News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Indiana State University

October 3, 2013

Newcomers add depth, excitement to ISU women's basketball

TERRE HAUTE — After three days of practice, the optimism — just as it should be with four starters returning to the mix for Indiana State’s women’s basketball team — is a powerful mix of vitality and curiousity.

With 10 new faces joining seven returnees, coach Teri Moren has a lively group of 17 that creates a practice atmosphere that has been missing in recent seasons.

Among the five eager newcomers eligible to participate when ISU opens its season Nov. 9 in Hulman Center against South Alabama will be senior point guard Bilquis Abdul-Qaadir, who started for three years at the University of Memphis.

Abdul-Qaadir averaged 10.6 points, 2.4 steals and 2.5 assists as a junior in 2012-13; as a graduate student transfer, she’s eligible to play right away.

“I’m just really grateful to even have a chance to play at a four-year school,” the 5-foot-4 guard said following Wednesday’s practice. “For a staff to give me a chance to play my last year, only one year, is really special to me.”

Moren is thrilled to add such a veteran presence to pair with senior guard Anna Munn, who had a career-best 14.5 scoring average last season.

“Quisy [pronounced Kee-see] has helped [Munn]. She’s that other voice of maturity that has been through the rigors of college athletics. They’re seniors and have gone through the practices, the preseason, the grind of a long season. I’m really happy that those two kids are going to be leading this team this year,” Moren said.

With Racheal Mahan (13 points per game, 7.9 rebounds per game) looking to build off a breakout season and Marina Laramie returning after a big freshman year, ISU has the potential to have the strongest post duo in the MVC.

Kasey Johnson and Travecia Franklin spent part of their respective freshman and sophomore seasons as starters as well.

But it’s the added depth that ISU will have with junior college transfers like Jasmine Grier, Bobbi Beckwith and Lashonda Littlejohn, along with true freshman Rhagen Smith, that could make for a complete roster.

“We have a really deep bench, we’re athletic and I feel like we can do something really special in the MVC,” Abdul-Qaadir said.

Munn sees ISU building a step farther than last year’s WNIT berth.

“That’s our goal, to get to the NCAA Tournament. With a deep bench, the possibilities are endless,” Munn said. “We brought in so much more athleticism and grit with these girls. They’re going to benefit us offensively and defensively.”

Getting newcomers up to speed in the sytem might not take as long as it would have in the past. An NCAA rule change allowed the ISU coaching staff more time with the team in June.

“The month of June was really good to us. Seventeen of them were here for summer school,” Moren said. “Only taking two classes, training with our training staff. The rule change … really benefited us. Our kids were able to meet each other, hang out, go to movies, dinner and get to know each other. So once they returned in August, it wasn’t like they didn’t know who they were and where they were from.”

Three of the 17 — Cierra Ceazer, Kelsey Dirks and Joyea Marshall — are Division I transfers that won’t suit up until 2014-15. Two of the 17 — mid-season transfers Chelsea Small and Stephanie Wittman — will be eligible after the first semester ends this season.

They were all able to play plenty of basketball with their new teammates as well as experience some team-building time.

“It was huge,” Munn said of the summer. “The couple days of boot camp we had … that brought us closer. It was a lot of mental toughness activities. Lots of sprints and stuff like that.”

The coaching staff, which has a newcomer as well in Rhet Wierzba, is excited about the possibilities with added depth.

Abdul-Qaadir said she and the other newcomers are quickly picking up the coaches’ instructions.

“It’s definitely different. Everything is opposite than it was at my last school so I’m just trying to get used to the terminology here, how they do things. But in the end, I feel like they took me in, they treated me like I’ve been here the last four years, I’m really grateful for that as well,” she said.

Abdul-Qaadir, who hit 22 3-pointers last season but said she prefers the mid-range game, is one of several players who could help take pressure off Munn by providing offensive punch. Munn made just 33.3 percent of her shots from the field and 29.3 percent of her 3-pointers last season.

“She’s a special point guard that is going to help us in that spot,” Moren said of Abdul-Qaadir. “She wants to play high-tempo and really wants to get out and go. She’s a scoring point guard, that’s always a good thing as well.”

