ST. CHARLES, MO. — The definition of progress is “development or growth” or “steady improvement.”
That’s exactly what Teri Moren and her staff accomplished in her third season as Indiana State’s women’s basketball coach.
It’s gratifying to listen to Moren talk about some of the individual growth, but she also deserved to speak about the progress she has led the program to in her three years.
“We have. I don’t think there’s any doubt about it,” Moren said. “We lose three 1,000 point scorers … and we’re playing with one senior, one junior and then sophomores and freshmen. I would say 18 wins, 10-8 [Missouri Valley record], the 5th seed in the Valley, a very difficult league, is making some strides.”
The Sycamores improved during the season as well, overcoming the loss of injured starter Jessica Valley thanks to contributions from several young players. ISU picked up at least one victory on each of its MVC road trips this season, a positive step as Moren’s teams struggled to get road wins in her first two years.
After every loss this season, the Sycamores have been eager to redeem themselves. Friday’s 71-60 defeat to a quality Northern Iowa team led by one of the Valley’s all-time greats (Jacqui Kalin) was no different.
Taylor Whitley talked about the desire to play a few more games with this team. For good reason. It’s a hard-working team that is committed to winning.
It may be the best defensive team the program has ever had, and its togetherness and toughness at that end is memorable.
The Sycamores have to find that same cohesiveness offensively.
Freshman Kasey Johnson provided big energy Friday during ISU’s run — and many other times during the season — but she has to have confidence in her shot. Natasha Zurek and Travecia Franklin are a big reason for the team’s success on defense, but they, too, must improve their shooting.