TERRE HAUTE —
Taylor Whitley averaged 12.1 points, 4.7 assists and went on an offensive rampage two years ago in St. Charles, Mo., to earn All-Missouri Valley Conference Tournament accolades.
A knee injury caused her a major setback as a junior, but Whitley’s senior year seems to have gone just how she would like it to: with her in the background doing the dirty work for a team that ranks among the NCAA’s best in scoring defense. The Sycamores are allowing 53.7 points-per-game, which is the best in the program’s history by a wide margin.
It’s a team that plays harder consistently for 40 minutes than any I’ve watched in 10 years covering ISU women’s basketball.
It takes the entire team and a positive, communicative coaching staff to make that happen, but Whitley’s determination sets the tone day after day.
“I think tonight was a great way that she showed her leadership. She came out and was taking it hard to the basket every time,” ISU freshman Marina Laramie said following Friday night’s victory against Missouri State. “I just think that’s something special about her, she goes hard, 110 percent, all the time.”
Whitley is guiding a team that lost three 1,000 point scorers from a year ago, and the Sycamores are a couple more wins from the best conference finish since taking third place in 2006-07. With a win today, the Sycamores could knock Wichita State from first place, while also potentially securing no worse than fifth place in the standings.
“I definitely didn’t know what to expect coming into the season. We lost three big scorers, big players from last year in Brittany, Shannon and Deja,” Whitley said. “This team has worked really hard. I’m just really proud of how we’ve handled ourselves this year. We’ve played hard in every game, and our defense is what’s kept us in games.”
Whitley is among the MVC’s leaders in steals, while scoring 11.4 points, dishing 3.1 assists and hitting 81.5 percent at the free-throw line.
“Part of our success has been her maturity level and her ability to always be positive and lead this young team,” coach Teri Moren said. “Even on days when we’re in walkthroughs and supposed to be at 50 percent, the kid’s going 100 percent.”
Visiting coaches praise the Sycamores’ toughness when they visit Hulman Center in 2013, and Whitley’s play leads by example for ISU.
“I always just try to give my best, give 100 percent at all times. I love playing defense, and I think when you’re diving on the floor and playing aggressive, the team feeds off of that,” Whitley said. “That’s a big reason our team is aggressive, isn’t afraid to get on the floor and do the dirty work.’
The Sycamores have grown at the offensive end as well, hoping to continue to build confidence heading into a conference tournament with a chance to get the program’s first NCAA Tournament berth.
“We’ve been working hard on our motion and things like that. We have the tools to be successful on offense with our players in the post and Anna as our 3-point shooter, and Vecie [Franklin] and I as the drivers,” Whitley said.
• The perfect student-athlete — ISU’s Andrea Rademacher has a 4.0 grade-point average and has a job lined up with Campus Outreach, an organization in which she’ll have the opportunity to work with college students in becoming followers of Christianity.
Rademacher’s minutes have declined the past two seasons, but she’s maintained a positive attitude and been a good leader for the Sycamores. She will be recognized today as part of Senior Day festivities.
“Andrea is one of the finest human beings you’ll ever meet and get to coach,” Moren said. “She is a leader and that is simply by how she carries herself on and off the floor. She’s a true example of what a student-athlete should look like. She’s an example for our younger kids ... She’s going to be missed.”
Rademacher said she has enjoyed being a part of the program.
“College basketball isn’t easy. It’s definitely rewarding. There’s a lot of joy involved. It’s been a blessing to be a part of this program. I’m thankful for the support I’ve received personally from this community and just the team. It’s not like this [with around 2,000 fans in the Arena] when we go on the road. There’s hardly anyone in the gyms.
“I want to see girls in this program grow off the court and grow in their character. I want to impact them for the rest of their lives, knowing that basketball’s so temporary.”
• Laramie’s breakout game — Laramie was in the zone Friday night, and she’s averaging 11.9 points since moving into the starting lineup.
The O’Fallon, Mo., native was playing against a team with a former AAU teammate on it and against a coach that didn’t offer her a scholarship.
Moren expects more performances similar to Friday night the remainder of the season and the next three years.
“She’s talented, you know,” Moren said. “She’s far from being the player that we think she has potential of becoming. We’re hard on her every day. Our expectations are high. This is a kid that wants to be great, and she’s communicated that with us. And now it’s our job to hold her to that and remind her of that and continue to help her to get better. We need her. We also need Racheal. [Mahan] gets off to a slow start in the first half. If those two can show up on the same night, we’re a pretty good basketball team.”
