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Cahill’s Career-High Night Leads Indiana in Four Overtime Win

Indiana senior forward Amanda Cahill celebrates after the Hoosiers 111-109 four overtime win over Michigan State in the Big Ten tournament Thursday night. Cahill led Indiana with a career high 38 points. (Mark Timko/HN)

Among the chaos in the longest game in Big Ten Tournament history, one thing remained consistent from the opening tip all the way until the end of the fourth overtime: Indiana senior forward Amanda Cahill.

Cahill’s career high 38 points was the main factor in Indiana’s 111-109 four overtime win over Michigan State in the second round of the Big Ten tournament Thursday night.

Her and fellow senior Tyra Buss played all 60 minutes in the four-overtime affair. With Buss having an off night shooting (8-of-26, 2-of-9 3PT), IU head coach Teri Moren looked to Cahill in key moments down the stretch, and she delivered.

“That’s what seniors do and that’s what we expect them to do,” Moren said. “We’ve talked about their sense of urgency with the season winding down and she was really great tonight, and we needed her to be.”

Cahill already eclipsed her career high scoring 30 points at the end of regulation. Moren wanted the ball in her hands in crunch time and went to the senior at the end of three out of four overtimes.

A layup at the buzzer tied the game at 91 to end double overtime; she also made the eventual game winning free throws to go up two with under four seconds left in the fourth overtime.

For as important as Cahill was Friday night, she credited her teammates for making plays for the full 60 minutes as well.

“It was a big moment for us and I was really proud of my entire team cause everyone stepped up at different times,” Cahill said. “You just kind of have to tell yourself you’re not tired and just keep battling through. I think that’s when we did a really good job of leaning on each other because we were all going through it.”

A loss would have potentially ended the season for Indiana and closed the book on the careers of Cahill and Buss at IU. That served as extra motivation for the Hoosiers to pull out the win.

Freshman guard Jaelynn Penn called Cahill clutch postgame for her 38-point performance and praised her leadership.

“They’ve led us a lot so just to do it for them and fighting that fatigue as a team and staying together was big,” Penn said. “Every time you mess up, ‘B’ is always the first one to tell you that you’ve got to get it back or just always encouraging us. She’s a really good leader for our team, so she did really great things for us and it shows how good of a leader she is.”

Indiana needs a deep run in the Big Ten tournament to potentially make the NCAA tournament. Throughout all the emotions in the four overtime thriller, Cahill didn’t want her final game at Indiana to end with a loss.

“We’ve been talking a lot throughout the week of just making the season count the most,” Cahill said. “Four overtimes was pretty crazy, especially senior year and lots on the line for us, it was definitely emotional.”

The Hoosiers played an extra 20 minutes than expected Thursday night and now will have to turn around and play No. 2 Maryland Friday at 6:30 p.m.

Coach Moren knows her team is fatigued, but is confident that they will come out Friday night with a sense of urgency and extend the season another day.

“I think our kids are eager just for another opportunity to play with each other and be together and work together,” Moren said. “I think right now you have a happy group in here and I think you also have a fatigued group, but they’ll bounce back tomorrow.”

Zain Pyarali

I am a junior from Edwardsville, Illinois majoring in Sports Media. I formerly worked for the Indiana Daily Student for two years serving as the Sports Editor and beat reporters for Men’s Basketball, Men’s Soccer, Baseball and Field Hockey during my time with the student newspaper. Currently I am the Men’s Basketball beat reporter for IU Student Television while I also broadcast games for BTN Student U. Email me: zpyarali@thehoosiernetwork.com and follow me on Twitter: @ZainPyarali

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