Sunday, March 25, 2018 6:00 pm
Indiana 81, UC Davis 66
IU women headed to WNIT Final Four
ELIZABETH WYMAN | For The Journal Gazette
BLOOMINGTON – Following the final buzzer at Assembly Hall on Sunday afternoon, fans swarmed Tyra Buss for autographs and selfies on the historic court.
It was well-deserved as the senior scored 30 points in Indiana’s 81-66 win over UC Davis in the quarterfinals of the WNIT, sending the Hoosiers to the Final Four.
“Having kids come up to you saying that I’m their role model, and things like that really means a lot to us,” Buss said. “It never gets old.”
The Hoosiers will play the winner of the South Dakota and TCU in the semifinals in a location to be determined. This will be the third time Indiana has appeared in the WNIT semifinals. The first time was in 1991 when Indiana played in the championship game in a then 8-team tournament, while the second appearance came in 1998 when it was a 16-team tournament.
“If we’re lucky enough, and fortunate enough, and good enough to get that championship, I think there’s some special things that can happen here with the way that we can get our fans to turn out,” Moren said.
Amanda Cahill had a double-double with 24 points and 10 rebounds, and the suffocating, turnover-ensuing defense of the Hoosiers stifled UC Davis (28-7).
“I think my teammates were just doing a good job of finding me and that we were just trying to get the best shot on the offensive end,” Cahill said.
The Hoosiers had 26-5 run in the first half to help lead 47-27 at halftime. Nine turnovers in the first half led to 17 points for the Hoosiers.
The Aggies opened the second half on an 18-7 run. With the help of three 3-pointers from Rachel Nagel, the season-high attendance of 6,001 fans was nearly silent as the Hoosiers lead dwindled to nine. The lead, however, never fell below 13 in the fourth.
Indiana coach Teri Moren never worried about her team — not with the leadership of Buss and Cahill on the floor.
“We never hit the panic button with this group,” Moren said. “When you have two kids like Tyra and Amanda Cahill on the floor, sooner or later they figure it out.”
Indiana (21-14) was able to limit UC Davis’ leading scorer Morgan Bertsch to 13 points, seven below her season average.
“The thing I thought we did a great job of is we made (Bertsch) guess at times,” Moren said. “Everything she got tonight she had to earn.”
Freshman guard Bendu Yeaney added 12 points.