Diamond Johnson! photo sbas
A 1970's song by R. Dean Taylor keeps going through my mind as I contemplate State's Thursday night match-up in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge with Indiana. Of course the song is "Indiana Wants Me". The first line of the song is "Indiana wants me, Lord, I can't go back there".One does not know if Indiana wants the Challenge match-up with State but State is from what I read happy to have Indiana as its Challenge partner and is happy to be going there. The reason for this is to settle a score with Indiana who put State out of last season's NCAA Tournament with a 73-70 win.
One has to wonder what happened to our State and Washington State last Saturday night. An educational film on how to make baskets the game was not. Washington State shot 25.5 for the game while State shot 36.1 and the Pack shooting 36.1 only resulted because Diamond Johnson hit 10-16 shots from the floor and Kayla Jones hit 3-4 shots from the floor. There is no doubt that State will have to both play and shoot better Thursday night at Indiana to get a win.
Normally, I would look at a team's last game to see the stats for the game and who started. Since Indiana returns all starters from last season's NCAA Tournament game against State, I am going to look at who started in that game and who led the team in scoring and rebounding.
In the Sweet sixteen game against State last season, Indiana started five-eleven guard Ali Patberg, six-three forward Mackenzie Holmes, five-six Nicole Cardano-Hillary, six-foot guard Grace Berger and six-three forward Aleeksa Gulbe. These starters played respectively 39, 33, 36, 39 and 38 minutes, so the Indiana bench in that game was a non-factor. Patberg leg Indiana in scoring with 17 shooting 7-15 from the floor; 1-5 from the arc. Holmes had 16 shooting 8-13 from the floor. Cardano-Hillary scored 14 shooting 5-15 from the floor; 1-6 from the arc. Berger scored 12 shooting 5-13 from the floor; 0-1 from the arc. Gulbe scored 11 shooting 5-8 from the floor; 0-2 from the arc. Indiana shot 47.7 for the game; 14.3 from the arc. Indiana did their damage against State in the third quarter when they shot 68.75. Berger led Indiana in rebounding with 12 rebounds all defensive.
By the way, the five starters for Indiana listed above started in Indiana's last game, a 53-51 win over Miami in the Baha Mar Championship.
We all remember that State came out flat in the third quarter. We also remember that State was easily winning when Jada Boyd (18; 8-12 from the floor) picked up her second foul early in the second quarter. Jada eventually fouled out in the game and that was significant with no Kayla Jones. We also remember that Elissa Cunane struggled against Holmes and Gulbe especially Holmes.
Let's look at the stats from warrennolan.com:
State is 6-1, has a Live RPI of 4, a NET of 11, an ELO of 3 and an SOS of 6. State has a quadrant 1 record of 2-1 and State's best win was over NET 4 Maryland by the score of 78-60.
Indiana has a record of 5-1, a Live RPI of 39, a NET of 9, an ELO of 11 and an SOS of 99. Indiana's quadrant 1 record is 1-1 and their best win was a home win over NET 26 Kentucky 88-67.
Indiana's loss was to Stanford; State's loss was to South Carolina. No bad losses for either team.
Warrennolan picks State to win 73-65.
Let's look at the stats from herhoopstats.com:
Herhoopstats gives State a win probability of 74.9% and by the score of 70.1 to 62.3. Indiana's Her Hoop Stats Ratings are value 26.5 and rank 21/356. State's Her Hoop Stats Rating value is 44.6 and their rank is 2/356.
State has 4 wins and 1 loss with respect to Indiana. Three of those 4 wins were home wins. The greatest margin of victory was 95-77 on December 29th, 1986. We know about that 1 loss; a painful one it be.
Indiana's win over Rhyne Howard's Kentucky team was impressive because Rhyne Howard is impressive. While Indiana should start the same line-up they did in the NCAA Tournament game against State, State will not. State will not because State's "heart and soul of the team" Kayla Jones should start over Jada Boyd who started in the Tournament game due to Kayla's knee injury suffered in the first game of the Tournament. Also, State has added Diamond Johnson the most recent ACC's women's basketball player of the week. Diamond can easily be considered a starter and no one off the Indiana bench or maybe even an Indiana starter can match her play. She probably is going to be the best player on the court.
The game is at Indiana giving Indiana a solid boost, but in the end State as herhoopsstats predicts wins.