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Sunday, April 14
The Indiana Daily Student

sports women's basketball

COLUMN: Indiana women’s basketball struggles early, finishes strong against Penn State as Iowa game looms

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No. 14 Indiana women’s basketball took the floor Wednesday night against the Penn State Lady Lions and came away with a gutsy 75-67 victory at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall. 

The Hoosiers entered the game sporting a 12-game win streak, and at points in this game, that streak appeared to be in jeopardy.  

Both teams got off to shaky starts offensively, but Penn State would see itself on top heading into halftime, leading 39-34.  

It took a strong surge in the third quarter from senior guard Sydney Parrish to get the Hoosiers back to their winning ways. Parrish’s spark consisted of 9 points on 3-of-4 shooting from the field. Over the past three games, the Hoosiers’ offense has been spearheaded by Parrish and graduate forward Mackenzie Holmes, who had 20 and 21 points respectively Wednesday. 

“That surge that Sydney had early in the second half was huge for us,” Holmes said. “Sydney is just a great player. We know and expect that from her to come and make plays and do all the little things that not a lot of other people want to do.” 

Indiana head coach Teri Moren compared Penn State to recent opponents like Murray State University, who played the Hoosiers in their second game of the season, and the University of Miami (Florida) from the second round of last year’s NCAA tournament. 

“They wanted to score,” Moren said. 

Penn State came into the game with the highest 3-point shooting percentage in the Big Ten and third in points per game, averaging 88 points a contest. The team certainly showed offensive prowess Wednesday in Bloomington. 

The Lady Lions also played good enough defense, forcing Indiana to just 28% from beyond the arc and a season high of 20 turnovers. 

There was good, there was bad, but ultimately the Hoosiers walked away victorious against a team that has an offense capable of challenging every team in the Big Ten. 

Moren explained postgame what was so poor when it came to defending the Lady Lions and what kept them in the game. 

“We also have to be so much better defensively and take more pride in guarding one-on-one; we just didn’t adjust,” Moren said. “We stood around a lot, we ran our gaps, we didn’t try to get any kind of support to our teammates.” 

Even though Indiana is now on a 13 game winning streak, the Hoosiers have had nights where an unkind first half meant improvement in the second. Nov. 30 against the University of Maine and Dec. 31 against Illinois are strong examples. 

With Maine, the Blackbears came out of the gate hot with a lone threat to defend, fifth year guard Anne Simon, who led her team to a first half lead. Halftime adjustments helped Indiana stop Simon and hold the Blackbears to 7-of-26 shooting in the second half.  

With the Fighting Illini, the Hoosiers lea 

d at halftime, but their first Big Ten opponent since Rutgers on Dec. 12 hung around all game. Still, the Hoosiers found their rhythm on offense, shooting 11-of-22 from the field with four 3-pointers en route to a 77-71 victory. 

Those matchups, including Wednesday night, are proven reasons why the Hoosiers can face a deficit and comeback from behind and hold their own. 

Arguably the most anticipated game of the year is up next for the Hoosiers and their fans. Iowa senior guard Caitlin Clark and the Iowa Hawkeyes await on Saturday night in Iowa City, Iowa. 

“We have done a pretty decent job knowing that she (Clark) is gonna score,” Moren said.  

The key is limiting every offensive option for Iowa, other than Caitlin Clark.  

“You know Caitlin is gonna get hers,” Moren said. 

Tip-off is slated for 8 p.m. on FOX. 

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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