Blumer banks unbelievable shot, women fall to IUPUI

On+top+of+her+incredible+shot%2C+junior+Morgan+Blumer+went+4+of+8+from+the+floor+in+35+minutes+Wednesday.

Jake Thompson

On top of her incredible shot, junior Morgan Blumer went 4 of 8 from the floor in 35 minutes Wednesday.

Joe Jones

The Lady Leathernecks fell to IUPUI 76-72 Wednesday night despite Morgan Blumer’s buzzer beater from the opposite foul line that made SportsCenter’s Top 10 Plays.

“There was a second left, and I just decided to launch it,” Blumer said after the game. “I thought to myself there is no way this is going in, but then it did and I was like, I’ll take it.”

“I’ve never seen anything like that in women’s basketball. It was absolutely incredible,” said coach JD Gravina.

Western Illinois got off to a fast start led by the speedy backcourt of Emily Clemens and Taylor Higginbotham. The duo was in constant attack mode throughout the game, driving to set up their teammates for easy buckets, and not settling for open 3-pointers.

The Leathernecks finished the quarter playing great team basketball, shooting over 50 percent from the field, and 40 percent from 3-point range.

In the second quarter, Western slowed down offensively being held to just 6 points in over six minutes of action. IUPUI was able to climb back to within 3 points until Clemens ignited the team, driving to draw the foul and making two free throws.

Western would go on a 12-5 run late in the second quarter, ending the half with Blumer’s unbelievable shot.

Western held IUPUI to under 30 percent shooting from the field in the second quarter by playing some physical defense. Power forward Olivia Braun led the way on defense, protecting the paint, giving her teammates opportunities to get steals and score in transition.

In the third quarter, IUPUI cut the deficit to one point by going on an 11-2 run. Higginbotham answered back with four quick points to get the leathernecks up by five and forcd IUPUI to call a timeout.

IUPUI was able to take the lead with 30 seconds left in the third quarter with a jumper by Mikale Rogers. Olivia Braun had an answer by beating the buzzer with a jumper to retake the lead.

IUPUI outscored Western 22-13 in the third quarter, and Western Illinois didn’t force a single turnover in the quarter.

The fourth quarter was very intense, featuring Taylor and Olivia who combined for 6-9 and the period, and 10-13 in the entire second half. Emily continued to push the ball in transition, allowing her teammates to produce some efficient numbers.

There were 3 three lead changes in the fourth, both teams kept the game close, and had an opportunity in the final 30 seconds of the game. With Western down by two with only 30 seconds left, Mallory Boyle stole the ball, outlet passed to Emily Clemens and she missed the game tying layup.

Western Illinois couldn’t recover afterwards, losing a thriller 76-72. This allowed IUPUI to shoot a red hot 8-10 from the field in the final period and win in the rebound margin by 12.

“We did not bring the same defensive intensity at the start of the second half,” said Gravina after the loss. “The full-court shot got the team sidetracked a little bit. Also, they just beat us on the glass.”

After the stunning defeat by IUPUI, the Western Illinois women’s basketball team is now 15-6 on the season, and they will look for redemption in their next game when they take on South Dakota on the road.

Wednesday night’s matchup against IUPUI was Military Appreciation Night at Western Hall. Before the game, the oldest survivor from World War II, John Moon, sang the national anthem before the game.

Twitter: @jj_innovate