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Monday, June 17
The Indiana Daily Student

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UPDATED: INSTANT RECAP: No. 16 Indiana women’s basketball squeaks out 77-71 victory over Illinois


Coming off a nine-day break, No. 16 Indiana women’s basketball returned to action against Illinois in a New Year’s Eve matinee. The Hoosiers entered the contest with a 1-0 record in conference play after a victory over Rutgers on Dec. 9. Indiana improved to 2-0 in Big Ten play, notching a close 77-71 victory over the Fighting Illini. 

Indiana graduate student forward Mackenzie Holmes and Illinois senior forward Kendall Bostic each began the first quarter on a tear. Holmes and Bostic went three-for-three from the field, respectively, as the squads were tied at 6 midway through the opening frame. 

While the Hoosiers’ guards combined for five assists in the quarter, Indiana held the Illini to 5 points in the final seven minutes of the first quarter to take a 17-10 lead into the second frame. 

Although Bostic scored 8 of Illinois’ 10 points in the first quarter, the Illini produced a balanced scoring attack in the back-and-forth second quarter. 

Indiana went on a 6-0 and 4-0 run in the opening half of the second frame, but Illinois continuously responded with points of its own to keep its deficit around 10. 

The Hoosiers looked like they would end the half with a 9-point lead until Illinois senior guard Genesis Bryant knocked down a 3-pointer with just two seconds left in the half, narrowing Indiana’s lead to 37-31 at halftime. 

Illinois picked up where it left off in the third quarter, scoring a pair of buckets to close the gap to just 2 points. 

Sophomore guard Yarden Garzon sank a 3-pointer to kick off what ended up being a 9-0 run that gave the Hoosiers an 11-point lead. Senior guard Chloe Moore-McNeil made a pair of layups during the run to increase her point total to 14. 

Although the Hoosiers went on a lengthy run and seemed to have control of the game, Illinois went on a 10-0 run of its own to cut Indiana’s lead to just 1 point. Sophomore guard Lexus Bargesser went one-for-two from the charity stripe late in the third quarter to end the run and give Indiana a 2-point lead at the conclusion of the third quarter. 

Holmes made a layup to begin the fourth quarter but Illinois senior guard Makira Cook immediately responded, knocking down a midrange jumper. Senior guard Sydney Parrish drilled her first 3-pointer of the contest but was met with a 5-0 run from Illinois to tie the game at 54. 

The two squads traded baskets for nearly four minutes until Holmes made three free throws to take a 4-point lead. 

Facing their largest deficit since the beginning of the fourth quarter, Illinois responded with Cook’s 3-pointer to cut Indiana’s advantage to just 1 point. Holmes and Cook continued to go back-and-forth with a pair of free throws by the former and a midrange jumper from the latter.

A reverse layup by Holmes gave the Hoosiers a 3-point lead with just over one minute left in the contest. Cook made a pair of free throws to cut the Illini’s deficit to 1 point with 55 seconds remaining. 

Although Garzon had a rather quiet contest, she came up big for the Hoosiers in crunch time drilling a 3-pointer to give Indiana a 4-point lead with 41 seconds left. On a missed Illinois 3-pointer, Garzon corralled a rebound and was fouled, knocking down a pair of crucial free throws to give the Hoosiers a 73-67 lead.  

Fifth-year senior guard Sara Scalia notched her first points of the game at the charity stripe with five seconds remaining to effectively seal the game as the Hoosiers emerged victorious with a 77-71 win. 

Indiana now sets its sights towards a 7 p.m. matchup against Michigan on Thursday. The contest will be televised on the Big Ten Network. 

CORRECTION: This story has been updated to reflect the correct score.

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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