Indiana Daily Student

COLUMN: Indiana women’s basketball sends message to Big Ten in win over Ohio State

Then-sophomore forward Mackenzie Holmes goes for a shot Feb. 18, 2021, at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall. Holmes scored 30 points against Ohio State on Dec. 12 in Columbus, Ohio.
Then-sophomore forward Mackenzie Holmes goes for a shot Feb. 18, 2021, at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall. Holmes scored 30 points against Ohio State on Dec. 12 in Columbus, Ohio.

Every Achilles has their weakness. 

Superman has Kryptonite, fire has water, Achilles has his… .heel. Indiana women’s basketball found out that Ohio State’s weakness is its interior defense in a 86-66 win Sunday night in Columbus, Ohio.

Indiana broke out to a fast start, scoring 10 points before Ohio State could manage to get even one. The first 6 came from junior forward Mackenzie Holmes, who faced little resistance as she imposed her will on defenders. 

The Hoosiers had a plan, and it had the Buckeyes on the ropes just five minutes into the game. They kept finding Holmes down low, who promptly tore the Buckeyes apart in the paint to the tune of 13 points in the first half.

Women's basketball: [No. 10 Indiana women's basketball dominates No. 20 Ohio State behind Holmes’ 30 points]

It wasn’t just Holmes dominating the paint with moves either. Senior guard Grace Berger and Graduate student guard Nicole Cardaño-Hillary drove into the paint throughout the night to combine for 38 points. 

Going into Sunday, teams facing Ohio State went 37.4% on field goals. Indiana surpassed that and then some with a 58.1% performance. Brutus Buckeye, Ohio State’s rotund-headed mascot, was left facepalming in anguish on multiple occasions as his team’s defense got beat in the paint over and over again.

Ohio State was on its heels and opted to get more physical on defense by crowding the interior and playing tight man defense. However, Indiana was prepared for this. When the interior looked rough, Indiana kicked it out to shooters beyond the arc for a 4-9 clip from 3-point range.

Many of Ohio State’s early scoring woes were of its own making, letting the ball get away from it. Ohio State finished the night with 17 turnovers, which Indiana gladly turned into 26 points on the other end of the court. 

The scoring drought didn’t last as the Buckeyes made appropriate adjustments. They began to drain shots as the quarter drew to a close. The Hoosiers, who ended the night having spent 0 minutes trailing, weren’t gonna allow a comeback that easily. 

Women's basketball: [No. 10 Indiana women’s basketball limits turnovers in 86-66 win over No. 20 Ohio State]

When halftime came around, Indiana already had 43 points, more than any other team has scored in a half against Ohio State this season. Indiana wasn’t going to be complacent with the lead either, continuing to beat Ohio State like a drum in the paint through the third quarter. 

Ohio State even surpassed its season average of 8.6 3-pointers made per game with 10 makes on the night while shooting 52.6% beyond the arc. Even still, the team simply couldn’t keep up with the cream and crimson juggernaut from Bloomington. 

Indiana won in Columbus for the first time since 2002 last season, and added another tonight to make it a streak.Now 2-0 in Big Ten play, Indiana sent a message to the Big Ten with this win. 

The Hoosiers are gonna show up in your city, exploit your weaknesses and leave your coach second guessing everything they do.

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