TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – A sluggish first half was erased wtih 42 second half points as the Indiana State Women’s Basketball team defeated South Alabama, 53-40, in the season opener on Saturday in the Hulman Center.
The win marks the fifth season opener win in a row for ISU. Indiana State (1-0) shot just 17 percent and trailed 15-11 at the half but would use 42 points on 48 percent shooting in the second half to overcome the Jaguars (0-1).
They were paced by seniors Anna Munn and Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir who combined for 27 points and five steals in the contest. Munn drained four three pointers while going a perfect 4-for-4 from the charity stripe to finish with a team-high 16 points.
Abdul-Qaadir scored 11 points and picked up two steals. Sophomore forward Marina Laramie picked up a spot in the starting lineup in the season opener and notched seven points and six rebounds. Junior forward Jasmine Grier led ISU with eight rebounds and added five points.
The Sycamores combined for 12 assists in the game with five different players dishing out two each. The ISU defense also forced 23 turnovers and picked up 12 steals on the evening.
Tied 8-8 with 3:56 left to play in the first half, South Alabama went on a 7-3 run and take the lead into the locker room. But the Sycamores would gain momentum early in the second half as Munn sink a three pointer and get fouled on a shot just a few seconds later and sink two free throws to tie the game at 21 apiece.
ISU would take over the lead for good at the 15:29 mark when Abdul-Qaadir converted on a layup and foul to give her team a 24-23 lead and begin an 11-0 run for Indiana State. They led by as many as 20 points near the end of the game on a three pointer by Grier.
Eight different players scored for ISU on the evening, including four points each from sophomore guard Kasey Johnson and freshman forward Rhagen Smith.
Next up for the Sycamores is the first road contest of the season as they travel to Eastern Illinois on Tuesday. Tipoff is set for 8 p.m. ET.