News From Terre Haute, Indiana

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November 3, 2013

Newcomers spark Indiana State women's team in exhibition win

TERRE HAUTE — Four women made their debut in Hulman Center for Indiana State’s lone women’s basketball exhibition game.

The quartet showed that the Sycamores are a deeper and more talented squad in 2013 as Indiana State defeated the University of Indianapolis by a score of 61-36 on Saturday.

Junior College transfer Lashonda Littleton made an impact early in the game, scoring seven of the Sycamores’ first 16 points. The 6-foot forward finished with nine points, a team-high eight rebounds as well as three assists and three steals.

Memphis transfer Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir was solid for ISU at point guard, knocking down a pair of 3-pointers and making three of the Sycamores’ 11 steals.

She tied with Anna Munn, who did all her scoring in the first half, and Marina Laramie with 10 points on the day.

“We got all our jitters out under bright lights,” Abdul-Qaadir said. “A good amount of fans here for an exhibition game, that’s exciting. I think we did pretty well. Our defense, we were talking. I think we did pretty well, we kept [Indianapolis] under our scoring goal.”

Both players were starters in their debut, and the new point guard was impressed by her fellow newcomer to the lineup.

“Shonda is great,” Abdul-Qaadir said. “She’s agile, she’s tall, she can dribble and she can shoot. I like her in the middle of that zone. She’s going to hit those shots. She came in, getting offensive rebounds and that’s what we need.”

With a big size advantage, coach Teri Moren’s s squad won the rebounding battle just 39-33, grabbing 16 offensive rebounds. Littleton had a team-best four offensive boards.

“Lashonda was certainly a bright spot in the first half. You can play her at the 3, you can play her at the 4, and right now we need her at the 4 more than we need her at the 3,” said coach Teri Moren. “But clearly we were bigger than Indianapolis today, we’ll run up against teams that are our size that we’re going to have to box out and pursue the ball. I want to win the battle on the boards.”

Indianapolis came out of halftime with a 4-0 run — forcing Moren to call a timeout two minutes into the half — and Indiana State went scoreless until Abdul-Qaadir’s 3-pointer with 15:46 on the clock.

“We got off to a rough start in the first five minutes of the second half, which I wasn’t happy about,” Moren said.

Jasmine Grier came off the bench to make an impact as well. Grier got out in the passing lane for two steals, converting one for a layup and hitting a baseline jump shot.

The only true freshman, Rhagen Smith of Sullivan, chipped in with six second-half points.

Overall, the Sycamores shot 37.9 percent from the field after knocking down 14-of-30 from the field in the final 20 minutes. Marina Laramie chipped in eight of her 10 points in the second half.

The Sycamores forced 12 turnovers in the first half to make up for 28.6-percent shooting .

Munn connected on her first 3-pointer seven minutes into the action after ISU's crisp ball movement against the Indianapolis zone defense. Munn scored all 10 of her points in the first half.

Abdul Qaadir also played well in the first half with five points, three rebounds and a steal. She hit a 3-pointer with 1:40 before halftime that was the last score of the first half. The Sycamores held the Greyhounds to 4-of-18 shooting in the first half.

Indiana State plays host to South Alabama at 5 p.m. Saturday in the regular-season opener.

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