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Monday, April 15
The Indiana Daily Student

sports women's basketball

No. 4 Indiana women’s basketball overcomes shooting woes in the clutch to topple Nebraska

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No. 4 Indiana women’s basketball couldn’t buy a bucket against Nebraska all day. The Hoosiers were desperate to make anything, but when the game necessitated overtime, Indiana found its shot.

“We didn’t shoot it well, I know that,” Indiana head coach Teri Moren said. “But we hit the shots we needed to in overtime.”

All seemed well in the first quarter for Indiana, which shot 46% from the field including 1-of-2 on three-point attempts. However, the rest of regulation featured abysmal efficiency, making the Hoosiers’ competitiveness questionable yet impressive.

In the second period, neither team could make a shot. Indiana was 4-of-17 from the field — 23.5% — including 0-of-7 from deep. While the Hoosiers have shown their shooting capabilities this season, they were not on display Sunday afternoon.

Indiana held a 31-30 halftime lead, but its shooting struggles made a victory seem improbable. Confidence was plummeting, but Moren’s trust in her players never faltered.

“As a shooter you go through slumps, and it’s kind of hard,” junior guard Sydney Parrish, who entered halftime shooting 2-of-7 from the field, said. “Coach Moren said, ‘keep shooting.’ Knowing she has that confidence in me gives me the confidence to keep shooting the ball.”

The Hoosiers gave up on shooting from three in the third quarter, yet still shot below their average from the field, going 5-of-11 in the quarter. The Cornhuskers made a push and took the lead, and the outcome did not look promising for Indiana.

Indiana’s defense buckled down to keep it in the game, and although shooting struggles continued, all the Hoosiers needed was to see one go in for things to change. With her coach’s trust propelling her, Parrish knocked down a three to give the Hoosiers a one-point lead in the fourth period.

The two teams continued to exchange blows, and with the score tied at 62 all at the end of regulation, the extra five-minute period would decide the game. Knowing this and determined to avoid a losing streak, the experienced Hoosiers elevated their play just in time.

Indiana struck first, and it was none other than a three from Parrish on a designed play. Finally able to connect, the Hoosiers were up-and-running on their way to victory.

“We rep that play over and over again in practice,” Parrish said. “The fact coach was willing to run that play to me gave me more confidence to shoot it and know I can knock it down.”

The Hoosiers cruised to a 74-62 victory, outscoring the Cornhuskers 12-0 in overtime. On the play’s final game, with Indiana needing to shoot to avoid a shot-clock violation, freshman guard Yarden Garzon hurled a three and saw nothing but net, smiling and letting out a sigh of relief as to signal “finally.”

Indiana shot 3-of-5 from the field in overtime — 60% — including 2-of-2 from deep. It was a drastic difference from the shooting effort in regulation — 37% from the field including 2-of-14 on three-point attempts. It took time, but the Hoosiers were finally able to knock down their shots.

“There’s different ways you can manufacture points,” Moren said. “Especially on nights when your shot’s not falling.”

What Indiana lacked for in shooting, it made up for on the free-throw line. The Hoosiers shot 24-of-30 from the charity stripe — 80%.

While Indiana’s win was an impressive effort, the same result can’t be expected on similar poor shooting outings in a tough Big Ten slate. Indiana next takes the court at Northwestern, where a big shooting night could be necessary.

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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