Indiana girls don't miss Miss Basketball

mfields@herald-leader.comJune 15, 2013 

INDIANAPOLIS — When the Indiana All-Stars lost Stephanie Mavunga, their Miss Basketball, to a knee injury three minutes into Friday night's clash with Kentucky in Freedom Hall, it took them most of the game to adjust.

They eventually did, and rallied from a 17-point deficit to push Kentucky to the wire before falling 84-78.

In Saturday night's rematch in Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indiana was well-adjusted from the opening tip without Mavunga, and rolled to a 100-86 victory.

"We were a different team tonight," Indiana Coach Mark Hurt said. "I expected us to play like that last night."

After Kentucky's pressure defense and perimeter players dominated the first game, Indiana's inside players were the big story Saturday.

Bridget Perry, a 6-foot-2 Purdue signee, had 23 points and seven rebounds. Taya Reimer, a 6-3 Notre Dame signee, had 19 points and 10 rebounds.

Also providing a post presence were 6-4 Rhagen Smith (Indiana State) and 6-4 Jenn Anderson (Indiana). They combined for 19 points and eight rebounds.

Ariana Simmons ran the show for the Hoosiers. She contributed 14 points and six assists.

Kentucky Coach Chris Souder thought the key to Indiana's success was that it handled Kentucky's toe-to-toe pressure defense better. Indiana was able to get the ball up the court and into the hands of its inside players.

The Hoosiers had 19 turnovers in the first half Friday night. They only had eight in the first half in the rematch as they took control.

"They did a better job using their strength and size advantage on us," Souder said. "I was proud of the way our kids battled. I think they got a little fatigued.

"Going against a big team like Indiana, you're gonna take your bruises, and it's tough coming back a second night against a team that big and strong."

Makayla Epps, Kentucky's Miss Basketball, agreed.

"It's rough going against them again 24 hours later.

"We took it to them last night. They brought it to us tonight."

Epps, a UK signee, led Kentucky with 23 points, five rebounds and four assists.

Larryn Brooks, who is headed to IU, had 19 points and four assists. China Dow, who's bound for Middle Tennessee, had 17 points and eight rebounds.

Murray State signee Taylor Porter added 13 points, including three three-pointers.

Ashton Feldhaus, who hit six threes and had 20 points in Friday's win, did not take a shot in 26 minutes Saturday.

Souder said it was a combination of Indiana's defense shading Feldhaus, and other players stepping up.

Hurt said his team "did a better job being aware of Feldhaus" after she torched them in the first game.

Indiana, winning for only the second time in the last seven games, built a 22-point lead midway through the second half before Kentucky racheted up the pressure and rallied.

Kentucky cut the deficit to 84-77 before the hosts went on a 12-2 run to kill the comeback.

Indiana, which scored 100 points for the first time since 2009, now leads the series 41-35.

INDIANA 100, KENTUCKY 86

KENTUCKY — Makayla Epps 6-10 9-12 23, Larryn Brooks 4-12 8-8 19, China Dow 7-25 2-3 17, Taylor Porter 5-9 0-0 13, Kyvin Goodin-Rogers 2-10 0-0 5, Jessica Hardin 1-2 0-2 3, Whitney Hartlage 0-1 2-2 2, Michaela Hunter 1-2 0-2 2, Beth Rates 1-1 0-0 2, Logan Powell 0-2 0-0 0, Ashton Feldhaus 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 27-74 21-29 86.

INDIANA — Bridget Perry 8-18 6-6 23, Taya Reimer 8-9 3-3 19, Ariana Simmons 4-12 6-6 14, Rhagen Smith 5-9 0-0 11, Jenn Anderson 4-5 0-0 8, Jill Morrison 2-7 1-2 7, Dakota Weatherford 1-1 3-4 5, Ally Lehman 2-5 0-0 5; Caitlyn Tolen 0-2 4-4 4, Andrijana Cvitkovic 1-2 0-0 2, Katie Curtis 0-0 1-2 1, Taylor Lutz 0-0 1-2 1, Celeste Edwards 0-4 0-2 0. Totals 35-74 25-31 100.

Kentucky 32 54— 86

Indiana 38 62—100

Three-point goals—Kentucky 11-32 (Porter 3-5, Brooks 3-8, Epps 2-3, Dow 1-6, Hardin 1-2, Goodin-Rogers 1-6; Powell 0-1; Hartlage 0-1), Indiana 5-18 (Morrison 2-5, Smith 1-1, Perry 1-3, Lehman 1-2, Tolen 0-1, Edwards 0-2, Simmons 0-4). Fouled out—Indiana, Weatherford. Rebounds—Kentucky 42 (Dow 8), Indiana 50 (Reimer 10). Assists—Kentucky 14 (Epps 4, Brooks 4), Indiana 24 (Simmons 6). Total fouls—Kentucky 20, Indiana 16. Technical fouls—None. A—n/a.

Mike Fields: (859) 231-3337. Twitter: @MikeFieldsNotes. Blog: fieldsnotes.bloginky.com.

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