Local Sports News: February 20, 2024

Monroe County Sports Hall of Fame Announces 10 Member Class of 2024 this evening
The Monroe County Sports Hall of Fame will announce its 10 Member Class of 2024 this evening from 5-6pm at Hoosier Hanks Pizza East Location at 1285 S College Mall Road in Bloomington. Longtime Local Broadcaster and 2021 Monroe County Sports Hall of Fame Inductee Joe Smith will host the show live at Hoosier Hanks Pizza East and on WCGL Radio AM 1370 and 98.7 FM. He will have interviews with a few of the new inductees and rundown the entire 2024 class. The ten-member class will include six athletes, two coaches and two contributors.

You can listen to the announcement show online at www.wgclradio.com The public is invited for this wonderful occasion to celebrate this latest class that will be inducted into the Monroe County into the Monroe County Sports Hall of Fame on Friday July 19th at the Monroe Convention Center in downtown Bloomington and meet a few of the inductees that will be joining a long list of Athletes, Coaches and Contributors that have been inducted since the Monroe County Sports Hall of Fame inducted its first class in 2011. The 2024 Hall of Fame Class will be announced in Wednesday’s Editon of the Bloomington Hearld-Times.

Illinois Snaps a 16-game losing streak stunning #14 Indiana University Women’s Basketball in Champaign
On their way to a Thursday Night showdown against Iowa, The Indiana Hoosiers took the Illinois Fighting Illini for granted. It was a big mistake for the Hoosiers as Illinois snapped a 16-game losing streak to the #14 Hoosiers winning 86-66 Monday afternoon at the State Farm Center. Illinois wins for the first time since February 23, 2013, when they beat the Hoosiers 73-60 in Champaign. Indiana now leads the all -time series 50-31 and the teams split the season series both teams winning on their own home floor.

Illinois played just six players and all six scored in double-figures. Makira Cook led the way with 22 points. Adalia McKenize and Genesis Bryant scored 14 points apiece. Camille Hobby added 12 points along with 11 points from Gretchen Dolan who came off the bench. Kokomo, Indiana native Kendall Bostic posted her 9th double-double of the season with 12 points and 11 rebounds. Illinois finished 31-59 from the field for 52%, 4-9 from three-point range for 44% and 20-24 from the free throw line for 83%.  Illinois pulled down 30 rebounds, dished out 12 assists, 4 steals, 2 blocks and committed 5 turnovers.

Mackenize Holmes scored 24 points and had 2 rebounds to lead the Hoosiers. Yarden Garzon scored 17 points and pulled down 8 rebounds. Sara Scalia added 10 points, Chloe Moore-McNeil 7 points and Lexus Bargesser added 6 points. Lilly Meister scored 2 points off the bench as Lenee Beaumont, Juilana LaMendola, Henna Sandvik and Sydney Parrish played but did not score. Parrish played for the first time since January 17 after missing the last seven games with a foot injury. Parrish had a rebound and a turnover in just 7 minutes of action. The Hoosiers finished 26-55 form the field for 47%, 6-20 form three-point range for 30% and 8-9 from the free throw line for 89%. Indiana had 26 rebounds, dished out 15 assists, 3 steals, 2 blocks and committed 14 turnovers.

There were 5 lead changes and 1 tie as Illinois lead 18-17 after the first quarter. The Illini outscored Indiana 26-11 in the second quarter. Illinois went on 8-0 run after they led 26-24 with 7:14 left before halftime. The Illini extended the lead to double digits and led 44-28 going into the locker room after a 18-4 run in the final seven minutes of the second quarter. Indiana outscored Illinois 19-17 in the third quarter as the Hoosiers came within nine 50-41 5:14 left in the quarter but Illini extended the lead to 61-47 at the end of the third quarter as Indiana was struggling to get baskets. Illinois outscored the Hoosiers 25-19 in the fourth quarter. Indiana got within eight with 3:17 left 71-63 as the Illini closed the game on 15-3 run and snap the decade long losing streak the Hoosiers.

Indiana is 21-4 overall and 12-3 in the Big Ten with NCAA Women’s Basketball’s All-Time leading scorer Caitlin Clark and the Iowa Hawkeyes coming to town on Thursday Night. Indiana was the 14th overall team and #4 seed in the first bracket reveal of the season which means the Hoosiers are in line to host the first and second rounds of the NCAA Tournament for third straight season. With Monday’s loss that could be in jeopardy as the Hoosiers could drop in the polls next week depending on Thursday’s result and most likely out of the top 16.