• Rebounding for a victory — ISU’s victory Friday gave the Sycamores a rare season sweep of Missouri State, which has a young squad as well.
The Bears also have one of the best rebounding teams in the league.
MSU has three of the top four offensive rebounders in the league and getting some second-chance buckets helped the Bears take a six-point halftime lead Friday night.
ISU allowed only two second-chance points in the second half and won the rebounding battle by a 40-36 margin. Guard Natasha Zurek had seven boards — to go with her three assists and three steals — and had a couple big ones during big stops on the defensive end.
Moren praised the effort on the glass afterward.
“It’s huge. That’s one of the reasons we won at their place because we were able to outrebound them. Part of the challenge is we had to clean that up,” Moren said. “That always comes down to heart and hustle.”
Craig Pearson can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @TribStarCraig.
Wichita State at Indiana State
Tipoff — 1:35 p.m., today in Hulman Center.
Broadcasts — TV: Fox Sports Midwest. Radio: WIBQ-FM (98.5).
Last time out — ISU defeated Missouri State on Friday 71-63. Wichita State lost on a last-second shot Thursday at Illinois State, 57-56.
Series — ISU leads 34-28.
Indiana State Sycamores (17-9, 9-6 MVC) — G Taylor Whitley (5-9, Sr., 10.5 ppg, 3.2 apg), G Anna Munn (5-10, Jr., 14.9 ppg, 4.8 rpg), G Travecia Franklin (5-9, So., 3 ppg), F Racheal Mahan (6-1, So., 13.5 ppg, 8.1 rpg) and C Marina Laramie (6-2, Fr., 8.1 ppg, 4.5 rpg) are the starters. G Kasey Johnson (5-8, So., 4 ppg, 2.7 rpg), G Natasha Zurek (5-9, So., 3 ppg), G Kalliste Haskins (5-7, Fr.), F Makenzi Reasor (6-2, Fr.) and F Andrea Rademacher (6-2, Jr.) could see action.
Coach — Teri Moren (178-114 in 10th season overall, 48-41 in third season at ISU).
Wichita State Shockers (19-9, 13-3 MVC) — G Jessica Diamond (5-7, Sr., 12 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 2.9 apg), G Jasmine Jones (6-7, Sr., 3.1 ppg, 1.3 spg), G Alex Harden (5-11, So., 10.5 ppg, 5 rpg, 3.7 apg), F Chynna Turner (6-0, Sr., 6.4 ppg, 3.7 rpg) and C Jazmien Gordon (6-2, Sr., 6.8 ppg, 4 rpg) are possible starters. C Kelsey Jacobs (6-2, So., 5.6 ppg, 3.3 rpg), G Alie Decker (6-0, Fr., 6.8 ppg, 3.4 rpg), and G Darice Fountaine (6-11, Sr., 6.2 ppg) are key reserves.
Coach —Jody Adams (111-78 in sixth season overall, 87-70 in fifth season at WSU).
Injuries — For ISU, G Jessica Valley (knee) is out for the season
Next — ISU will visit Northern Iowa on Thursday. Wichta State will conclude its regular-season on Saturday at Missouri State.
— Craig Pearson
TERRE HAUTE —
Taylor Whitley averaged 12.1 points, 4.7 assists and went on an offensive rampage two years ago in St. Charles, Mo., to earn All-Missouri Valley Conference Tournament accolades.
ISU track sending record 22 to postseason
On the heels of their thrilling double victory at the 2013 Missouri Valley Conference Outdoor Track & Field Championships both the Indiana State men and women moved up in the national rankings which were released Tuesday by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).
ISU baseball hoping Manaea can get its MVC Tournament moving in right direction
Indiana State’s baseball team has been waiting all season for its stars to align.
But this is the 2013 Sycamores, after all, and after a season in which seemingly little has gone right, it appears its stars will remain crossed at the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament.
ISU's athletic treasure trove
Think of every championship that Indiana State has won in each of its sports, past and present. Think of every tournament — postseason or regular season — which the Sycamores have claimed as their own.
Ort sets ISU RBI record in 16-7 win
Robby Ort celebrated his Indiana State baseball Senior Day on Saturday by becoming the Sycamores’ all-time leader in RBIs as ISU ended its regular season with a 16-7 win over Bradley at Bob Warn Field.
Bradley ends 16-game MVC losing streak against ISU
Momentum was the only thing riding on Indiana State’s baseball game against Bradley on Friday. With a five-game winning streak going, ISU wanted to keep the good vibes going into next week’s Missouri Valley Conference Tournament.
