No. 17 Indiana women’s basketball entered its Sunday matinee against Stetson University coming off a 67-59 victory over the University of Maine on Thursday.
With one final tune-up before beginning Big Ten play against Rutgers on Dec. 9, the Hoosiers looked to notch their seventh victory of the season.
The Hatters began the contest on a 5-2 run across the first few minutes of the first quarter. Not only was Stetson leading, but it was also dominating Indiana on the boards. The Hatters grabbed four offensive rebounds in the first three-and-a-half minutes, imposing their will on the glass.
Despite their rebounding struggles early, the Hoosiers turned it on later in the opening frame, going on a 17-2 run over the final six minutes and five seconds to take a 24-9 lead. Indiana’s offensive outburst came from a balanced scoring attack — four starters notched 5 points apiece.
The Hoosiers picked up where they left off in the second quarter, starting the frame on an 8-0 run to take a 21-point advantage.
After beginning the contest by hauling in four offensive rebounds, the Hatters continued to do so in the second quarter. While Indiana notched one offensive board in five opportunities, Stetson corralled 11 in 19 opportunities.
Although the Hoosiers were seemingly on their way to a dominant second quarter, the Hatters concluded the period outscoring Indiana 11-9 as the Hoosiers took a 41-20 lead into halftime.
“From the first half perspective, we really shot it well,” Indiana head coach Teri Moren said postgame. “Didn’t have a whole lot of complaining to do although on the defensive side we still felt like there opportunities to get in gaps, get some steals, help each other out better and I thought we improved in the second half with that.”
Indiana began the second quarter conceding back-to-back buckets to Stetson leaving Moren visibly frustrated.
“I thought we didn’t get off to the start we wanted to in the second half,” Moren said. “Thought we took some really early quick shots that didn’t go down and we got to the media timeout and just talked a lot about what a good shot looks like for us.”
The Hoosiers followed up the disappointing start to the half with a 13-0 run over nearly five minutes to pull away, taking a 54-24 lead.
Despite Stetson going 3-for-16 from the field in the third quarter, the Hatters hauled in two offensive rebounds compared to the Hoosiers’ one after dominating in that aspect in the first half.
“Not very pleased with giving up 15 offensive rebounds to a team that is far smaller than we are,” Moren said. “I though that there were possessions, especially in the first half right in front of our bench, where we had inside position and then we just didn’t go get it. We didn’t pursue it and it’s like we were waiting for somebody else to go get it.”
Indiana held Stetson to just 9 points in the third quarter — matching its first-quarter total – to take a 58-29 lead with just one quarter remaining. The Hoosiers poured it on in the first two-and-a-half minutes of the final frame, going on a 10-0 run.
Leading 70-31 with the game firmly in hand, Moren pulled the starters from the contest with six minutes remaining.
Graduate student forward Mackenzie Holmes led all scorers with 17 points, going 7-for-9 from the field and 3-for-4 from the charity stripe.
Sophomore guard Yarden Garzon and fifth-year senior guard Sara Scalia followed with 14 and 10 points, respectively. The Hoosiers held the Hatters to 12-for-62 from the field while going 29-for-61 en route to a 72-34 victory.
“My goal for them going in was defensive goal — they average right around 59 — to keep them under 50,” Moren said. “We certainly achieved that but probably more important goal for us was offensively that I gave them was for us to get more transition points.”
The Hoosiers did just that, scoring 26 fast break points while holding the Hatters to zero.
Indiana now sets its sights on conference play, taking on Rutgers at 4 p.m. Dec. 9 in Piscataway, New Jersey. It will be available to watch on the Big Ten Network.