No. 11 Indiana women’s basketball cruised to a 93-37 victory over the University of Massachusetts Lowell on Friday night. While the Hoosiers’ perimeter shooting wasn’t close to the threat it was Tuesday, Indiana took over inside the arc to quickly pull away.
Senior forward Mackenzie Holmes got off to a blazing start, scoring Indiana’s first seven points. Holmes finished the game as the Hoosiers’ leading scorer with 17 points, executing her post moves to perfection to shoot a near-perfect 7-for-8 from the field.
Indiana found itself unable to replicate its profound 3-point shooting from Tuesday night. The Hoosiers started 0-of-7 from deep before senior guard Sara Scalia connected on two in a row.
Scalia hit three of Indiana’s five 3-point field goals and was second in team scoring with 15 points. Junior guard Chloe Moore-McNeil made the other two threes and finished with 9 points. The team shot 5-of-22 from deep as a collective, and outside of Scalia and Moore-McNeil, the Hoosiers were 0-for-12 behind the arc.
What the Hoosiers lacked in shooting they made up for everywhere else. Most prevalent was their dominance inside the paint. With a clear size advantage, Indiana scored 60 points inside the paint while grabbing 18 offensive rebounds.
Holmes stressed the importance of having offensive balance.
“I think having pieces and a lot of people who are capable of having big nights every night is really important,” Holmes said.
The game’s outcome was all but decided by halftime. Indiana led 49-17 after an overwhelming second quarter, outscoring UMass Lowell 27-5.
The Hoosiers’ defense was as stifling as ever, holding the River Hawks to 26.5% from the field and forcing 25 turnovers. Indiana’s size prevailed defensively too, restricting UMass Lowell to just two second chance points and 10 points in the paint.
Indiana head coach Teri Moren noted the team’s focus on rebounding in the offseason to prevent opponents from second chance opportunities.
“It’s every day we do a rebounding drill,” Moren said. “We knew that was going to be an area to address and rep every day.”
Having run out to a big lead early, the Hoosiers were able to show off their depth once again. All 13 available players were able to see the floor – 12 of which played more than 10 minutes – with the bench unit scoring 42 points.
“We just keep encouraging every one of them to be ready,” Moren said. “Be ready when your number’s called because you never know when that moment is going to happen.”
Indiana’s offense had its second-consecutive explosive performance. Its 93 points matches last season’s game-high, achieving that mark at Illinois in February. The Hoosiers are averaging 89.5 points per game through two games this season.
Indiana has handled business with ease in its adolescent season thus far, but its first test is next on its schedule. The Hoosiers will travel for the first time this season and take on the No. 5 University of Tennessee.
“It’s a great opportunity for us,” Moren said. “It’s a great barometer to see where we are. We’ve played pretty well but also haven’t been challenged quite yet.”
Holmes said she thinks the Hoosiers will be up to the tall task and anticipates a tough matchup.
“I know one through 14 we’re all ready for that challenge coming up,” she said. “We’re gonna go back, watch film and see what we can work on. I have full confidence that when the ball tips, we’ll be ready to play.”