After a remarkable shooting night from Villanova, the Indiana Women’s Basketball team saw its season come to an end in a 69-57 loss in the WNIT quarterfinals.
Although losing is obviously never a good thing, it was hard to leave this final game without a smile.
Teri Moren and the Indiana Women’s basketball program have been building something special over the past three years, and this season was only another stepping stone in that progress. Playing in front of a season-high 4,770 fans for a chance at the final four of the WNIT ultimately signifies that.
In the game junior guard Tyra Buss scored 21 points and grabbed eight rebounds, three assists and three steals. She received help from senior guard Amber Deane and junior forward Amanda Cahill as both scored in double digits.
Ultimately, the Hoosier just had an off night from the field. Villanova had 11 made threes while Indiana only made 38 percent of its shots on the night. This effort wasn’t enough to pull out a victory, but it can’t distract you from all that the Hoosiers have done this season.
This season, Indiana captured the most wins (23) and scored the most points (2,547) in a single season in program history. The team also set a program record for home wins with 15.
Overall, the team finished the regular season at fourth in the Big Ten with a 10-6 conference record, and with the talent level of various teams in the Big Ten, this was no small task. In fact, it’s probably an achievement that Teri Moren couldn’t have even imagined when taking the job three years ago.
Moren also probably couldn’t foresee the sophomores in which she inherited, becoming the most prolific class in program history.
The senior class of Jenn Anderson, Karlee McBride and Alexis Gassion established a program record for any four-year class with 80 wins at Indiana. In the grand scheme of things, that’s remarkable and only indicative of the quick progress that this program has made under Teri Moren.
This season was remarkably similar to last season, as Indiana found itself on the bubble of the NCAA Tournament thanks to strong performances at the end of conference play. This year, the Hoosiers ended the season winning five out of their last six, and just barely missed the NCAA Tournament. For a program that has only made the NCAA tournament five times, this is important.
Looking at the individuals on this team, the leaders of the program seemingly only got better this year.
Tyra Buss became the first player in program history to score 600 points in back-to-back seasons. Buss finished this season with 619 points, which is just one point shy of the 620 points she scored last year.
Buss also now has 1,601 career points, which is eighth in school history. With only 316 points separating her from Denise Jackson’s 1,917 points, Buss should become the program’s leading scorer some time next year.
Buss also found herself with an abundance of honors this season, which is a rarity for the program. Buss was selected to the WBCA All-Region 4 team, named to the All-Big Ten First Team, and she found herself on the Naismith Preseason Top 50 and Wade Trophy watch list this season.
Alongside Buss, Amanda Cahill continued to flourish in her junior year. Cahill finished the year averaging 14.8 points and 8.8 rebounds a game. She finished the year with 12 double-doubles and now has 1,321 career points. This leaves her at 14th on the Hoosiers all-time scoring list.
Cahill also became the fifth player in program history to have 1,300 points and 800 rebounds.
Overall, the Hoosiers finished off another incredible season. With a top-25 recruiting class coming in, and Tyra Buss and Amanda Cahill in their senior seasons, next season could be the next big step in Teri Moren’s program.
If the Hoosiers can find a way to replace the defensive production of Alexis Gassion, then the team should be on a path to not only making the NCAA Tournament, but also grabbing a few wins while they are there.