Beckwith ranked fifth among all junior college players in the nation last season with a 3-point shooting percentage of 46.2 and 11th in 3-pointers made with 74 in 30 games. An athletic 6-0 forward, Grier also shows a good shooting touch from the outside.

“Who it will benefit the most will be a kid like Anna Munn, who had to take a lot of shots last year, some of them probably ill-advised or bad ones but just because she needed to, had to. We’ve been able to give her some help outside,” Moren said.

Abdul-Qaadir looks forward to helping the Sycamores improve offensively.

“I like the mid-range. I can handle the ball pretty well. Hopefully I’m here to take care of the ball, get it to the open players and score when I need to,” she said.


Text Only | Photo Reprints
Indiana State University
  • SPT 041414 ERINN SUTTON2.jpg Driving to victory

    College golf, Indiana State coach Greg Towne indicated Monday afternoon, is all about the process.

    April 14, 2014 3 Photos

  • QFRGGNSQNGORIUF.jpg ISU losing Ragland to Bowling Green St.

    David Ragland was the first person Indiana State men’s basketball coach Greg Lansing hired to his staff when he became the Sycamores’ head coach in 2010.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • Thunder Pacers Basket_Tayl.jpg FROM THE PRESSBOX: In Lance the Pacers trust? Why not?

    The trials and tribulations of the Indiana Pacers are well documented.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT 041314 DELLACAMERA.jpg Sycamores just one shot behind in tourney on familiar turf

    Lack of experience in playing a collegiate women’s golf tournament in their own backyard may not be a hindrance for Indiana State, which finds itself one shot out of the lead — and with room to do better — after Sunday’s first round of the Indiana State Spring Invitational at the Country Club of Terre Haute.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • ISU pushes run across in 9th to beat SIU — again

    Indiana State scored in the ninth inning for a second game in a row Sunday, breaking a tie to defeat host Southern Illinois and win a closely contested Missouri Valley Conference baseball series.

    April 14, 2014

  • SPT040914ISUBB_kudrecki.jpg Indiana State falls to No. 23-ranked IU 8-4 in baseball

    Indiana State’s baseball team tried to walk a double tightrope this week.
    The degree of difficulty was cranked up significantly as the Sycamores played back-to-back games at Vanderbilt and Indiana, both top 25 teams.

    April 10, 2014 3 Photos

  • ISU baseball falls to Vanderbilt 6-2

    The seventh-ranked Vanderbilt Commodores took control early to defeat the Indiana State Sycamores 6-2

    April 9, 2014

  • SPT 040614 TONY ROSSELLI.jpg ISU baseball is deadly with two outs

    One of the many charms of baseball is that there are a thousand different debates about a thousand different topics one can embroil themselves in. One of the most passionate is whether clutch hitting exists.

    April 7, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT 040614 ROSELLI HOMER.jpg ISU dusts off its broom

    Wichita State’s baseball program has been the bellwether of the Missouri Valley Conference for more than a quarter-century. And 2014 is no different. When a team has success against the Shockers, picked to win the league in the preseason coaches’ poll, it still has cachet.

    April 6, 2014 3 Photos

  • Grant Prusator …nd jones 0.jpg Prusator gives ISU a shooter for 2015

    Grant Prusator, a native of Rochelle, Ill., has made a verbal commitment to play basketball for Indiana State starting in the 2014-15 season. He will have three years of eligibility with the Sycamores as he played just one year for Highland Community College.

    April 4, 2014 1 Photo

  • Metro sports: Locks of Love tournament today at Memorial Stadium

    The Indiana State Women’s Soccer team will host its annual Locks of Love tournament today. The 4th annual event will begin at 9 a.m. at Memorial Stadium.

    April 4, 2014

  • SPT012714ISUWBB laramie.jpg Laramie to transfer from ISU women's basketball program

    Indiana State forward Marina Laramie averaged 9.9 points and started all 32 games as a sophomore for the Sycamores.
    But the 6-foot-2 women’s basketball player will continue her career elsewhere.

    April 3, 2014 2 Photos

  • Metro sports: ISU blanks Austin Peay in 6-plus innings

    Indiana State’s baseball team posted another mid-week victory Wednesday night as four pitchers combined to throw a three-hit shutout and lead a 3-0 victory over Austin Peay State at Bob Warn Field.

