Maliah Howard-Bass and her Indiana All-Star girls teammates didn’t feel like they played to their potential in Saturday’s 75-67 loss to Kentucky at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
So in Sunday’s rematch in Frankfort, Kentucky, the Indiana squad made a few adjustments. The result was a 58-51 victory that helped the team gain a split in the annual home-and-home series.
“We didn’t shoot well (Saturday), and a lot of us are shooters,” Howard-Bass said. “But on Sunday, we found a lot of other alternatives to help us win the game — defense, driving, getting it into the post. We found different ways to score, and we also found other ways to stop the ball. We went over some alternatives, so if they did something, we knew how we were going to react to that.”
The former Columbus North standout started for Indiana and scored six points Saturday. She added four points Sunday.
Howard-Bass’ two rebounds in the final 30 seconds of Sunday’s game helped Indiana seal the victory.
“Those rebounds really kind of closed the deal because if something else happened, it could have been a different turnout,” Howard-Bass said. “It was nice for the girls to win. That was my last high school game, and everybody wants to win.”
The Indiana boys and girls team members arrived at Marian University on June 4. They played games against the Junior All-Stars June 6 at New Albany and Thursday at Plainfield, a game where Howard-Bass scored 15 points.
Between the practices and games, the boys and girls players did team-building activities. They played beach volleyball on a sand court outside their dorms and watched the NBA Finals together.
Howard-Bass, who played varsity volleyball for the Bull Dogs all four years, was a hit on the beach volleyball court.
“It was fun,” Howard-Bass said. “They kept asking, ‘Did you play volleyball?'”
Next up for Howard-Bass is college basketball at Ball State. She leaves for Muncie on Sunday and begins summer school Monday.
“It’s a new chapter of my life,” Howard-Bass said. “I’m just going to dive head in and see where it takes me.”