Illinois 13-12 overall and 7-8 in the Big Ten. Illinois has won 3 out 4 but they travel to Iowa City on Sunday to face the Hawkeyes before traveling to Michigan State and host to Nebraska to close out the regular season. Illinois would have to put some wins together to have any shot of making the NCAA Tournament at this point but a big win over a top 15 ranked team at home and breaking a long losing streak will give them a lot of momentum the rest of the regular season.  

Indiana University Softball’s Bri Copeland named Big Ten Pitcher of the Week
Indiana Softball junior Brianna Copeland was named the Big Ten’s Pitcher of the Week by the conference office Monday afternoon. Copeland was given the honor for her stellar play in the circle over the course of the weekend at the Troy Invitational from Feb. 16-18. The Hoosiers went 4-1 in the invite and Copeland was a central part of the success. Over the weekend, Copeland went 3-0 and threw 14 strikeouts while only allowing seven hits in 11.1 innings of work. She did not give up a run and held opposing batters to a .175 batting average. For the season, Copeland has a 0.79 ERA, 32 strikeouts and a 5-1 record. Opposing batters have been limited to a .181 batting average and she has only allowed three runs.

Indiana University Baseball’s Connor Foley named Big Ten Pitcher of the Week
After making his first career start on the mound this past weekend, sophomore pitcher Connor Foley was named the Big Ten Pitcher of the Week, as announced by the conference office on Monday afternoon. The 6-foot-5 Foley tossed a career-best four scoreless innings while striking out seven batters on Saturday evening, setting the tone early as Indiana recorded a 7-2 win over No. 18 Coastal Carolina on its home field in Conway, S.C. Sixth-year senior pitcher Ty Bothwell threw the final five innings, seeing out the win over the Chanticleers.

Mostly used as a closer in 2023, Foley’s high-profile fastball (touched 97 against Coastal Carolina) and the development of a pair of off-speed pitches makes him a viable Saturday starter to compliment fellow sophomore Brayden Risedorph on Fridays. The Jasper, Ind. native conceded just two hits across four innings. He worked himself out of a bases loaded jam in the first inning and proceeded to shut down a potent Coastal Carolina offense that hung 26 runs the night before. IU’s last Big Ten Pitcher of the Week came on April 24th of last season after then-freshman Ethan Phillips helped deliver a massive win over another top-20 team in Louisville.

Two Indiana University Field Hockey players named to the NFCA’s 2023 Scholars of Distinction
Indiana’s Kennedy Reardon and Javi Baeza were both named 2023 Scholars of Distinction by the National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) Monday morning. In order to receive this award, qualifying student-athletes had to maintain a 3.9 or higher GPA in the fall semester. Reardon and Baeza are two of 261 student-athletes in Division I Field Hockey and two of 32 Big Ten Field Hockey players to receive this honor. Reardon from Lafayette Hill, PA is a recent graduate of Indiana University, finishing a five-year career with the field hockey program in December 2023. Baeza is from Shaker Heights, Ohio and just finished her freshman season with the program this past fall.

IU Men’s Soccer Great Will Bruin Retries after a 13 year career in Major League Soccer
One of the most prolific goalscorers in both Major League Soccer and Indiana men’s soccer history, former IU forward Will Bruin announced his retirement from professional soccer Friday via social media. Bruin appeared in 329 career MLS regular season matches over 13 seasons in which he totaled 80 goals and 34 assists. The No. 11 overall selection in the 2011 MLS SuperDraft, Bruin played six seasons for Houston Dynamo FC (2011-2016), six seasons for Seattle Sounders FC (2017-2022) and his final season with Austin FC in 2023. His 50 goals for Houston rank third in club history. His 27 goals for Seattle rank ninth among Sounders scorers.  

“Will is one of the greatest goalscorers to ever wear the IU jersey,” IU head men’s soccer coach Todd Yeagley said. “He is a fierce competitor and winner as well as a great teammate with an engaging personality who can fill a room with smiles. “His long and distinguished professional career puts him in into a special category of American goal scorers. On behalf of the IU soccer program, we celebrate and thank Will for all his contributions during his time at IU in addition to his remarkable 13-year MLS career.”

Bruin was a 2019 MLS Cup Champion with Seattle in 2019 as well as 2022 CONCACAF Champions League winner in 2022. He earned two caps for the United States Men’s National Team in 2013 and was a member of the USMNT squad which won the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup. Bruin spent three seasons at Indiana from 2008-10, where he amassed 33 goals, nine assists and 75 points. His career goal tally ranks tied-for-15th in program history, though no Hoosier has scored more goals since the beginning of the 21st century. He is one of two Hoosiers to score 18 goals in a season during the 21st century (Eriq Zavaleta – also 18, 2012), doing so in 2010 when he was an All-American, the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year and runner-up for the MAC Hermann Trophy.

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