NC State Wolfpack vs. Indiana Hoosiers
Time: 7:00 PM
Location: Bloomington, IN
You want to know how far State women’s basketball has come? In a span of their first eight games, they’ll face three top-6 teams. There are no longer cakewalk schedules, this is for real. After splitting the first two ranked opponent meetings, State heads out on their first true road contest of the year.
The Hoosiers come into the game ranked #6 in the nation with a 5-1 record. Their lone loss came on Thanksgiving to #7 Stanford, a game in which they came back from as much as ten down to lose by three.
This team is experienced, disciplined and knows they can beat State. Last meeting in March, Cunane was frustrated and worn down inside. Meanwhile, Berger and Patberg worked the perimeter, scoring and assisting. Nothing much has changed. Holmes is a force inside, averaging 15 points and over seven boards a game. Berger and Patberg, both are averaging 13.8 points, while being #1 and #2 on the team in assists. All three are upperclassmen and know the importance of this meeting. Their game is all about the movement between those three pieces.
IU is steady on the boards, but have struggled this year with turnovers. They’ve also been unable to capitalize at the free throw line, as they have in previous years.
Indiana will give State a chance to win, but it most certainly wont be easy. Get the ice bags ready.
Keys for the Wolfpack
Stay Strong Inside: Cunane was taken out of the game mentally for chunks of the last meeting. When she gets flustered and knocked around, opponents have taken advantage. We know that Holmes is aggressive, need to see Cunane and others match that. State needs to use their size and force the issue.
B10 Diamond is Back: While Johnson didn’t play IU in her time at Rutgers last season, she’s all too familiar with the Big 10 style of play. Her elevation of play as of late, has been more than exciting to watch. In the last four games she’s averaging 17 points and 7 boards per. Add in some assists and steals, she’s be magnificent. Her ability to drive and get to the foul line will be crucial.
All Gas, No Brakes: Indiana likes to frustrate you on defense and then turn that into small runs of their own. Stanford came out firing and then let up on the gas a bit. State just can’t do that. Boyd, Brown-Turner, Perez, Johnson, Crutchfield, Cunane…this team has point getters. If they are focused and ready, State can jump out early on IU. If they keep it up? This will be yet another marquee win in a young season.