    April 2, 2014

  • 20140401_145857.jpg Chicago guard commits to ISU women's basketball

    The Indiana State women’s basketball team picked up a verbal commitment from Chicago guard Kiera Brooks on Tuesday.
    The 5-foot-7 junior for North Lawndale College Prep visited ISU’s campus for the first time, met the team and chose her college home. Brooks averaged 18.7 points, six rebounds, four assists and two steals for coach Corey Morgan’s 15-11 squad.

    April 2, 2014 1 Photo

  • Metro sports: ISU’s Stone, Riemenschneider honored by MVC

    Indiana State junior Megan Stone and freshman Brooke Riemenschneider each earned Missouri Valley Conference Athlete of the Week honors, according to an announcement from the league office Monday.

    March 31, 2014

  • SPT 033014 A.J. McELDERRY.jpg Bad day for Sycamores

    Indiana State’s baseball team has had more good days than bad so far this season.
    Sunday, however, was bad in every way.

    March 30, 2014 2 Photos

  • SPT032814 ISUBB hayes.jpg Going the distance: Redbirds ace Savas allows just five hits while shutting down Sycamores

    Indiana State’s pitchers weren’t their best in Friday’s series opener against Illinois State, but it seemed the Sycamores might get away with it. Through seven innings, ISU had issued six walks, gave up six hits and hit a batter, but still trailed by just a run. But ISU’s luck with its generosity would give out in the eighth, and even if it hadn’t, Illinois State standout starter Dan Savas had the Sycamores’ bats in a deep freeze anyway. The Redbirds defeated the Sycamores 5-2 at Bob Warn Field.

    March 28, 2014 2 Photos

  • SPT032614 ISU BB curry.jpg ‘A full night’: Leadoff hitter Curry leads 16-hit attack as Sycamores pound Hoosiers

    Lead-off man Landon Curry had four of Indiana State’s 16 hits Wednesday afternoon, and cleanup hitter Mike Fitzgerald reached for the 17th straight game to lead the Sycamores to a 12-8 victory.

    March 26, 2014 4 Photos

  • ISU committed to making Tonyan a key contributor

    Indiana State’s 1-11 2013 football season was nightmarish in many ways, but one player who had to endure it with eyes more wide open than most was Robert Tonyan Jr.
    Thrust into a much larger role than anticipated at quarterback when Mike Perish was injured in early October, and with injuries occurring all around him as well, the then-redshirt freshman struggled behind center.

    March 26, 2014

  • SPT 032414 ISU FOOTBALL.jpg Fresh start: ISU football team springs into action for coach Sanford’s second season

    Many things change from year one to year two in someone’s coaching regime, but when it comes to football, few things change more dramatically in that span than spring football practice.

    March 24, 2014 4 Photos

  • Aces ride leadoff success to series win over ISU

    The leadoff bullets were flying around at Evansville’s Charles Braun Stadium as Indiana State and Evansville locked up in a Missouri Valley Conference baseball series decider on Sunday.

    March 23, 2014

  • SPT 032314 MEGAN STONE DIVE.jpg ISU stretching to improve softball program

    Some are from as far away as California, or Arizona or Iowa. Some played their high school games a little closer to Terre Haute, such as at North Central or Clay City.

    March 23, 2014 3 Photos

  • ISU loses 63-61 to Marquette in WNIT

    After a Jasmine Grier 3-pointer with four seconds on the clock cut Marquette’s lead to two points, a crazy March ending appeared possible as Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir came up with a steal with just more than a second to go Thursday in Hulman Center
    Abdul-Qaadir had momentum going toward the bucket after her steal but couldn’t get the layup off in time as the Sycamores fell in the first round of the Women’s NIT to the Big East squad, 63-61.

    March 20, 2014

  • SPT 031514 LARAMIE SCORE.jpg Second shot: ISU women seeking better shooting, defense against Marquette in WNIT opener

    Defensive continuity, defensive rebounding and better outside shooting are among the keys for Indiana State in a first-round WNIT basketball game against Marquette tonight in Hulman Center.