ISU couldn’t do it.
Behind 16 hits and Manaea's pitching, ISU beats Bradley
Indiana State’s baseball team rode a wild ride of emotion on Thursday.
First came the public announcement that Bob Warn Field would host the 2014 Missouri Valley Conference Tournament. Later, Sean Manaea’s availability to pitch ISU’s series opener against Bradley was in doubt.
Indiana State women add five transfers, including experienced D-I point guard
Indiana State coach Teri Moren believes the addition of five more newcomers to the program — in addition to the five who had already joined the program earlier this calendar year — will provide her coaching staff the athleticism and depth it needs to play a successful, up-tempo brand of basketball next season.
Metro roundup: Woods softball takes seventh in national tournament
The St. Mary-of-the-Woods softball team finished seventh in the United States Collegiate Athletic Association softball tournament on Tuesday at Firestone Stadium.
Metro Roundup: Indiana State’s Shakir Bell on Performance Awards watch list
College Football Performance Awards has announced its watch list for the 2013 CFPA FCS Running Back Award, and Indiana State’s Shakir Bell earned a spot on the list.
ISU baseball team builds on success with 14-2 rout
Indiana State’s baseball victory over Alcorn State on Friday would take on more meaning Saturday if the Sycamores could build momentum and pick up on the good work they did in Friday’s ninth-inning rally.
The Sycamores were aggressive from the opening inning at the plate and starting pitcher Devin Moore gave them eight valuable and effective innings on the mound as ISU defeated Alcorn State 14-2 at Bob Warn Field.
“It was a really good experience for everybody. It felt great to finally come out here and put some things together. It’s also really nice when your offense puts a lot of runs on the board,” Moore said.
Moore’s eight innings of work were as valuable as gold to an ISU team that is short on quality arms due to injury and ineffectiveness. He didn’t allow a hit until the fourth inning and one of the two runs he conceded was unearned.
Johnson, Lyke win MVC titles for ISU
Indiana State’s Felisha Johnson and Maurice Lyke were both crowned Missouri Valley Conference champions on Saturday during the MVC Track and Field Championships at Drake University.
ISU earns badly-needed win
Alcorn State’s baseball team might be ranked in the bottom 10 in RPI and Indiana State might have never lost to a Southwestern Athletic Conference team. So it wouldn’t appear that a quality win was in the offing when Alcorn State visited Bob Warn Field on Friday.
Metro roundup: RHIT’s Evans sets Div. III record in high jump
For the third time this season, Rose-Hulman senior Liz Evans topped the NCAA Division III all-time national record in the outdoor high jump Friday night.
ISU’s Mascari and Hope win MVC track & field titles
Indiana State produced two champions during the opening day of action in the Missouri Valley Conference track and field championships Friday at Drake. Freshman John Mascari, a Terre Haute native, won the men’s 10,000-meter race and Nicole Hope won the women’s pole vault for the second time in three seasons.
ISU pole vault tradition continues with help from its author
Pole vault is track and field for the adrenaline junkie, Indiana State senior Nicole Hope proclaimed during a recent practice at Marks Field.
To catapult oneself about 14 feet into the air with a large $500 fiberglass pole on a daily basis is a risky endeavor.
“We have to be fearless. You can’t be afraid at all,” said Hope, who has also catapulted herself into the NCAA’s elite in the event, ranking 15th in the NCAA with her leap of 13-feet, 9 1/4.
Sycamores searching for answers after seventh loss in eight games
These are the bad times for the Indiana State baseball team.
The will is there for the Sycamores to pull out of their worst slump of the season, but the results are not. The suffering continued on Wednesday at Bob Warn Field as Eastern Illinois defeated ISU 5-3.
METRO ROUNDUP: ISU men's track picked first in MVC Championships, women second
The Indiana State men’s track team has won the last two Missouri Valley Conference outdoor championships, but the women have not stood on the top podium since 1999.
That may change this year, but the Sycamores will face some stiff competition in their quest for the championships.
North grad Welker helps Whitson earn first NCAA bid as coach
Eastern Kentucky girls golf coach Mike Whitson, an alumnus of his employer, enjoyed his stay in Terre Haute as coach of Indiana State, where he started the women’s golf program.
METRO ROUNDUP: Rose-Hulman wins HCAC all-sports trophy
Rose-Hulman has won the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference men’s all-sports trophy for the fifth time in the past six year, the league announced Monday.
