December 12, 2011

SPORTS: Women's Basketball Falls Short Of Upset Bid

by Michael Hadley

Kerah Nelson's last ditch attempt against instate foe Indiana University would glance harmlessly off the backboard as IUPUI fell to the Hoosiers 65-64 in The Jungle on Sunday afternoon.

Sasha Chaplin's two free throws with four seconds remaining helped seal the game for Indiana (3-6). Her attempts came immediately following Andrea Newbauer's two missed free throws just seconds before. On Newbauer's second miss, Chaplin was able to fend off two IUPUI players before being fouled immediately. Nelson would go the length of the court in the remaining four seconds but her shot bounced wildly off the square and fell on the opposite side of the basket.

“Our ladies came out and were ready to go from the start, which for the last couple of games hasn’t been the case,” said head coach Austin Parkinson following the game. “[We] expected to win and there are no moral victories here. We wanted to win the game and we thought we were going to win the game, but IU made plays down the stretch that allowed them to get the victory.”

IUPUI led the majority of the first half, using quick defense and intense pressure to force IU turnovers. The Jaguars lead by four, but hot-shooting Jasmine McGhee kept the Hoosiers in it. IU took their first lead after the second media timeout, going up 14-13 before Dawn Luster scored on a floater in the lane to put IUPUI back on top.

Following Luster's free throw a moment later which tied the game at 16-a piece, Indiana went on a 22-11 run into the beginning of the second half. 

But IUPUI would not be deterred.

The Jaguars stormed back, using a flurry of free throws and transition buckets to claw their way back into the game. Each media timeout saw IUPUI inch ever closer, trailing by 10 at 15:35, four at 11:47, and eventually tying the game immediately following the under-eight timeout with two Nelson free throws.

From there, the game would surge ahead for both teams. After Nelson hit two more free throws, freshman Nevena Markovic came up with a huge block with less than two minutes to go.

But the rim would be unkind to IUPUI. 

After Katie Comello had already seen all eight of her misses shots bounce off of the iron, DeeDee Bellamy had two transition layups spin around and out. But the most devastating would be Nelson's layup with the Jaguars leading 62-61 that spun around and fell into the hands of an Indiana defender. 

Nelson was able to atone for her miscalculated attempt, putting the Jaguars up 64-63 out of an IUPUI timeout. Just 14.9 seconds remained, and IU sprinted down the court. The potent Jaguar defense prevented a good look, but in doing so Emily Phillips fouled Newbauer. Her misses led to Chaplin's rebound and two made free throws.

Luster had a career night for IUPUI, scoring 15 points on 5-10 shooting (2-4 3P), nabbing four rebounds, an assist and a steal. Nelson scored 25 points, including 12-12 free throw shooting and pulled down five rebounds. Phillip's nine assists were five more than any other player Sunday. As a team, IUPUI assisted 17 of their 21 made baskets but shot only 30.9 percent from the floor. 

“Kerah and Dawn played very well and I was really impressed with Dawn. She let the game come to her, didn’t settle for outside shots and drove the ball quite a bit,” Parkinson added. “Kerah had that want-to that your best offensive player should have and she played hard.”

McGhee lead all scorers with 27 and added a game-high 15 rebounds for Indiana.

IUPUI has nearly a week off before hosting Eastern Illinois in The Jungle this upcoming Saturday. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. and can be heard at or followed live at

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