By: Matthew Lood
IU South Bend’s women’s basketball team tips off in 10 days, looking to repeat as Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) champions.
To recap last year, the Titans finished with a record of 28 – 3, going 18 – 2 in the conference and winning both the Regular Season Championship and the Conference Tournament Championship.
They would receive a bid to the National Tournament where they would travel to Helena, MT to play the University of Jamestown, where their spectacular season would come to an end. However, the 2023-2024 Titans have higher aspirations this year.
“We have some key returners in the Gard twins and Emma Fisher,” Head Women’s Coach Steve Bruce said.
Bruce, who is no stranger to IU South Bend, has spent the last 18 seasons as the team’s head coach. Last year was the university’s best year under his leadership, holding a season in which he was named CCAC Head Women’s Basketball Coach of the Year.
The 2023-2024 Titans return with their two top leading scorers in seniors Katie and Maddie Gard, both of whom averaged 13.5 points per game last season. Senior Emma Fisher also returns as the team’s leading passing threat, where she averaged 4.3 assists last season.
The team also will see the return of juniors Sullivan “Sulli” Kessler and Amaya Rufus, senior Jazmen Watts and sophomore Francisca Galicia, all of whom will look to help push the Titans past the high marks set by last year’s squad.
The Titans will also draw some new depth and energy from plenty of new faces this season, as the team welcomes five players: freshmen Lizzie Graham, Porter Barickman, Ashlee Scharm and Kendal Taylor, as well as lone transfer Tenleigh Phelps.
“This season, I’m looking forward to making history again with a great group of girls,” Katie Gard said.
The Titans will open the season at home against fellow Hoosiers from IU Kokomo on Oct. 28, where they hope to continue right where they left off and shatter the bar set by last year’s team.