No. 2 Indiana women’s basketball continued its stretch of dominance over the Big Ten Monday night, crushing No. 13 Ohio State 85-59 in Columbus and closing out the season sweep of the Buckeyes. This marks the Hoosiers’ 12th straight win, improving their record to 24-1, 14-1 in Big Ten play.
Indiana wasted no time getting in front, taking a 3-0 lead from an and-1 bucket by graduate guard Grace Berger and besides a tie score at 6-6, the Hoosiers never looked back. Senior forward Mackenzie Holmes found a groove early in a career night, working her way around the pain for 8 points in the first quarter.
Indiana’s tight defense early — holding Ohio State to 33% in the first frame — and high percentage shooting helped the Hoosiers surge ahead. A trio of triples from guards senior Sara Scalia, junior Sydney Parrish and freshman Yarden Garzon helped put Indiana ahead 24-12 after one period.
“I thought what we did on another level tonight was get out to a fast start offensively,” head coach Teri Moren said after the game. “We got a lot of points on the board.”
The Buckeyes responded with a solid offensive second quarter, but it paled in comparison to the Hoosiers’ hot shooting. Indiana opened the frame with a 17-2 run, led by Scalia knocking down three 3-pointers and Holmes working for three more buckets down low.
Ohio State tried to play catch-up, but Indiana refused to miss. Holmes proved unstoppable down low, and jumpers were falling for all of the Cream and Crimson, who made 13-of-16 in the second period — 81.6%. With a 30-17 second quarter differential, Indiana led 54-29 at halftime — scoring its most points in a half this season.
“We knew we had to come out with more energy than they did and come out guns a blazing, ready to go,” Holmes said. “We knew our game plan, and everyone was bought into it, so all we had to do was go out there and play hard and the rest would take care of itself.”
The second half did not provide the same offensive fireworks, but the Buckeyes made a strong push in the third period. Indiana’s offense had stalled, and Ohio State was clicking offensively, chipping its 25-point deficit to as close as 10 points with 2:11 remaining in the third quarter. The Hoosiers calmly responded with 3-pointers on back-to-back possessions, quelling the comeback attempt to enter the last frame up 15 points.
The fourth quarter became a muck fest between the two squads, a far cry from the combined 47 points in the third period. Indiana primarily ran the clock out and defensively stuffed Ohio State. Holmes scored 9 of Indiana’s 15 fourth-quarter points to reach a new career-high of 33, and the Hoosiers held the Buckeyes to a mere 6 points on 23% shooting.
Holmes’ 33 points topped her career-high of 32, which she achieved earlier in Indiana’s lone loss of the season against Michigan State. She had her way in the post, making 15-of-18 field goals, punishing the Buckeyes who notably lacked 6-foot-4 senior forward Rebeka Mikulasikova, who was out due to injury. Of Holmes’ four 30-point outings in her career, two of which have come at Ohio State, as she scored 30 in Columbus last season.
“The plan didn’t change for us. We knew we wanted to put the ball inside,” Moren said. “When that happens, it opens things up on the outside as well.”
Scalia produced her best game as a Hoosier, scoring a season-high 24 points on 9-of-12 shooting, 6-of-8 from three. Berger was Indiana’s only other double-digit scorer, putting up 16 and notching 10 rebounds for the second double-double of her season.
Indiana dominated both sides of the ball. It finished 59.6% from the field, 9-of-20 on 3-point attempts — 45% — and held Ohio State to 45.6% shooting and 59 points, 24 points short of the Buckeyes’ prior season average of 83.1 points per game.
Next on Indiana’s slate is a home bout against No. 12 Michigan in Bloomington. The Hoosiers beat the Wolverines in Ann Arbor 92-83 in January.
Follow reporters Will Foley (@foles24) and Matt Sebree (@mattsebree) and columnist Matt Press (@MattPress23) for updates throughout the Indiana women’s basketball season.