While Indiana women's basketball looked to add a ranked win to its resume in an early season test against No. 15 Stanford University, the Cardinal had other plans as they cruised to a 96-64 victory.
It was Nov. 25, 2021, when Indiana last faced off against the perennial powerhouse Stanford. That game took place in the Bahamas, though the weather wasn’t the only thing heating up in Nassau that day. Then emerging star forward Cameron Brink put up a historic statline, with 22 points, 23 rebounds, 5 assists and 5 blocks as the Cardinal defeated Indiana. The No. 9 Hoosiers hoped to contain Brink when they traveled to Palo Alto, California, on Sunday during a top 25 showdown with No. 15 Stanford. Unfortunately for Indiana, Brink would once more put forth a dominant performance powering the Cardinal to a win.
Indiana’s slow offensive start allowed Stanford to take an early 6-0 lead and from there the Cardinal simply didn’t look back. Poor offense was a trend for the Hoosiers throughout the game, shooting just 22-of-63 from the field and 5-of-32 from beyond the arc.
Scoring struggles are uncharacteristic for an Indiana team that scored at the second-highest rate in the Big Ten last season with 80.9 points per game. The Hoosiers were unable to get out in transition, a core aspect of their offensive gameplan. In Indiana’s season opener Nov. 9 against Eastern Illinois University, 30 of the team’s 96 points were scored in the fast break. In Sunday’s loss, the Hoosiers had just 10 fast break points.
In addition to difficulty scoring the ball, Indiana had no answer to Stanford’s high powered half-court attack. Brink was prominent both in and out of the paint, scoring from the post and from deep. The senior established her position in the lane, setting the tone for Stanford’s 44 points in the paint. Additionally, she tacked on two shots from beyond the arc, an aspect of her she has greatly improved in after shooting just 21.3% in 2022-23.
Stanford as a team shot 36-of-72 from the field, making 11 total three-pointers — eight of which came in the first half.
“They hit their shots, and we were handed an old-fashioned butt-kicking,” Moren said. “There are certainly a lot of things we need to get better at and improve.”
On the glass, Brink contributed 17 rebounds — a statistic that the Cardinal dominated 50-27. The Hoosiers AP Preseason All-American graduate student forward Mackenzie Holmes was unable to gain any sort of footing, as she finished the first half without a single point or rebound. Holmes finished the game shooting 3-of-12 from the field with just two total rebounds.
Maybe the only bright spot for Indiana was the play of freshman guard Lenée Beaumont. Although she played only 11 minutes, she shot an efficient 4-of-5 in a 9-point performance, one that may land her a larger role in the Hoosier attack going forward.
Indiana will have another opportunity to prove itself against high level competition Nov. 23 when the Hoosiers travel to Fort Myers, Florida, to take on No. 11 Tennessee. The Cream and Crimson will look to resolve their shortcomings from their performance in Palo Alto.
The Hoosiers now return to Bloomington, where they will welcome Murray State University to Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall on Friday. The contest will tip off at 7 p.m. and will be broadcast on Big Ten+
Follow reporters Dalton James (@DaltonMJames) and Quinn Richards (@Quinn_richa), columnist Ryan Canfield (@rpcvsthewrld) and photographer Olivia Bianco (@theoliviabianco) for updates throughout the Indiana women’s basketball season.
CORRECTION: A previous version of this story misstated Cameron Brink's 2022-23 3-point percentage.