News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Given to Fly

March 13, 2009

‘Walking wounded’: ISU seniors return to provide spark

TERRE HAUTE — In January, it appeared Kara Schilli was the lone survivor of the original 2005-06 freshman class for the Indiana State women’s basketball team.

• Leah Phillips’ season appeared to be lost after she tore an ACL in her knee.

• Tiffany Reida had to call it a career after just one college season due to back surgery.

Things have changed a bit.

Phillips returned for her Senior Day, providing a needed emotional lift, and she hopes to be a part of a tournament run.

Following that Senior Day win, coach Jim Wiedie suggested to Reida that she suit up in Sycamore blue and white again. The ISU senior thought he was joking.

But technically, she was still on ISU’s roster.

When her basketball career was thought to be over, Reida’s original plan was to transfer to Purdue to study pharmacy. Instead, she continued her studies at ISU as with a pre-med curriculum.

All three ISU seniors will graduate in May, and all three will be in uniform today as Indiana State battles Bradley in the Missouri Valley Conference tournament quarterfinals.

“Kara, Tiff and I are roommates on this trip,” Leah Phillips said Thursday from St. Charles, Mo. “We’re having a blast. The three of us came in [as freshmen and] we were extremely hard workers. You know the three of us are going to work hard. So we’re really looking forward to playing together again.”

Phillips came back to play an emotional Senior Day game in which ISU defeated Bradley 62-58. She added to her program’s fifth-best all-time total in 3-pointers in that game, but her presence alone seemed to spark her teammates.

Maybe that could happen again.

“I think that we’re still a team to be scared of,” Phillips said. “People are calling us the walking wounded here, but we’re ready to do some damage here at the tourney.”

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    March 12, 2010