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Tuesday, April 16
The Indiana Daily Student

sports women's basketball

Third quarter eruption sails No. 6 Indiana women’s basketball past Ohio State


When No. 2 Ohio State scored first in the second half to extend its lead to six points, a moment of doubt crept over the 10,455 Hoosier faithful: was No. 6 Indiana really going to lose its biggest game yet? Four minutes later, Assembly Hall was shaking, and the Hoosiers commanded an 11-point lead, an unthinkable run against a top-2 team.

Indiana piled it on from a 17-0 run to a 24-3 run. By the quarter’s end, the Hoosiers had turned a six-point deficit to a 17-point lead, controlling all facets of the game and feeding off the crowd’s frenzy.

“Everyone gets excited when someone makes a shot, and the crowd pushes us and we all get into it,” freshman guard Yarden Garzon said after the game. “We’re confident about ourselves and our shooting abilities. … We just keep shooting.”

The Hoosiers struggled offensively early — making just one of their first 10 3-point attempts — but it was Garzon who sunk her signature corner three to get things rolling in the third. After seeing one go down, Indiana caught fire.

Junior guard Chloe Moore-McNeil converted an and-1 layup, then came the barrage of triples. Junior guard Sydney Parrish sunk one in transition, then Garzon converted back-to-back threes off Ohio State turnovers. The second Garzon 3-pointer was what capped off the 17-0 run, a stretch even the Buckeyes had to give their flowers.

“We didn’t get back in transition, they turned us over for easy baskets, and it really snowballed on us,” Ohio State head coach Kevin McGuff said following the game. “Give Indiana credit, they played really well during that stretch.”

While the Hoosiers’ outside shots were falling, it was their defense which enabled the dominant run. Indiana forced Ohio State into six turnovers in the third frame and held the Buckeyes to an abysmal 2-for-12 from the field — 16.7%. Even when Ohio State got to the charity stripe, the ball wouldn’t fall its way, as it shot 2-for-7 from the line in the third.

In total, 13 of Indiana’s 27 third period points came off Ohio State turnovers — an extremely efficient mark. Key adjustments, such as assigning Garzon to guard Ohio State freshman forward Cotie McMahon, who scored 18 points in the first half, proved to be a difference maker.

“We had an incredible third quarter,” head coach Teri Moren said. “We did make some adjustments defensively, putting Yarden on McMahon, and I thought she came in and did a great job.”

Garzon finished the quarter with 11 points, including her three 3-pointers and two sneaky steals in which she slyly poked the ball away from Buckeye ball handlers to create transition opportunities.

“We needed to challenge somebody, and Yarden is so good when it comes to ‘you’ve got to be able to do this for us’ tasks,” Moren said. “I thought Yarden took that challenge and did a fantastic job.”

The 27-6 smothering is something Ohio State has not experienced all season, and it likely won’t the rest of the way. When the game’s fate was emerging, Moren’s squad relied on old faithful: the defensive side of the ball.

Indiana’s sailing to victory wasn’t as smooth as anticipated in the fourth period, but its trusted veterans helped put the Buckeyes at bay. Clutch buckets from graduate guard Grace Berger — who scored seven points in the frame after just five in the first three periods — and senior forward Mackenzie Holmes quelled any Ohio State comeback attempts.

With a final score of 78-65, Indiana had manhandled the second-ranked team in the country for 10 full minutes in the third quarter and cruised its way along for its sixth ranked win of the season. If there was any doubt the Hoosiers are championship contenders, the roar from Assembly Hall shut it down.

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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