ISU women welcome UNI to Hulman Center

KARLI RUCKER

The Indiana State women’s basketball team has another busy Thursday/Saturday game weekend ahead — at least they’re at home this time — when Northern Iowa and Drake visit Hulman Center.

Thursday’s PINK game will tip off at 7 p.m., while Saturday’s Alumni Day contest will get started at 2 p.m.

On the road last week, coach Vicki Hall’s youthful Sycamores lost to Loyola 65-55 and Valparaiso 61-45, dropping their records to 3-20 overall and 1-10 in the Missouri Valley Conference.

This week’s opponents don’t get any easier.

UNI is 14-8 and 6-5 (tied for fourth in the MVC standings) respectively. When these squads squared off Jan. 19 in Cedar Falls, Iowa, the Panthers handed ISU a 73-43 setback.

UNI’s leading scorer is 5-foot-6 junior guard Karli Rucker, who averages 13.0 points per game, although she was held to three points by Indiana State last month. But four of her teammates made up for it by scoring in double figures against the Sycamores.

No ISU players scored in double figures in that game. The Sycamores’ usual leading scorer is 6-1 junior forward Jamyra McChristine, who tallies 9.8 ppg.

Drake, which visits MVC last-place Evansville on Thursday, currently owns records of 16-7 and 8-3 (third place in the conference). Only Missouri State (10-1) and Bradley (8-2) rank higher than the Bulldogs in the standings.

Drake, coached by Jennie Baranczyk, will bring two formidable offensive players — 6-0 senior guard Becca Hittner (18.5 ppg) and 6-1 senior forward Sara Rhine (17.8 ppg). Rhine also averages a team-high 7.3 rebounds per contest, while Hittner has connected on 53 shots from 3-point range.

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