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Monday, June 17
The Indiana Daily Student

sports women's basketball

Historic first quarter fuels No. 14 Indiana women’s basketball to 80-59 win over Michigan

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When No. 14 Indiana women’s basketball hosted Michigan on Thursday night, fans were expecting a defensive battle as the Big Ten’s top two scoring defenses collided at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall. However, in front of a crowd of over 8,000 Hoosier faithful, Indiana put forth a historic 36-point first quarter en route to an 80-59 win over the Wolverines. 

“We knew we had to get out of the gates early,” Indiana head coach Teri Moren said. “We knew we had to strike first.” 

It would be difficult to find a more perfectly executed game plan, as the Hoosiers shot a flawless 13-for-13 from the field in the first quarter, including a six-for-six split from beyond the arc. Moren’s squad parlayed this fast start to a 36-17 lead at the end of the first quarter. 

Indiana made its first 15 shots from the floor, the first such performance in Division I Women’s College Basketball since 1999.  

Prior to the game, Michigan boasted the best scoring defense in the Big Ten, allowing just 55.2 points per game. The Hoosiers finished the first half with 51. 

Indiana’s depth was on full display in the win, as eight Hoosiers finished the game with five or more points. Additionally, three starters had 14-plus points – graduate student forward Mackenzie Holmes, fifth-year senior guard Sara Scalia and senior guard Sydney Parrish. 

“A lot of different people stepped up and gave us good minutes,” Moren said. “I've really liked how we share the ball.”  

Holmes, coming off a 30-point performance in the Hoosiers’ 77-71 win over Illinois, led the Hoosiers in scoring once again with 20 points. The AP Preseason All-American dominated the paint on both ends of the floor, adding a game-high seven rebounds while shooting 7-for-10 from the field. 

Scalia, the former Minnesota Golden Gopher, had 16 points on 5-for-12 shooting and notched a season high with six assists. Additionally, she knocked down four 3-pointers, three of which were a part of the Hoosiers’ 36-point first quarter. 

“I don't know why you would ever leave Sara Scalia open for a 3-pointer, but they did,” Holmes said. “And she made them pay.” 

Parrish had a near flawless first half, going 5-for-5 from the field and 3-for-3 from beyond the arc, her only miss coming from the free throw line where she split a pair. She would finish the game with 14 points. 

“I think Sydney brought a lot of great energy,” Holmes said. “She got our momentum going from the start.” 

The trio of Hoosier starters showcased their abilities to be scorers in Indiana’s high-powered offense. Although Indiana sits just sixth in the conference for scoring offense, the Hoosiers have shown their potential to put up points in a hurry from all over the floor, and it starts with Holmes in the paint. 

“It helps having Mack down low,” Scalia said. “She draws a lot of attention down there.” 

While teams are forced to double team Holmes in the paint, shooters like Scalia and Parrish are left open from long range and, as of late, the shots have been falling. 

Indiana (12-1, 3-0 Big Ten) will look to remain hot in conference play as the Hoosiers travel to Lincoln to take on Nebraska (11-3, 3-0 Big Ten) at Pinnacle Bank Arena. That game is set to tip off at 2 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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