FORT WAYNE – You could see it coming from a mile off. Maybe from a couple miles off.
Here was the basketball, thrown a touch too late.
Here was Ariana Simmons, eyes pinned to the ball, getting a huge jump.
There everything went toward the other end, Simmons – oh, yes – making the steal, racing downcourt, easing in the layup.
The scoreboard clicked again on the IPFW side. The chasm between the Mastodons and their opponent from across town, Indiana Tech, got wider. And here was another snapshot moment on a night with a lot of snapshot moments, IPFW rolling over the Warriors 101-45 in what was an official game for the Mastodons (5-6) but an exhibition only for the NAIA Warriors.
Haley Seibert scored 20 points and went 5 of 6 from the 3-point line, and Amanda Hyde added 18 points, six rebounds and four assists to lead the Mastodons, who shot 59 percent and limited Tech to 27.7 shooting. Take away Chelsea Carradines 9-of-12, 18-point night, and Tech was 9 of 53 from the floor.
I think it was a great game both ways, said Seibert, whose team killed the suspense early with a 25-2 first-half run, holding Tech scoreless for 10:29 and without a field goal for 11:20. You can look and see that we scored 101 points, and everyone pretty much scored. But if you look at the defensive end, too, we held a team to 45 points. So that was really impressive, too.
And the Simmons snapshot?
That was a nod to the Mastodons depth, on display in the 14 players who played, the 12 who scored, and the Mastodons 49-4 advantage in bench scoring – not to mention the contributions Simmons and fellow freshman Rachel Rinehart have made to that thus far.
Rinehart played 18 minutes and scored nine points to go with five rebounds and three assists. Simmons, the 5-11 forward out of South Side, finished with 12 points, seven rebounds, three assists and three steals in 16 minutes.
I was a post in high school so Im used to that spot, and then I come in as a guard, and thats also a good thing, Simmons said. Because I know how to shoot, too.
Head coach Chris Paul will take both.
Ariana and Rachel as freshmen are just right now not really playing like freshmen, he said. Its a great thing as a coach that I can look down there and see all these faces sitting over there dying to get in, knowing that they can help us. I truly believe its the deepest team weve ever had.