INDIANAPOLIS – Indianapolis had four players in double figures to defeat No. 3 Michigan Tech, 79-52, at Nicoson Hall on Saturday afternoon.
“We just brought unbelievable intensity today and we hit some shots today that we were stuggling to make in previous games,” head coach Constantin Popa said. “It’s obviously a really good win against a nationally-ranked team and this will help our confidence going forward. We were already confident and it was just a matter of putting two good halves together and today we did.”
Kristin Turner hit 4-of-6 three-pointers on the way to a team-high 16 points and Sydney Weinert had 15 points, nine rebounds, three blocks and two steals for the Greyhounds (1-2). Freshman Kelly Walter scored 13 points off the bench and Katy McIntosh totaled 11 points, three assists, two steals and two rebounds against the Huskies (2-1), which lost in the national championship game a year ago.
The Hounds shot 55.1 percent for the game (27-49), including 65 percent in the second half (13-20) when they made 5-of-6 three-pointers. For the game, UIndy hit 9-of-14 triples (.643).
“I know we can make shots, it was just a matter of time,” Popa said. “I believe if somebody gets hot, we have to find a way to get that person the ball. Today we found the people who were hot and took advantage.”
Michigan Tech was held to 34.5 percent shooting (.345) by the Greyhounds’ defense, including 29.2 percent behind the three-point line (7-24). UIndy also did a good job of not fouling as Michigan Tech shot only 10 free throws.
“This week in practice we emphasized our defensive communication. We have to talk and communicate to each other and help each other out,” Popa said. “It doesn’t matter what offense the other team is running. Today we started to do that and started making plays. They didn’t worry about too much because they knew the help side would be there.”
The Huskies were led by Emma Veach with 20 points and Sam Hoyt scored 14.
Leading by 16 at halftime, UIndy quickly pushed the lead to 23, 48-25, after back-to-back three-pointers by Turner less than five minutes into the second half. The Huskies pulled no closer than 18 points the rest of the way as UIndy held off their in-region opponent.
The Greyhounds scored the first six points of the game, but Michigan Tech responded with an 11-2 run to take a lead of its own, 11-8, with 14:06 to go in the first half on a three-pointer by Veach.
The game remained scoreless for nearly three minutes until McIntosh found Walter open for a triple to start a 10-2 run that put UIndy up five, 18-13, after two Weinert free throws halfway through the period.
The Greyhounds continued to play well and took their first double-figure lead, 29-18, when McIntosh fed Weinert for a lay-up with 4:48 left in the half. The Huskies came right back with a score in the paint, but Walter made back-to-back three-pointers to push the lead to 15, 35-20, with 2:01 on the clock.
MT scored on their next possession, but UIndy had the final answer as just before halftime Nickole Gonser stole the ball and fed Shelby Wall who banked in a three-pointer from halfcourt at the horn for UIndy to lead by 16, 38-22. The Greyhounds actually out-scored Michigan Tech 30-11 over the final 11:31 of the half.
UIndy’s defense limited Michigan Tech to 39.1 percent shooting (9-of-23), including 1-of-7 three pointers. The Greyhounds also had five steals on the way to forcing 11 turnovers that led to a 18-3 edge in first half points off turnovers. UIndy connected on 4-of-8 three-pointers on overall 14-of-29 shooting (.483).