Hoosiers sink free throws, Wolverines in overtime
One key stat line differentiated the Indiana and Michigan women’s basketball teams in the Hoosiers’ 77-69 overtime win on Sunday.
The Hoosiers (1-1 Big Ten, 9-5 overall) went 32-for-42 from the free throw line, and the Wolverines (0-2 Big Ten, 8-5 overall) went 8-for-18. After four quarters of back-and-forth basketball, there was overtime in Bloomington, and 12 of Indiana’s 16 overtime points came from the line.
Led by a near double-double from forward Amanda Cahill (19 points, nine rebounds, four blocks, two assists), the Hoosiers rallied back from what was a nine-point deficit in the fourth quarter.
“We were up six or eight, and then we were not able to score again for a long period of time,” said Michigan coach Kim Barnes Arico on the team radio broadcast. “They scored, we gave up some and-1s, we gave up some offensive rebounds and they got the momentum.”
Three of Cahill’s blocks came in overtime. She dominated in the paint against Michigan’s star freshman center Hallie Thome.
Indiana guard Tyra Buss scored the Hoosiers’ final four points in regulation with two free throws and a layup. Buss pushed Indiana ahead for three-point lead, but with 28 seconds to go, Michigan sophomore guard Katelynn Flaherty drilled an off-balance 3-pointer that tied the game.
Flaherty — Michigan’s leading scorer — and Buss were both quiet in the first half, combining for fewer than 10 points, but the two guards ended the game with 20 and 18 points, respectively.
Shooting 76.3 percent from the line was Indiana’s best weapon, and the team took advantage of the bonus late in the game. Indiana’s win marks its first against Michigan since 2010, a stretch that has seen the Hoosiers lose 10 games.
The Wolverines’ loss is the third of a three-game losing streak, and they are still looking for their first win in the Big Ten after falling to Purdue on Thursday, continuing what has been a rough holiday season.
For one quarter, Michigan played like the group that lost to Purdue. For the other three, it played like the team that began the 2015-16 season with seven straight wins.
But the entire time, it stayed close with Indiana. Though, if the Hoosiers watched Michigan lose its Big Ten opener to Purdue, they knew exactly how to slow down the Wolverines.
They didn’t let Michigan — one of the highest scoring offenses in the nation — get ahead early. They forced Thome to foul and made the Wolverines’ outside shooters to find other ways to score.
Michigan had just 12 points in the first quarter, and Thome had two fouls within a minute of play. The Wolverines shot below 50 percent from beyond the arc but still hit seven 3-pointers, which kept them in the game.
“(Thome) sure didn’t recover too much (from the early fouls),” Barnes Arico said.
Indiana’s game plan worked, and the Hoosiers consistent free throw efforts proved them the better team Sunday.