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Saturday, May 18
The Indiana Daily Student

sports women's basketball

Smothering defense pushes No. 4 Indiana women’s basketball past Morehead State 87-24


No. 4 Indiana women’s basketball locked down defensively and defeated Morehead State University 87-24 on Sunday at Simon Skjodt Assembly. The Hoosiers held the Eagles to just 18% shooting and took advantage of the size disparity between the teams to win their second to last non-conference game. 

The 24 points scored by Morehead State were the fewest scored against Indiana in a game since Moren took over as head coach and the 63-point margin is the third-largest in program history. 

The outsized and overmatched Eagles had no response to the Hoosiers from the tip off. As players lined up ahead of the game start, Indiana senior forward Mackenzie Holmes stepped to midcourt to take the jump ball. Standing across from the 6-foot-3-inch-tall Holmes for the opening tip was Morehead State junior guard Crystal Corley, who stands at just 5-foot-9-inches. 

Unsurprisingly, Holmes won the tip and immediately got to work, utilizing her height advantage to help her score the first six points of the contest. Though Morehead State started 6-foot-3-inch-tall senior center Isabel Gonzales, she also had little success slowing down Holmes in the paint. 

The size advantages continued all the way down the roster and throughout the game different players stepped up and were able to impose their will on the game. All 11 healthy players on the roster saw action Sunday and 10 of them scored. 

After the game, Indiana coach Teri Moren emphasized how her team’s size played a major role in the dominant win, particularly later in the game when more players than normal were featured in the rotation because of the margin. 

“I liked the big lineup, there's awful lot of size out there,” Moren said. "I like size. If you know anything about us, you know we like big guards.” 

In the backcourt, the Eagles started two 5-foot-4-inch guards — senior Veronica Charles and junior Sandra Lin — who both ran into the same issues as their frontcourt teammates: the Hoosiers’ size and defense preventing any sort of offensive consistency. The shortest Hoosier starter on Sunday was senior guard Sara Scalia, who is 5-foot-10-inch tall and towered over her backcourt opponents. 

Throughout the game, Indiana constantly and relentlessly pestered the Morehead State offense into forced passes and rushed shots — most of which ended up as Indiana possessions. By the time the final buzzer sounded, Morehead State had more turnovers committed, 25, than points scored, which totaled to only 24. 

Moren said the defensive dominance doesn’t come from any exotic coverages, just from playing smart, lock-down defense. 

“We didn't do anything out of the ordinary, we're very vanilla when it comes to the defensive side of the ball,” Moren said. “We're very disciplined in terms of tendencies of the players that we're getting ready to play against and what we're willing to allow.” 

Indiana improves to 11-0 overall with the win and will wrap up its nonconference schedule against Butler University at 1 p.m. Wednesday in Bloomington. Last season, the Hoosiers beat the Bulldogs 86-63 in Hinkle Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. 

Follow reporters Will Foley (@foles24) and Matt Sebree (@mattsebree) and columnist Matt Press (@MattPress23) for updates throughout the Indiana women’s basketball season. 
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