No one knew quite what to expect from the Indiana State women's basketball team as it debuted with an all-new roster Thursday night at Kansas.
The Sycamores demonstrated that they will be respectable right out of the chute. ISU went to Kansas and were within a possession of the Big 12 team for much of the second half before the Jayhawks pulled away late for an 84-72 victory.
Marie Hunter led the Sycamores with 18 points. LeAndra Echi added 12 points and Caitlin Anderson had 11. ISU shot 40.8 percent from the field, but the Jayhawks managed to drain 52.8 percent of their shots. Holly Kersgeiter led the Jayhawks with 24 points.
ISU coach Vicki Hall played close to the vest as far as her starters were concerned going into the game, but the starting five for ISU were Hunter, Echi, Hattie Westerfeld, Jamrya McChrstine and Del'Janae Williams. Nine Sycamores played at least 10 minutes, led by 29 minutes for Sommer Pitzer.
ISU trailed 43-36 at halftime, but used an 11-1 run to take a 45-44 lead early in the third quarter. ISU would lead twice more (the Sycamores led the game for 5 minutes, 45 seconds of game-time overall) and tie the game three times before Kansas edged to a 59-55 lead by the end of the third period. ISU got within one point on three different occasions in the final quarter, but Kansas finished the game with a 16-5 rally to pull away.
Foul trouble plagued the Sycamores as three players fouled out and three more had four fouls.
ISU (0-1) next plays at Eastern Illinois on Sunday.