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.
- Indiana State University
Sycamores dig down to beat Canisius, avoid sweep
Indiana State took control late in the game and avoided being swept in a weekend college baseball series for the first time this season as it defeated Canisius 8-4 Sunday.
ISU baseball drops second straight
Indiana State’s baseball team rallied late in the game but could not get in front as the Canisius Golden Griffins held off the Sycamores 5-4 Saturday.
ISU (24-12) will look to avoid being swept for the first time this season at noon EDT today when it plays the series finale against Canisius (22-13).
Driving to victory
College golf, Indiana State coach Greg Towne indicated Monday afternoon, is all about the process.
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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.
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ISU pushes run across in 9th to beat SIU — again
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Prusator gives ISU a shooter for 2015
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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.
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
‘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.
ISU committed to making Tonyan a key contributor
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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.
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Aces ride leadoff success to series win over ISU
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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.
Second shot: ISU women seeking better shooting, defense against Marquette in WNIT opener
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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.
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.
Sycamores eliminated from NIT by Razorbacks
Arkansas ended ISU’s men’s basketball season with a 91-71 victory in the National Invitation Tournament.
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.
- More Indiana State University Headlines
- Sycamores dig down to beat Canisius, avoid sweep