TERRE HAUTE —
Indiana State women’s basketball coach Teri Moren believes her team has turned a corner.
Her opinion is not entirely based on what she’s seen on the floor, though a 73-71 overtime win over Tennessee-Martin on Sunday that extended the Sycamores’ winning streak to five certainly gives evidence that the team is maturing.
It’s what Moren is seeing off-the-floor, notably, when the Sycamores are huddled for a timeout.
“It’s been fun to watch the growth, primarily during the timeouts. In the past, I feel like I’ve been the once to convince them they can get back in the game or win the game,” Moren said. “I don’t have to do that anymore. This group bands together and the only thing that’s brought up in that timeout is how they’re going to win it.”
ISU plays host to Chicago State at 7 p.m. tonight at Hulman Center, the last home game the Sycamores will play until Missouri Valley Conference play begins next month.
Moren thought the Sycamores crossed a threshold when they lost 71-67 to IUPUI on Nov. 20. The sting from the loss — ISU had 29 turnovers and lost after leading the game — was something the team did not want to repeat. The lessons were applied in ISU’s next game, a 48-46 win at Saint Louis on Nov. 28.
“As disappointed as we were with the IUPUI loss, a game where we were ahead and found a way we lost, we went to Saint Louis and found ourselves in the same situation,” Moren explained.
“We lost that lead, but the lessons we learned from IUPUI were about composure and poise. Those are things that were actively discussed in the timeout. Let’s learn and apply those lessons right here. We came away with the win and I think that was the beginning with this group with their fight and determination,” she added.
ISU (7-2) showed the same determination against Tennessee-Martin. Up 15 at one point, the Skyhawks wiped out ISU’s lead, but the Sycamores had the gumption to win in overtime.
It’s a short turnaround to play the 1-9 Cougars, but it’s nothing ISU doesn’t face when playing in the MVC. The women’s schedule usually plays out as two games in three days.
“You worry with a short turnaround, but this is a group that has enjoyed playing together. They have a ton of enthusiasm and energy right now,” Moren said.
ISU is riding high on the scoring of guard Anna Munn, who averaged 24 points in ISU’s last two games. She was rewarded for her production as she earned the MVC’s Player of the Week honor.
“She’s had a couple of really good games in the past and began to scratch my head as to what she needed to do to be Player of the Week. She had 23 and 25, both career-highs. She deserves it and I would hope this isn’t the only one she’ll get throughout the year,” Moren said.
Chicago State at Indiana State
Tipoff — 7:05 p.m. in Hulman Center.
Broadcasts — Radio: WIBQ-FM 98.5; fans can also watch live online at GoSycamores.com through SycamoreVision with a premium subscription.
Last time out — On Sunday, Indiana State won 73-71 in overtime at Tennessee-Martin and Chicago State lost a home game to Miami of Ohio 71-37.
Series — ISU leads 3-0, including a 67-59 victory last season at Chicago State; the Cougars competed in the postseason WBI last year.
Chicago State Cougars (1-9) — Possible starters are 5-5 sophomore Jackie Jones (6.5 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 3.6 apg), 5-7 sophomore Tierra Williams (9.2 ppg) at guards with 6-0 sophomore Paris Williams (5.7 ppg), 6-2 freshman Layne Murphy (5.5 ppg, 6 rpg) and 6-2 freshman April Watson (2.9 ppg, 3.8 rpg) up front. Other Cougars expected to play are 5-8 senior Jazzmyn Harvey (4.9 ppg), 6-0 freshman Jasmine Collins (6.1 ppg), 6-2 freshman Nia-Taylor Clark (3.6 ppg, 3.9 rpg), 5-5 senior Caneka Davis (1.6 ppg), 6-3 sophomore Chanel Wilson-Stewart (1 ppg) and 5-4 freshman Jasmine Sanders (0.7 ppg).
Coach — Angela Jackson (117-159 in 10th season at CSU).
Indiana State Sycamores (7-2) — Probable starters are 6-1 sophomore Racheal Mahan (12.6 ppg, 9.1 rpg) up front with four guards: 5-9 senior Taylor Whitley (9.6 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 3.6 apg), 5-10 junior Anna Munn (17.3 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 2.1 apg), 5-9 sophomore Jessica Valley (2.9 ppg, 6 rpg, 1.6 apg) and 5-8 freshman Kasey Johnson (3.8 ppg, 1.4 rpg, 2 apg). Key reserves are 5-9 sophomore Natasha Zurek (3.2 ppg, 2 rpg, 2.3 apg), 5-9 sophomore Travecia Franklin (2.9 ppg, 2.1 rpg) and 6-2 freshman Marina Laramie (6 ppg, 3.2 rpg).
Coach — Teri Moren (38-34 in third season at ISU, 168-107 overall).
Next games — ISU plays Saturday at Butler and Chicago State plays Saturday at Loyola.