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Hoosiers Outlast TCU: Advance to the WNIT Championship

Tyra Buss, Amanda Cahill and the rest of the Indiana women’s basketball team live to see one final game with a 71-58 win over TCU in the WNIT semifinals.

58 points. That’s from a TCU team that averaged over 81 points per game in its four WNIT games, and over 75 on the season. The Horned Frogs shot 23-of-66 from the floor (34.8-percent). They were shooting 54 percent in the tournament heading into tonights matchup.

Indiana’s defense has continued to improve as the season has progressed. IU coach Teri Moren took a page out of Archie Miller’s playbook, implementing the pack line defense against a much taller TCU squad. TCU had four starters standing over 6 feet and three others coming off the bench.

6-foot-3 center Jordan Moore was averaging 17.8 points per game in the tournament heading into Wednesday’s matchup; shooting 30-of-35 (86-percent) from the floor. Indiana’s defense held her to 3-of-12 from the floor and just six points.

“We’re not winning these games because of Tyra and B alone,” Moren said. “We’re winning these games because we have a great supporting cast, and we’re defending.”

It wasn’t the cleanest game Indiana has played this season, as the Hoosiers ended the game with 16 turnovers. However, Indiana handled TCU’s press much better than they had earlier in the season, most notably a 65-53 loss against Auburn, who pressed throughout the game.

“We say every now and again ‘we can’t get Auburned.’ What an experience that was for our young kids that had never seen a press quite like it,” Moren said, “You look back and you think about that moment to where we were and where we are now and how we handled ourselves tonight completely different, and that’s just growth.”

The Hoosiers won their 10th straight home game and fifth straight in the WNIT in front of 7,815 fans. That number ranks fourth on Indiana’s attendance list since 1997-98, when records became available.

The 7,815 included the IU softball and men’s basketball teams as well as University President Michael McRobbie. At times, the crowd was so loud they couldn’t hear each other, an atmosphere the Hoosiers hadn’t played in all season.

The loudest cheer, however, may have come after public address announcer Chuck Crabb announced that Virginia Tech would be coming to Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall Saturday afternoon.

“When we first ran out, it kinda gave me chills a little bit,” Cahill said, “It’s just really special seeing all the support around Bloomington.”

Now the attention shifts to winning a championship. The Hoosiers have been taking the WNIT one game at a time. Now, 40 minutes is all that separates Indiana from hanging a banner as 2018 WNIT Champions.

“We’ve always talked about winning championships here,” Moren said, “As I’ve said before, championships come in a lot of different varieties of ways. And we have a chance to win a championship on Saturday.”

5,564 fans were in attendance for the third-round matchup against Purdue. 6,001 were in attendance for the quarterfinal tilt with UC-Davis. 7,815 were there Wednesday to watch IU advance to the championship. The record for an IU women’s game is 10,002 in 2004. Coach Moren expects that and more on Saturday.

“Now the goal becomes, 2004 we had 10,000 people. 2018 we need to have 12,000 people.”

Austin Render

I am a sophomore from Fort Wayne, Indiana majoring in Sports Media. Last year I worked with IUSTV Sports doing recap and feature packages for IU field hockey, women's basketball and baseball. I am one of the current WIUX Co-Sports Directors. I am a student broadcaster for WIUX as well as Big Ten Network Student U. You can reach me at austinrender99@gmail.com and you can follow me on Twitter @austinrender.

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