TERRE HAUTE —
The final statistics Sunday afternoon showed visiting Wichita State with a 38-34 rebounding advantage over Indiana State in Missouri Valley Conference women’s basketball.
It seemed like a wider disparity than that to coach Teri Moren and the Sycamores themselves, after the Shockers spoiled Senior Day for Taylor Whitley and Andrea Rademacher by converting 15 offensive rebounds into 14 second-chance points during a 63-53 win.
“Our inability to rebound and the second-chance opportunities [that] Wichita got were just back-breakers,” Moren said after the game between the Valley’s two best defensive teams. “The energy you have to have to play back-to-back-to-back [defensive] possessions is incredible.”
“They’re a very athletic team,” Whitley said of the Shockers, all of whom seem to be 6-foot-1 quick jumpers. “They were getting second-chance points, and we can’t let that happen.”
ISU led 13-11 at the midpoint of the first half Sunday, but Wichita scored seven straight points while the Sycamores were scoreless for a three-minute stretch.
Six straight Sycamore points — a basket by Kasey Johnson, two free throws by Marina Laramie and a layup by Racheal Mahan set up by Kalliste Haskins’ post feed — had the home team back in the lead at 21-20; the score was tied at 26 after five straight Anna Munn points in the waning moments of the first half before Alex Harden of the Shockers scored — with an offensive rebound — with 47 seconds left before intermission.
It was 33-30 early in the second half when the Sycamores allowed Jasmine Jones to take an in-bounds pass and drive the length of the court for a three-point play, and that started a 7-0 run that gave the visitors a 10-point lead.
ISU’s best stretch of play came shortly afterward. A Whitley assist set up a three-point play by Munn. Whitley hit two free throws and got a steal that set up a driving layup by Natasha Zurek. A deflection by Johnson led to a basket by Mahan that cut the lead to 42-41.
The Sycamores failed on a possession to take the lead, and Wichita took advantage with seven straight points. ISU rallied again, an 8-2 run that included three points by Whitley, a basket by Laramie and a 3-pointer by Munn that cut the lead to 51-49, but ISU didn’t get another field goal until the last 20 seconds of the game.
“At 51-49, Wichita took their game to another level,” Moren said, “and it was a race against the clock at that point.”
Michaela Dapprich had a game-high 22 points, including four 3-pointers, and Harden had 16 points and six assists for the Shockers, who maintained their half-game conference lead despite the absence of injured point guard Jessica Diamond. Wichita shot just 39 percent against a rarely used zone defense by the Sycamores, but that wasn’t good enough for Moren.
“We didn’t get out to [Dapprich and Darice Fountaine, who had a pair of 3s] the way we needed,” she said. “We’re not crazy about a zone [although the Wichita matchup makes it a logical choice] … we pride ourselves in getting the 50-50 loose balls, and today we didn’t.”
Munn led ISU with 17 points, with Whitley scoring 13 and Laramie 10. Laramie scored all but two of hers after returning to the game after a first-half knee injury that had the fiery freshman helped off the court in tears.
“That was a little scary,” Moren said. “She was in a lot of pain … we’re going to need her down the stretch, so we’re thankful [the injury] wasn’t severe.”
Whitley and Rademacher said their tearful farewells after the game, both praised for the leadership and hard work by Moren live and by their teammates in a video presentation.
“Two fantastic kids,” Moren said later. “They’ve made such an impact here. When I came I said I wanted to change our culture to one of toughness and a workmanlike attitude, and those three [the seniors plus Munn] have been my gym rats.”
“It’s hard to put into words,” Whitley said. “It’s been an amazing journey, and an amazing four years.”
“It’s been a lot of fun,” Rademacher added. “T and I have been through it all … I’m definitely grateful and blessed.”
ISU’s regular season ends with two road games, the one Thursday at Northern Iowa likely to determine fourth and fifth places in the conference.
“We hope to get two wins on the road and get momentum for the [MVC postseason] tourney,” Whitley said.
WICHITA STATE (63) — Dapprich 8-13 2-2 22, Harden 7-15 2-2 16, Gordon 0-1 3-4 3, Jones 1-3 5-7 7, Fountaine 2-8 0-0 6, Turner 1-5 0-0 2, Price 0-4 3-6 3, Jacobs 2-5 0-0 4. Totals 21-54 FG, 15-21 FT, 63 TP.
INDIANA STATE (53) — Munn 6-17 3-3 17, Laramie 3-9 4-4 10, Mahan 4-5 0-0 8, Whitley 4-10 5-7 13, Franklin 0-2 1-2 1, Johnson 1-3 0-0 2, Zurek 1-4 0-2 2, Rademacher 0-0 0-0 0, Haskins 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 19-50 FG, 13-18 FT, 53 TP.
Halftime — WSU 28-26. 3-point shooting — WSU 6-20 (Dapprich 4-6, Fountaine 2-8, Jones 0-1, Turner 0-2, Harden 0-3), ISU 2-10 (Munn 2-8, Whitley 0-1, Johnson 0-1). Total fouls — WSU 18, ISU 16. Fouled out — Franklin. Turnovers — WSU 15, ISU 16. Rebounds — WSU 38 (Turner 8), ISU 34 (Mahan 6, Munn 5, Franklin 5, Whitley 4, Johnson 4, Laramie 3, Zurek, Rademacher, team 5). Assists — WSU 15 (Harden 6), ISU 12 (Munn 4, Whitley 3, Franklin 3, Laramie, Haskins). Steals — WSU 10 (Harden 2, Jones 2, Turner 2, Price 2), ISU 9 (Whitley 3, Munn 2, Johnson 2, Laramie, Zurek). Blocks — WSU 3 (Harden 2), ISU 2 (Laramie, Mahan). Att — 2,444.
Next — Indiana State (17-10, 9-7 MVC) plays Thursday at Northern Iowa. Wichita State (20-9, 14-3) completes its regular season Saturday at Missouri State.