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Similar Styles of Play Highlight IU vs. TCU WNIT Semifinal

Bendu Yeaney surveys the defense during a 2018 home game at Assembly Hall. The Hoosiers will look to get to the WNIT finals Wednesday night with a win over TCU. (Josh Eastern/HN)

When TCU and Indiana take the floor Wednesday night in a WNIT semifinal, the two teams will see a lot of similarities in their styles of play.

The Horned Frogs and Hoosiers both like to get up and down the floor and score a lot of points. But there are a few areas that IU coach Teri Moren said her team needs to key in on.

Taking care of the ball, not being hurried by a press and rebounding were three key areas of focus for Moren when the Horned Frogs and Hoosiers meet at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall.

“There’s about three different areas where we have to be really locked in and really be good,” Moren said.

Both the Horned Frogs and Hoosiers have are here because they have won four games in a row. Moren said it after Sunday’s win over UC Davis that any team has to be playing good basketball to be at this stage of a tournament. Luckily for the Hoosiers, they may have saved their best basketball for last.

But in order to get past TCU Wednesday, the Hoosiers will have to crash the boards. This season has been the best for TCU history in terms of rebounding defense. They are allowing just 36 rebounds per game, the lowest they’ve ever allowed per game in a single season.

That could be because the Horned Frogs have tall, athletic guards that can crash the boards. However, the Hoosiers have a versatile guard too. Freshman Bendu Yeaney could be a big factor.

“Just a tremendous amount of versatility, of just feeling very good about opposing teams and whatever their actions are from an offensive standpoint, that we have someone like Bendu, that if there’s someone really hurting us, she’s been the one defender,” Moren said. She’s special because she can go inside and guard a four and guard a five.”

Yeaney even embraces those challenges of going up against a taller player. She does the jump ball for the Hoosiers and doesn’t back down.

“It’s just fun to compete against someone that tall,” Yeaney said. “I can show that I’m physical enough to play against them. I’m a little bit shorter, but I can battle with them down there.”

TCU comes into Wednesday’s game averaging over 75 points per game. They can also shoot it well from outside at a 37 percent clip. The Hoosiers faced a tough shooting matchup Sunday against UC Davis, but held them in check aside from a decent third quarter.

If TCU gets the Hoosiers to bite on the three-pointers, they can hurt you with the dribble-drives. That’s another area that Moren said would be key Wednesday.

“They’re really fast guards coming down with the dribble,” Yeaney said. “We have to defend the paint.”

The Hoosiers will no doubt have their work cut out for them. It’s a TCU team that has won 23 games this season, including two wins over ranked teams and two straight road games.

But once again, the crowd will be on the side of the Hoosiers. Sunday saw over 6,000 fans pack Assembly Hall and IU wants that same atmosphere again. It’s a chance for the Hoosiers to be one step closer to a new banner.

“We set our sights that if we’re going to be in the WNIT, we want to win it,” Moren said. “You see the urgency. They’ve been ready to go.”

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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