Indiana women’s basketball entered Friday’s contest against Murray State University coming off a 32-point blowout loss to now No. 6 Stanford University on Nov. 12.
With the frustrating loss behind the Hoosiers, they regained their typical form Friday with a 112-79 victory over the Racers. Indiana notched triple digits for the first time since scoring 100 points against Eastern Kentucky in the 2021-22 season. Friday marked the first time the Hoosiers have scored more than 100 points since Indiana head coach Teri Moren’s debut on the sidelines in Bloomington on Nov. 15, 2014.
“It’s good to see some of those shots that weren’t going down for us in California go in tonight,” Moren said postgame. “Still, to be quite frank, not very happy with how we are performing on the defensive side of the ball. I think we have to be so much better.”
Indiana began the contest with layups from senior guard Chloe Moore-McNeil and graduate student forward Mackenzie Holmes to get off to a 4-0 lead. Murray State followed up the Hoosiers’ quick start with a 3-pointer of their own to get in the scoring column.
The Hoosiers then went on a 16-0 run, resulting in a 27-point first quarter after scoring just 26 points in the first half against Stanford.
Although Indiana dominated the first quarter, Murray State responded in the second quarter by being outscored just 23-25. The Racers went 8-of-17 from the field in the quarter with half of their baskets coming from their 4-of-9 showing from 3-point range.
After Indiana took a 52-35 lead into halftime, another back-and-forth quarter ensued. Although it notched 33 points in the third quarter, Indiana allowed Murray State to score 28 points in the quarter — matching Stanford’s highest point total in a quarter against the Hoosiers.
A free-throw parade ensued in the quarter with the Hoosiers capitalizing on their opportunities at the charity stripe, going 12-of-13.
Although Murray State committed nine fouls in the third quarter compared to Indiana’s four, Indiana head coach Teri Moren was visibly frustrated with the officiating against her squad. Not only was Moren in disagreement with the officials, but sophomore guard Yarden Garzon was clearly confused with a foul called against her.
The fourth quarter began with Murray State going on a 6-2 run to cut its deficit to 18 points, but the Hoosiers followed that up with a 21-4 run of their own. Despite the unsatisfying third quarter in which the Hoosiers were unable to put the Racers away, Indiana outscored Murray State 27-16 in the fourth quarter en route to the victory.
Fifth-year senior guard Sara Scalia led all scorers with 22 points, followed by Holmes with 20 points, while Garzon and Moore-McNeil each notched 14 points.
Senior guard Sydney Parrish started the contest for the Hoosiers and scored 5 points. After driving to the basket late in the opening quarter, she limped down the court with an apparent injury and ended up totaling a hair under 14 minutes of action.
“Apparently, she’s dealing with a hamstring [injury],” Moren said. “We felt like if we could sit her that was probably the best thing to do.”
Indiana struggled to contain one of the nation’s top teams in Stanford and continued to do the same against Murray State. While the Hoosiers took a decisive victory, their defense didn’t meet Moren’s set goal of allowing less than 60 points.
“We were trying to keep them under 60,” Moren said. “That was a defensive goal tonight. We clearly didn’t hit that mark.”
The Hoosiers will look to improve upon their pair of rough showings on defense prior to taking on Lipscomb University on Sunday. The contest against the Bison will begin at 2 p.m. and will be streaming on Big Ten+.
“Dang it, you just have to have a smash mouth mentality,” Moren said. “We lack it right now and we gotta find it. We gotta find it. We have to be just more tough.”