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The Indiana Daily Student

sports women's basketball

COLUMN: Three sound aspects for Indiana women’s basketball entering first Big Ten game

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Indiana women’s basketball was back in action Sunday with a 72-34 win against the Stetson University Hatters at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall.  

It was a lot of the same and a little more for the Hoosiers, who were once again led by graduate forward Mackenzie Holmes and sophomore guard Yarden Garzon. They had 17 and 14 points, respectively.  

While Indiana struggled from three, only shooting 22%, they performed well inside the arc at 61.5%. 

In addition to their offensive performance, Indiana’s defense was the main factor in keeping this game in clutch for the majority of the contest. The Hoosiers held the Hatters to only 34 points on 12-for-62 shooting, just 19%.  

The Hatters were the last opportunity for Indiana to freshen up their skills in time for their first Big Ten matchup against Rutgers University.  

It’s been a couple of weeks since the Hoosiers first and only loss of the season Nov. 12 against Stanford University, where it was apparent the Hoosiers had a lot of work to do. Since then, the Hoosiers have won seven games in a row and fixed several key mistakes from the Stanford game.  

Here are three things that Indiana has done well since Nov. 12. 

Sharing the rock 

Indiana took advantage of Stetson’s lacking defense and put up 72 points on 19 assists Sunday. The Hoosiers have been fantastic when it comes to ball movement and putting their own players in position to score by averaging 20.6 assists per game, second in the Big Ten.  

Selfless guard play has been key, especially from Garzon and senior guard Chloe Moore-McNeil — who  lead the team in assists with averages of 4.1 and 4.6, respectively. Indiana totals 144 assists this season. Moore-McNeil also led the team in assists Sunday with six. 

Indiana’s defense starting to click 

Outside of a 34-point performance from Maine University graduate guard Anne Simon, Indiana has made some much-needed and effective adjustments on defense. Looking back to the Hoosiers’ game versus the University of Tennessee, the Lady Vols average 81.4 points as a team but the Hoosiers kept them at just 57.  

Against Stetson, the Hoosiers held the Hatters to 34 points compared to their average of 59 points per game. Additionally, the Hoosiers forced Stetson to turn the ball over 16 times. One negative head coach Teri Moren expressed in the postgame press conference was offensive rebounds for the Hatters, as they grabbed 15 on Sunday. 

Positive bench minutes versus Stetson 

This season, head coach Teri Moren has attacked each game with an interesting game plan. The past couple games, Holmes started at the five and once the Hoosiers got a feel for each game, Holmes took a seat on the bench.  

Sophomore forward Lilly Meister is the replacement for Holmes, and she has produced productive minutes in Holmes’ stead. The Rochester, Minnesota, native had a 16-point +/- Sunday and tallied 7 rebounds in addition to 6 points with two tone-setting blocks. Moren said Meister has earned her minutes this season. 

“This was a great day that we could really utilize Lilly,” Moren said. “I’m very very pleased with the minutes we got out of Lilly today and how she took advantage of them.”  

Next for Indiana is a matchup in Piscataway, New Jersey, with the Rutgers Scarlet Knights. The teams face off at 4 p.m. Saturday on Big Ten Network.

CORRECTION: A previous version of this story stated Indiana's 2-point field goal percentage incorrectly.

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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