SOUTH BEND, Ind. – Following a ten-month wait since their last appearance on the court, IU South Bend came back in style on Saturday afternoon, opening the 2021-22 season with an 80-48 win over IU Kokomo at the Student Activities Center.
A high-pressure Titan defense forced 32 turnovers, leading to a 33-13 margin in points off turnovers in the win. Five different players finished with a team-high three steals for the Titans (1-0), as IUSB held their opponents to a 32.1% shooting percentage (18-56).
Four players finished in double figures for the Titans, led by Rachel Robards’ 16 points off the bench. Maddie Gard scored 15 to go with six boards and a team-high five assists. Katie Gard tallied 14 points, while Emma Fisher collected 12 points on 5-of-6 shooting with seven rebounds.
IU South Bend came out strong defensively, holding the Cougars (0-1) to just five points in the first period. A layup from Maddie Gard put the Titans up 12 with just over three minutes to play in the first quarter, 15-3. Their lead would grow to as much as 20 in the first half, with a three-pointer from Kylee Stepp giving the Titans a 42-22 advantage just seconds before the halftime break.
Taking their largest lead of the day near the end of the third quarter, Robards put the Titans up 65-33 following the steal from Maddy Schumacher. IU Kokomo would hold the Titans scoreless through the rest of the period, building an 11-0 run to cut into the deficit and leaving IUSB with a 65-44 lead entering the fourth quarter.
The visitors wouldn’t get much closer however, as the Titans held IU Kokomo to just four points in the fourth quarter to secure the win. A pair of threes from Robards in the final frame helped secure the season-opening victory.
With the win, the Titans extend their streak to nine consecutive victories in season-opening games, and take their first win over IU Kokomo in the all-time series. IUSB will now prepare to host Lourdes (Ohio) next week, with tipoff from the Student Activities Center set for Wednesday, October 27, at 5:30 p.m.