After leaving Assembly Hall a total of three times so far, the Indiana women's basketball team now faces three straight road games as it looks to build upon its 10-0 start. The first game will be played just about an hour north, as the Hoosiers are set to take on IUPUI on Sunday, with a tip time of 2 p.m.
Coach Curt Miller said he was very pleased about going undefeated on his home court in his team's out-of-conference games, but that the true test starts at IUPUI. Indiana will be the only team in the Big Ten that has this long of a road trip throughout the season, having to spend the rest of December away from Bloomington.
The IUPUI Jaguars (7-3) come into the match up with only one blemish on their home court record, a 20-point loss to Big Ten opponent Purdue. In the rest of their home games, they have been putting up large scoring numbers, thanks to a balanced offensive attack that features seven players who average at least six points per game, led by DeAirra Goss, who averages 11.2 points per game.
In their last two games on the road, wins at Western Michigan and Indiana State, the Jags are averaging 73.5 points per game, and always try to be effective from long range. When the team hits at least six three pointers, it hasn't lost a game this season, but is an underwhelming 4-3 when it isn't hitting from deep. Nicole Rogers is the main threat, as she is shooting 40 percent from beyond the arc.
That isn't to say that IUPUI is a pushover on the defensive end. In fact, the Jaguars force teams into an average of 21.6 turnovers per game, led by Dee-Dee Bellamy, who is getting over two steals per game. The Hoosiers are currently leading the Big Ten in protecting the basketball, averaging just over 10 turnovers p34 game.
In a game that could turn into a barnburner, the hidden story will be how effective each team will be on defense. Both squads are only allowing opponents an average of 60.5 points per game, while scoring upwards of 70 themselves. The key for the Hoosiers is just to keep doing what they have been doing: limiting the 3-ball. While that may be the Jaguars strength, the Hoosiers have done a good job locking down teams from long range, only allowing 24.5 percent, good for first in the Big Ten.
The Hoosiers have not dropped a game in their series against the Jaguars, winning all four games the two teams have played. Should the trend continue and the Hoosiers win on Sunday, they will push their undefeated record to 11-0, which will match their win total from last season before conference play even begins.