranked 252nd in the nation. It was going to take a lot of work to improve ISU’s percentage. So far, hard work has had its own reward.
O’Leary eyes return to Hulman Center
Former Terre Haute North standout Matt O’Leary is hoping to help Loyola Chicago coach Porter Moser turn the program into a new chapter of success in a new conference.
College report: Gardner jumps at chance to play for ISU
Cody Gardner enjoyed his freshman baseball season at Wright State and earned more time on the field than he honestly expected to get. Coach Rob Cooper departed WSU after last season to take over at Penn State, however, and Gardner jumped at the chance to return to his hometown as an Indiana State Sycamore and perform for the school where two members of his family previously excelled.
Young Evansville team unable to threaten Indiana
Indiana coach Tom Crean surprised everyone by starting senior walk-on Jeff Howard. Evansville didn’t give themselves the chance to surprise the Hoosiers.
Metro roundup: Rose star is conference POW
After a career-high 31-point performance on Saturday night, Rose-Hulman senior Julian Strickland has been named Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference Men’s Basketball Player of the Week.
NCAA championships: Runners face muddy course, stiff winds as well as each other at Gibson course
More than 500 runners were prepared for a muddy course, but the NCAA’s elite also had to fight a wind chill in the teens Saturday at LaVern Gibson Championship Course.
Nothing was going to stop Oregon’s Edward Cheserek, who upset defending champion Kennedy Kithuka of Texas Tech or women’s champion Abbey D’Agostino, who adds her first NCAA title in cross country to her four national titles on the track.
ISU defeats Truman
What do you expect when a Division II team pays a visit to a Division I arena?
In Truman State’s case, you can expect a pretty good showing. Indiana State had some nervous moments against the Bulldogs, but the Sycamores prevailed 80-69 on Friday at Hulman Center.
ISU football closes out season against SIU
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ISU’s Underwood family affected by Illinois tornado
Indiana State defensive end Connor Underwood can be forgiven if football wasn’t the biggest thing on his mind this week as the team prepared for its season finale against Southern Illinois today.
New officiating edict could help ISU's Odum
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Gant looms large in ISU's 2013-14 improvement
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Terre Haute’s Mundy helping young Hoosiers climb toward top
It didn’t take long for Chanli Mundy to find her way home from Bloomington.
The 2011 Terre Haute North all-state cross country runner arrived on the Indiana University campus this summer knowing making the varsity team might be a long shot.
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Rose-Hulman’s Smyser is still embracing clutch goal
When sophomore Mike Smyser guided the ball into the net during the opening minutes of the Rose-Hulman men’s soccer match against undefeated, NCAA Division III No. 1-ranked Ohio Wesleyan on Sunday in Delaware, Ohio, he had no idea it would be the only goal of a hard-fought match.
- More College Headlines
- Young gun: Freshman Belyea leads Engineers to second straight victory over Saint Mary-of-the Woods