We couldn’t help but notice something strange when the Women’s NCAA Tournament Committee released its “last 8 under consideration” a couple weeks ago. Despite sweeping the home and home series with Purdue, and having a higher RPI and strength of schedule than the Boilers, Indiana was left out of the “last 8” while Purdue was included.
For two teams that clearly had similar NCAA tournament profiles, the season sweep should have been enough to put the Hoosiers ahead of Purdue. Indiana controlled both games and was clearly the better of the two teams this year. The NCAA oversight felt like a slight for the Hoosiers, and it looks like the Indiana women’s basketball team felt like they had something to prove as well.
In a game that felt similar to their January domination of Purdue in Bloomington, the Hoosiers (20-14) controlled Thursday night’s Women’s NIT Sweet 16 game against Purdue most of the way and cruised to a 73-51 victory. Before an impressive crowd of more than 5,500, IU used a 21-8 3rd quarter to put the game away. On the season, Indiana completed its first ever three-game season sweep of the Boilers.
— Indiana Women’s Basketball (@IndianaWBB) March 23, 2018
For the game Indiana shot 55% from the field and 9 for 9 from the stripe. Senior guard Tyra Buss led the way for IU with 24 points, 6 assists, 4 rebounds and 3 steals. Emerging freshman star Jaelynn Penn added 16 points on 7 of 11 shooting and added 5 rebounds.
The Hoosiers turned in another impressive defensive effort against Purdue. IU held the Boilers to 34% shooting and forced 15 turnovers.
IU head coach Teri Moren now owns a 5-3 record against her alma mater since taking over the Hoosier program prior to the 2014-15 season.
With the win Indiana has advanced to the Elite Eight round of the WNIT. The Hoosiers will face the winner of UC Davis and Kansas State at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall in Bloomington on Sunday at 2:00 PM ET.
With one more win IU will advance to the WNIT Final Four.
You can view the official WNIT bracket here.
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