    March 19, 2014 2 Photos

  • NIT Indiana St Arkan.jpg Sycamores no match for Hogs

    In the wake of Indiana State’s 91-71 Tuesday loss to Arkansas in the National Invitation Tournament, it was obvious to everyone why ISU coach Greg Lansing feared the matchup against the Razorbacks. They just had too much for the Sycamores to handle.

    March 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT031914 ISUSB stone.jpg Metro sports: Alvarez helps ISU softball gain home sweep

    Junior Yvette Alvarez pitched a complete-game win in the opener and hit her first career home run in the second game to lead the Indiana State softball team to a doubleheader sweep in its home opener Wednesday at Price Field.

    March 19, 2014 3 Photos

  • ISU2.jpg Sycamores eliminated from NIT by Razorbacks

    Arkansas ended ISU’s men’s basketball season with a 91-71 victory in the National Invitation Tournament.

    March 19, 2014 2 Photos 1 Link

  • ISU women's basketball team upbeat getting ready for Marquette

    The disposition of the Indiana State women’s basketball team was upbeat Tuesday as the Sycamores prepare for a WNIT showdown with Marquette on Thursday in Hulman Center.
    Two days off after returning from St. Charles, Mo., where top-seeded ISU was upset by fifth-seeded Drake, ISU coach Teri Moren prepared her team to get a postseason victory.

    March 19, 2014

  • SPT031714odum run.jpg A rapid pace: Arkansas style presents challenge for Sycamores

    Jake Odum has started at point guard for four years at Indiana State. He can claim as much as any Sycamore — past or present — that he’s seen it all. But even Odum hasn’t seen a team attack the game and attack their opponent quite like Arkansas does.

    March 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • ISU women to host Marquette on Thursday in WNIT

    Indiana State’s women’s basketball team will host Marquette on Thursday in the Women’s National Invitation Tournament, the Sycamores learned late Monday night.

    March 18, 2014

Latest News Poll
AP Video
Crew Criticized Over Handling of Ferry Disaster New York Auto Show Highlights Latest in Car Tech Malaysia Plane: Ocean Floor Images 'Very Clear' Captain of Sunken South Korean Ferry Apologizes Raw: Bulgarian Monastery Dyes 5000 Easter Eggs Diplomats Reach Deal to Ease Tensions in Ukraine Agreement Reached to Calm Ukraine Tensions Passengers Abuzz After Plane Hits Swarm of Bees Flamingo Frenzy Ahead of Zoo Construction Obama Hopeful on Ukraine, Will Watch Russians Sparks Fly With Derulo and Jordin on New Album Raw: Two Lucky Kids Get Ride in Popemobile Raw: Royal Couple Visits Australia Mountains Raw: Pope Francis Performs Pre-easter Ritual Chelsea Clinton Is Pregnant Raw: Pro-Russian Militants Killed on Base New York Auto Show Highlights Latest in Car Tech Raw: Blast at Tennessee Ammunition Plant Kills 1 U.S. Sending Nonlethal Aid to Ukraine Military Miley Cyrus Still in Hospital, Cancels 2nd Show
NDN Video
Man Accuses 'X-Men' Director Bryan Singer of Sexually Abusing Him As a Teenager Lea Michele & Naya Rivera Feuding? Don't Be A Tattletale: Bad Bullying Tips For Students Jabari Parker declares for the NBA draft Singing Nun Belts Out Cyndi Lauper Swim Daily, Throwback Thursday The trillest thoughts on marijuana "RHOA" Star Charged With Battery Grizzly Bears Get Snowy Birthday Party Weatherman draws forecast when another technical glitch strikes WGN Elizabeth Olsen's Sexy Shoot Bay Area Teen Gets Prom Date With Help From 'Breaking Bad' Star Boston Bomb Scare Defendant Appears in Court Behind The Tanlines Jersey Strong Part 1 WATCH: Women Fight To Marry Prince Harry! Jenny McCarthy Engaged to "New Kid" Kate and Will Land in Oz O’Reilly Launches Preemptive Strike Against CBS Pixar Unveils Easter Eggs From its Biggest Movies Baby Sloths Squeak for Their Cuddle Partners in Adorable Video

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
  • -


    March 12, 2010