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Sunday, April 14
The Indiana Daily Student

sports women's basketball

Shell-shocked: No. 6 Indiana women’s basketball earns top-10 victory over No. 9 Maryland


In front of a raucous crowd at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall on Thursday, No. 6 Indiana women’s basketball won its second top-10 matchup of the season with a 68-61 win over No. 9 Maryland. 

The game was a back-and-forth struggle from the start. After Maryland scored the first basket, the game was stopped a minute in while the referees fixed an issue with the clocks. Coming out of the pause, graduate guard Grace Berger — playing her first game in Bloomington since returning from injury — found junior guard Sydney Parrish for an open 3-pointer to get Indiana on the scoreboard and bring the cream-and-crimson-clad fans in the stands to their feet early. 

Maryland responded on the next possession, however, setting the tone for the early game. 

Neither team built a lead of more than a single possession until nearly eight minutes into the contest, when Parrish hit another 3-pointer to put Indiana ahead by five. Maryland quickly answered on the next possession with a three of their own to cut the lead right back to two points.  

The pattern of one team making a play to seemingly grab momentum only for the other team to instantly respond with a big play of their own continued throughout the first quarter and a half. Across that span alone, there were six ties and seven lead changes. 

In the second quarter, however, the Hoosiers opened up a 9-0 run, sparked again by a Parrish triple. When the buzzer sounded for halftime, the Hoosiers had a 35-27 lead and had held the Terrapins to just seven second quarter points. 

Coming out of the half, Indiana continued playing lock down defense as it tried to put more distance between itself and Maryland. However, it was continually hampered by untimely turnovers, totaling eight in the quarter and 19 in the game — its second highest total of the season, only two less than it commit in its loss to Michigan State.  

Although the Hoosiers played far from a perfect game or even quarter, they continued finding ways to score, like when an errant pass bounced off the backboard and perfectly into senior forward Mackenzie Holmes’ lap, who converted the easy layup. 

“I think that was just a funny play,” Holmes said. “Honestly, in that moment, it kind of put a little perspective — like it's just a game and to have fun. But I think it just speaks to the character of our team. We just like to play ball and we like to win. So yeah, that was a funny little moment.”

While their tight defense kept them ahead by six points entering the final frame, the Hoosiers started to slip at the start of the fourth. After holding Terps leading scorer senior guard Diamond Miller to just seven total points through three quarters, the Hoosiers allowed her to score eight points early in the period, tying the game up at 50 points apiece with six minutes left to go.

On the possession before Miller’s game-tying layup, Berger was called for an offensive foul, which led to head coach Teri Moren and the crowd voicing their displeasure with the referees. Despite picking up her fourth foul with over half a quarter left to play, Moren said there was no discussion about taking Berger out, instead kept her star in and trusted her not to foul out.

“You have to have your veteran, your leader, your coach, out there on the floor,” Moren said about the decision after the game. “She is smart enough to understand how to play with four fouls, and she has a staff over there that trust her beyond measure in terms of her decisions and knowing that she was not going to allow herself to be taken out this game.”

The decision paid off and the Hoosiers again responded. With another 9-0 run across three and a half minutes thanks to baskets by four different players — each of which brought the crowd to its feet — Indiana regained control of the game and would not relinquish it again.

Although Miller and her teammates fighting, Indiana was able to overcome its turnover woes and put Maryland away with some key final stops and a few free throws to ice it. The nearly 6000 fans in attendance gave their team an ovation as the final buzzer sounded and the scoreboard read 68-61. With the win, the Hoosiers secured another top-10 win that could prove the difference when determining NCAA Tournament seeding in March.

After the game, Holmes — who recorded her fourth consecutive double-double in the win — said one of her opponents during the game even took note of the impact the fans were having and their knowledge of the game.

“She's like, ‘They actually know what's going on.’ And I'm like, ‘Yeah, I know.’ Because they feed us energy constantly throughout the game and that's just because they know when we need a stop, they know when we need a score,” Holmes said. “It's hard to play here, but it's really fun to be the home team.”

Indiana improves to 15-1 overall and 4-1 in Big Ten play with the victory. The team will stay in Bloomington for its next game, a matchup against Wisconsin at 2 p.m. Sunday in Assembly Hall.

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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