No. 10 Indiana women’s basketball handily beat Fairfield University 91-58 Thursday night at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall, going on multiple double-digit scoring runs. The team shot 61% from the field and 78% from the free-throw line.
The Hoosiers scored a season-high 91 points, surpassing the 88 points they scored against the No. 13 University of Kentucky on Nov. 14.
“I thought we took them out of everything they wanted to do,” Indiana head coach Teri Moren said. “I thought our kids executed on a really high level.”
Junior forward Mackenzie Holmes and senior forward Aleksa Gulbe led the charge for the Hoosiers, putting up 23 and 21 points, respectively. Senior guard Grace Berger matched her season-high of 19 points, shooting 7-10 and making four free throws.
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Berger has struggled to make her shots recently and said after the game she was glad to finally see more of them go in.
“I’ve just been continuing to work outside of practice,” she said. “I’m really focused on being aggressive in practice, so that translates over to games.”
Fairfield held the lead for a total of 38 seconds and kept up with Indiana for the first two minutes of the first quarter. But Berger made two free throws to put Indiana up 6-4 and the team went on a tear, eventually finishing the quarter on a 24-4 scoring run.
“We got off to a great start,” Moren said. “Today, going into this game it was ‘let’s see if we can get off to a really really good start,’ and I thought they did just that.”
That momentum continued throughout the rest of the game, and the Hoosiers had their largest lead of the game with X pts going into the fourth quarter. A large advantage the Hoosiers had was height difference; no one on Fairfield stood taller than 6-foot-1-inch.
“That’s what Coach Moren said,” Gulbe said. “That we’re going to be bigger than them and we have to take advantage.”
Indiana outrebounded Fairfield 44-19, led by Gulbe with nine. Holmes, who stands at 6-foot-3-inch, totalled five rebounds and five blocks.
Holmes also scored 23 points, marking the fourth game of the season she’s surpassed 20 points. Moren attributed some of her success to Fairfield’s defensive strategy; she said Fairfield played mostly a zone defense, therefore not double-teaming Holmes.
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“You could double in a zone, that can happen. But they chose not to,” Moren said. “Mack obviously made it look easy tonight, one-on-one in the low block.”
Despite the dominant score, Indiana didn’t play a perfect game. The team finished with 23 personal fouls and 19 turnovers, which Berger had the most of with three personal fouls and four turnovers.
“The only category that I’m disappointed with is the fact that we continue to turn the ball over,” Moren said. “Nineteen turnovers is too much for our basketball team.”
She said there’s nothing she can really change to work on decreasing turnovers, and she just has to continue to talk to the team about it.
“I don’t know how you work on that other than just stop doing it,” Moren said.
Indiana is set to face No. 20 Ohio State, which is 7-1 this season, at 7 p.m. Sunday in Columbus, Ohio. The game will be broadcast on the Big Ten Network.