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Thursday, April 18
The Indiana Daily Student

sports women's basketball

No. 4 Indiana women’s basketball dominates first half, dismantles Minnesota 77-54

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No. 4 Indiana women’s basketball extended its winning streak to nine games Wednesday night, defeating Minnesota 77-54 in Minneapolis. The Hoosiers improved to 21-1 overall, 11-1 in Big Ten play. 

Fuel was added to the fire before the game even tipped off, as Minnesota fans booed Indiana senior guard Sara Scalia. A three-year starter at Minnesota, Scalia finished top-10 in scoring average, fifth in minutes per game and the best free-throw shooter in Minnesota program history. 

Senior forward Mackenzie Holmes started a productive night early, scoring 10 of Indiana’s first 12 points. The Hoosiers jumped out to a 16-4 lead behind Holmes offensively and lockdown defense.  

Holmes established her dominance in the paint in the first period, and it boded well for Indiana in the second frame. Drawing more attention in the paint, the perimeter opened up and junior guard Sydney Parrish took advantage, hitting back-to-back 3-pointers to open the quarter. Following two Minnesota buckets, Parrish came down and drilled her third triple of the quarter. 

The Hoosiers continued to cruise behind a few more buckets from Holmes and graduate guard Grace Berger, building their lead to as high as 26 points in the first half. Entering the half up 41-20, Indiana had all but decided the game’s outcome. 

Minnesota thought otherwise, scoring the first 6 points out of the half and testing the Hoosiers in the third quarter. Freshman guard Mara Braun scored 8 points in the quarter, including two threes, and forwards freshman Mallory Heyer and sophomore Alanna Micheaux each added 6 to account for all 20 of the Gophers’ third period points.  

Minnesota cut the deficit as close as 12 points in the frame, but a 6-0 Indiana run had the Hoosier lead right back at 18 entering the fourth period. Holmes scored 10 more points in the quarter and Parrish added 5. 

The two teams traded blows throughout the period before a 9-0 burst from Indiana emphatically ensured the victory. Scalia, who had a poor shooting night, was able to savor a revenge moment when she connected on a deep 3-pointer late in the fourth.  

Holmes finished with 28 points on 12-of-14 shooting, a sign that what started as a scoring frenzy for the senior has become a regularity. Parrish scored 23 points on her most efficient shooting night of the season, making 8-of-12 from the field including 3-of-4 from deep. Despite shooting 3-of-10 from the field, Scalia finished as the only other Hoosier to score double-digit points with a 10-point outing.  

Braun, Heyer and Micheaux produced the bulk of Minnesota’s scoring, accounting for 41 of the Golden Gophers’ 54 points. Minnesota shot just 33.9% from the field and finished with 29 turnovers. 

[Related: No. 4 Indiana women’s basketball to face sold out Mackey Arena against Purdue

Next up for Indiana is a trip to West Lafayette to take on in-state rival Purdue at Mackey Arena in front of a sold-out crowd on Sunday afternoon. Tipoff is scheduled for 2 p.m. and the game will be available to watch on FS1. 

This story will be updated.

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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