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Saturday, June 15
The Indiana Daily Student

sports women's basketball

COLUMN: Garzon leads Indiana women’s basketball’s historic offensive performance

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It had been nine days since No. 16 Indiana women's basketball got its first Big Ten win of the season against Rutgers on Dec. 9. As a little over a week without a game may come with a little rust, this was not the case for the Hoosiers in their 109-56 victory over the University of Evansville on Monday night. 

It's been a theme with the home non-conference matchups that Indiana has come out fast and doesn’t stop the pressure. With the Hoosiers playing only the one previously mentioned Big Ten game against Rutgers, these kinds of games serve as a relative sample size until Dec. 31 when the full Big Ten schedule kicks off. If the Hoosiers keep putting several impressive numbers like they did Monday, this offense could be even better than Iowa. 

In comparison to the two main offensive threats that are standing in Indiana’s way — Iowa and Ohio State — their offenses are completely different. Ohio State resembles Indiana, in terms of sharing the wealth as three Buckeyes average in double figures.  The Hawkeyes average 89 points with Caitlin Clark averaging 30.2. But where it is different is the Hawkeyes are very top heavy. In comparison, the top three leading scorers for the Buckeyes all average more than Iowa’s second leading scorer. 

In these types of matchups, Indiana’s offense has shown time and time again they haven’t skipped a beat from last year's Big Ten regular season title run and are poised to do it again this season. 

Season-high field goal percentage. 

While Monday wasn’t the Hoosiers’ highest scoring performance — scoring 112 points against Murray State University on Nov. 17 — they shot a season-high 71% from the floor. The percentage also is the highest field goal percentage by a Division I team this season. Additionally, outside of the star performance from sophomore guard Yarden Garzon, many of the Hoosiers had quality shooting performances. Eight Hoosiers that shot a minimum of three field goals, were above 50%. If Indiana continues to shoot that efficiently from the floor, it can beat anybody and be a huge threat on the national scale this season.  

Regained three-point success adds a huge cushion. 

The Hoosiers have been an efficient team from 3-point range all season, entering Monday shooting 32%. Against the Purple Aces, the Hoosiers shot 56% from beyond the arc — also a season-high. With the experience of fifth-year senior guard Sara Scalia and senior guard Sydney Parrish, who combined for five of Indiana’s nine three-pointers, this aspect of the offense has no sign of slowing down. This was a massive bounce back from Indiana given they shot 18% against Rutgers. 

Yarden Garzon’s offensive masterpiece. 

The last time we saw Garzon play this well was the Nov. 23 matchup against the University of Tennessee where she set a career-high with 23 points. Monday, Garzon shattered that number with a new career-high of 30 points. Garzon shot 85% from the floor on 12-14 field goals and was three-of-four from the three-point line. With all of the success from her freshman season, performances like this are expected. 

“When you have the opportunity to play pro, back in Israel, as an unpaid pro, I want to make that clear, you are playing with the likes of pros that have already played four years of college, some of them five years of college,” Indiana head coach Teri Moren said postgame. “I think you grow up really fast, and she does. She has a different level of maturity about her.” 

Moren’s message to the team was simple, “I just remined them that what a grateful opportunity we have to go out and compete and it has been nine days and lets go out and try to play fast, try to take care of the ball, try to put a lot of points on the board and continue to improve our defense.” Moren said. 

Some other notables for Indiana included graduate student forward Mackenzie Holmes finishing with a rather quiet double double. Holmes looked like her All-American self with 22 points and 10 rebounds. 

Next up for Indiana is a showdown at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall against Bowling Green State University at 6 p.m. Friday 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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