In front of a regular season record crowd of 10,422 at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall, No. 6 Indiana women’s basketball did not disappoint. The cream and crimson dominated both ends of the floor to win 93-56 and improve to 16-1 overall, 5-1 in Big Ten play.
“The crowd was unbelievable,” head coach Teri Moren said after the game. “Second largest in history, which is pretty terrific. It was one of those days where there was a lot of really good basketball that they were able to see.”
The Hoosiers started off hot. Freshman guard Yarden Garzon, whose mother and sister traveled from Israel to watch, scored Indiana’s first seven points, then senior forward Mackenzie Holmes responded with six of her own. Indiana made eight of its first nine field goals to jump out to a 20-8 lead.
Indiana’s offense was clicking on all cylinders. The two-man game between Garzon and Holmes proved unstoppable, then set plays from head coach Teri Moren helped create wide open looks, such as junior guards Sydney Parrish and Chloe Moore-McNeil connecting for an easy layup.
The Badgers made a push to close out the first quarter, shrinking their deficit to six points, then scoring the first two of the second period to make it 24-20. However, the second frame was all Hoosiers.
Holmes controlled the paint and converted several trips at the free throw line, and graduate guard Grace Berger scored seven points, including her first 3-pointer since making her return. Indiana outscored Wisconsin 23-8 in the second quarter, including a 21-4 run in the final seven minutes and 35 seconds, and the Hoosiers led 47-26 at the half.
Indiana did not let off the gas. It scored 31 points in the third period, a season-high for a quarter. After shooting 4-of-14 from three in the first half, Indiana shot 4-of-5 from deep in the frame, two of which from Garzon for her third and fourth 3-pointers of the game.
“We got great shots in the first half, they just didn’t go down for us,” Moren said. “Two things we tell them is to have a short memory and keep shooting.”
Having extended its lead to 31 points, Indiana rested its starters in the fourth quarter. Junior forward Kiandra Browne made her first home appearance of the season and graduate forward Alyssa Geary made her first appearance in three games following a non-COVID illness.
Freshman forward Lilly Meister scored 6 points and grabbed two boards in the fourth frame to help the Hoosiers close things out. Indiana’s 37-point win is the second-ever largest margin of victory over Wisconsin. The Hoosiers beat the Badgers by 54 on Dec. 7, 1974.
Holmes led the way with 29 points in 26 minutes played, four points shy of her career high. Garzon affected all facets of the game, scoring 19 points, grabbing eight rebounds and dishing out seven assists. Berger scored 11 and Parrish added 10 to mark four Hoosiers in double-digit scoring.
Seeing her family for the first time since August, Garzon said it was a pleasant surprise to have them cheering her on.
“My mom was here,” Garzon said, jokingly attributing her performance to her family. “It’s been a lot for me, so it was great to look up and see their faces.”
Indiana played proficiently on both sides of the ball. It shot 54.7% from the field — including 40% from three — and held Wisconsin to 34.9% shooting and forced the Badgers into 21 turnovers.
The victory also put Moren at the top of Indiana’s record books. In her ninth season at Indiana, Moren earned her 188th win with the Hoosiers, tying her with the late Jim Izard. Izard coached Indiana from 1989-2000.
“It’s the kids in the program and the staff I’ve managed to have,” Moren said. “It’s great, but it’s really just a tribute to the kinds of kids we’ve had.”
Next for the Hoosiers is a road test at Illinois Wednesday at 8 p.m. Indiana defeated Illinois 65-61 in Bloomington on Dec. 4.
Follow reporters Will Foley (@foles24) and Matt Sebree (@mattsebree) and columnist Matt Press (@MattPress23) for updates throughout the Indiana women’s basketball season.