No. 4 Indiana women’s basketball held on late Saturday night to defeat University of Miami 53-51 in the Bahamas, weathering a late run in the fourth quarter. The team was unable to put the game away until the very end because of struggles with turnovers and free-throw shooting.
In the first quarter, Indiana entered the media timeout down by 1 point before a 20-4 run that lasted midway into the second quarter put the team up by 15. Miami was able to fight back and lower the deficit to 1 point in the third quarter and entered the final frame down 3.
“I kind of feel like we really in control at the beginning of the game and just allowed them to get back into it which is frustrating when you’re dealing with a veteran, experienced group,” head coach Teri Moren said. “At that point it’s like keep your foot on the pedal, squeeze the throat a little bit harder and we didn’t do that. “
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A run by the Hoosiers to start the fourth quarter put the team up by 12 points with five minutes left in the game. But the team only scored 1 additional point for the remainder of the game while Miami’s Kelsey Marshall powered through an 11-point spree.
Marshall also had a chance at a game-winning 3-pointer, but the shot missed as time expired.
“I thought they challenged us in every way,” Moren said. “Pressured us, sped us up and then obviously made it a game. You know, just when you think you’re 12 points up you look up and you’re only up 1.”
Indiana went 11-21 from the free-throw line and had 24 turnovers to Miami’s 12. The consistent mistakes meant Indiana was never able to pull away and fully control the game. Moren called the errors frustrating and uncharacteristic, saying the team will have to be better moving forward.
“I just thought it was bad decision-making on our part, we lost our focus a little bit probably, maybe we relaxed, I don’t know,” Moren said. “We’ve got to figure that out because certainly I don’t want that to be what we do when we get a lead of 8 or 10 points.”
Marshall led all scorers with 20 points. For Indiana, four players scored in double digits, led by Mackenzie Holmes with 14. Holmes also paced the team in rebounding with 11 in total.
“Happy that we're walking out of here with a win but realize that there's certainly a whole bunch we can take from this game and a whole lot that we have to be at better by next week,” Moren said.
Indiana ends its trip to the Bahamas 1-1 with a loss to defending champion No. 7 Stanford University on Thursday. The team will return to Bloomington to face No. 5 North Carolina State University at 7 p.m. Dec. 7.