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Monday, March 4
The Indiana Daily Student

sports women's basketball

Defense shines in No. 17 Indiana women’s basketball’s win over Stetson

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Indiana women’s basketball head coach Teri Moren wasn’t impressed with her team’s defensive play during its 67-59 win over the University of Maine on Thursday.  

The Hoosiers were trailing for the majority of the game against the Black Bears and trailed 29-37 at halftime. It was clear that play on the defensive end for Indiana needed to improve for the country’s 17th-ranked team with hopes of defending its first conference championship in four decades. Fortunately, the Hoosiers had a golden opportunity to fix their defensive shortcomings before conference play as they took on Stetson University at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall on Sunday afternoon. 

Moren had high standards for her Indiana team entering the game. 

“My goal for them going in was to keep them under 50,” Moren said. 

When the final buzzer sounded, that goal was reached with flying colors as the Hoosiers held the Hatters to under 20% from the field in a 72-34 win. Stetson finished the game shooting 12-for-62 and three-for-24 from beyond the arc. 

In addition to holding Stetson to just 34 points, Indiana’s defense paved the way for success on the offensive end. The Hoosiers raced to 26 fast break points in the afternoon, a major step up from the six scored in the win over Maine. 

“We need to manufacture points in the open court by playing fast,” Moren said. “I thought they did a good job of that today.” 

Indiana’s 11 steals against Stetson tied the season-high and provided the Hoosiers with an abundance of opportunities to push the ball up the court and play with pace. Senior guard Sydney Parrish noted the impact of forcing turnovers and turning them into points. 

“I think that our defensive stops led to offensive breakouts,” Parrish said postgame. 

The performance against Stetson proves the Hoosiers are more than capable of playing lockdown defense, though the consistency on that side of the floor has been a major talking point of coaches and players alike. Sophomore guard Yarden Garzon, who finished the game with 14 points, touched on the importance of playing quality defense night in and night out. 

“Our emphasis is on defense every night,” Garzon said postgame. “We need to be more consistent on that side of the ball.” 

Consistency has been an aspect of Indiana’s early season and is something coach Moren believes separates the elite teams in women’s college basketball. 

“Good teams show up on nights where you have to be special,” Moren said. “Great teams show up no matter who the opponent is.” 

The Hoosiers now gear up for an early conference play matchup as they travel to Piscataway, New Jersey, to take on Rutgers on Saturday afternoon. The game is set to tip off at 4 p.m. and will be broadcast on the Big Ten Network. 

Follow reporters Dalton James (@DaltonMJames) and Quinn Richards (@Quinn_richa), columnist Ryan Canfield (@_ryancanfield) and photographer Olivia Bianco (@theoliviabianco) for updates throughout the Indiana women’s basketball season. 

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