Rose tallied 66.5 points for its finishes in 11 men’s sports, just ahead of Franklin with 66. Hanover was third with 53 points.
METRO ROUNDUP: Rose-Hulman tennis falls in HCAC semifinal
Rose-Hulman’s hot streak in men’s tennis came to an end Saturday in the semifinal round of the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference tournament at the West Indy Racquet Club.
Manaea fights off bad hip, wet weather to toss four innings
Mother Nature has been the bane of the Indiana State baseball team’s existence all season. Eight games wiped due to weather are a testament to that. So it was no surprise, though no less disappointing, when she didn’t deal Indiana State pitcher Sean Manaea the greatest hand on Saturday as he tries to recover from a hip injury.
ISU track enjoys big night at IU's Billy Hayes Invitational
The Indiana State Sycamores either won or finished as the top collegian in 12 events, led by the record-breaking performance of senior Brandon Pounds at the 2013 Billy Hayes Invitational Friday at Indiana University.
Pounds broke his own school record to win the men’s hammer throw.
Lansing looking for more home games for next fall
Indiana State’s men’s basketball team is looking for a few good games.
Home games that is.
The Sycamores have filled in most of the blanks in their nonconference schedule, but as ever, ISU coach Greg Lansing would like to visit the friendly confines of Hulman Center a bit more often.
Secret weapon: Kelsey Rosselli finishing Woods career with a bang
At Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College, reporting game results to the Tribune-Star after a win or a loss is not always a high priority.
So when one of its athletes enjoys an outstanding season, like senior Kelsey Rosselli is doing for the Pomeroys’ softball team in 2013, media publicity doesn’t always follow.
In fact, her efforts almost seem like a government secret.
Rosselli’s name might sound familiar to longtime Terre Haute softball followers because she was a standout for North High School, from where she graduated in 2009.
Since then, she’s helped The Woods finish runner-up in three straight U.S. Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA) national tournaments in 2010, 2011 and 2012.
ISU baseball gets back into rhythm with victory
Baseball is a rhythm game. With contests every day or five times a week in the case of many college programs, you have the chance to build on success or wallow in a slump.
Mother Nature took that rhythm away from Indiana State’s team last week. After a 7-1 loss to Indiana on April 24, ISU was supposed to play a three-game series at Tennessee-Martin, but it was wiped out by rain.
So the rhythm was disturbed, but perhaps that wasn’t a bad thing.
ISU was in a five-game losing streak before its unintended vacation and the Sycamores made a move in the right direction Wednesday with a 7-0 win over DePauw at Bob Warn Field.
“It was a disappointing weekend. We went all the way down to Tennessee and didn’t get to play. We sat around in the hotel room. We came here and it was still raining. It was nice to get out and see some live pitching,” ISU center fielder Landon Curry said.
Metro roundup: ISU hands out spring awards
The Indiana State University athletic community, along with family, friends and fans, paused Tuesday night to honor the spring sports teams at the Terre Haute Savings Bank Spring Sports Banquet.
Most of the ISU teams are still in competition with the baseball team having 13 games left of its regular-season schedule before beginning the Missouri Valley Conference tournament May 21, the softball team with just three games left of the docket this coming weekend against Southern Illinois and the track and field program with just one more meet before beginning its postseason events.
The ISU women’s golf team is the team that has ended at this time, with the group recording a sixth-place finish at the MVC championships one week ago.
METRO ROUNDUP: Rose baseball wins another thriller
Rose-Hulman earned its third victory in its last at-bat in the last five days with a 6-5 win over Franklin in Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference baseball Tuesday night at Art Nehf Field.
ISU relay teams enjoy strong day at Drake Relays
It was a day for the relay teams to shine at the 104th Drake Relays Saturday as four of the five Indiana State relay teams that competed ran times that put the team among the top five in school history for their respective events.
Indiana State baseball series canceled
Heavy rain from Thursday through Saturday has forced Indiana State and Tennessee Martin to cancel their three-game weekend baseball series in northwest Tennessee.
Metro roundup; Five Wabash Valley players on Terre Haute Rex team
The Terre Haute Rex will look to three-peat as Prospect League Western Division champions with a roster that includes a quartet of Wabash Valley players. Indiana State University standouts Tyler Wampler and Josh Dove will reunite with former Little League and high school rivals Cody Gardner (Wright State), Tim Johnson (Vincennes) and Bryan Nacke (Vincennes) for the summer season.
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- ISU track sending record 22 to postseason