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Buss and Cahill Lead Indiana to Win and WNIT Semifinal Berth

Tyra Buss and Keyanna Warthen congratulate each other after Indiana’s 81-66 win over UC Davis. The Hoosiers advanced to the WNIT semifinals with the win. (Mark Timko/HN)

Who else would it be but senior Tyra Buss to lead Indiana to victory in the WNIT quarterfinals?

The legend of Buss continued for another game and kept growing Sunday as she led the Hoosiers with 30 points. Her and fellow senior Amanda Cahill combined for 54 points as the Hoosiers raced past the UC Davis Aggies, 81-66.

The next loss will end the career of Buss and Cahill. That may sit in the back of their minds, but they didn’t let it happen Sunday in front of the biggest women’s basketball crowd at Assembly Hall since 2008.

“It really makes us appreciate it,” Cahill said. “Especially the fans. We’ve had some great turnouts the last couple games and we’re very appreciative of how awesome everyone’s support is.”

Coming into Sunday, UC Davis had traveled nearly 7,000 miles en route to its WNIT games. The Aggies came straight from Kansas State where they won on Friday. They got into Bloomington Saturday night via a layover in Atlanta.

But once the game started, the Aggies took control. They led 10-5 early on. But in the next 15 minutes until halftime, the Hoosiers took off. IU took a 20-point lead into halftime, but UC Davis was able to cut it down to nine points out of the break.

“We got off to a slow start,” IU coach Teri Moren said. “We never hit the panic button with this group, but when you have two kids like Tyra and Amanda Cahill on the floor, sooner or later they figure it out how to regain the momentum.”

They did figure it out and the Hoosiers coasted from there. After the Aggies cut it to nine, they never got it back to single digits. Led by Buss, the Hoosiers coasted in the fourth quarter. UC Davis could never come up with a big enough run to really make it a game.

The Aggies were led all season long by Morgan Bertsch. The post player came into Sunday’s matchup averaging 28 points in the WNIT. However, the Hoosiers were able to hold the All-Big West first team player to just 13 points. UC Davis also shot just under 43 percent from the field.

“We were trying to be physical with her,” Moren said. “We knew she was going to be able to score, we watched enough film to know that whether you’re her size, bigger, heavier, it doesn’t matter. She’s very skilled… she doesn’t shoot over you, she shoots around you and underneath you.”

Once again, the Indiana defense came to play. They forced deflections and got run-outs and those two things turned into easy points as the Hoosiers outscored the Aggies 36-18 in the paint.

The Hoosiers now await the winner of South Dakota and TCU in a round of a tournament this group hasn’t seen yet at Indiana. They are the last remaining Big Ten team and it’s a chance to hang a banner for this program.

It might also be a chance for Buss to sign more autographs after a game. It’s something she says she loves to do.

“That’s one of the best things about here is that we get to interact with the younger kids on the floor after the games,” Buss said. “Having kids come up to you and say that I’m your role model really means a lot to us.”

Josh Eastern

I am a junior from Seattle, Washington majoring in Media. I am formerly of the Indiana Daily Student where I covered Indiana men’s soccer team and women’s basketball. You still can find me broadcasting for WIUX Student Radio and on BTN Student U outside of The Hoosier Network. Former intern at 710 ESPN Seattle and broadcaster for the Falmouth Commodores. Email: jeastern@thehoosiernetwork.com. Follow me on Twitter: @JoshEastern.

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