The final buzzer sounded, completing No. 14 Indiana women’s basketball’s come from behind victory. Numerous Hoosiers went to congratulate senior guard Chloe Moore-McNeil at midcourt. She drained a pair of game-clinching free throws just seconds prior, knowing she sealed the victory — but she didn’t realize her other accomplishment.
“She was like, ‘What? What? What?’” graduate student forward Mackenzie Holmes said postgame.
The Greenfield, Tennessee, native’s 10 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists marked the program's first triple double since the 2020-21 season.
The 5-foot-11 guard arrived in Bloomington coming off a senior season in high school where she averaged 20.8 points while her team was 34-0, but the rest of the season was cancelled due to COVID-19.
Adjusting to the college basketball game proves difficult for many freshmen — and it was no different for Moore-McNeil, who saw action during 25 games in 2020-21, averaging 1.3 points in 7.6 minutes per game.
While the landscape of college basketball has dramatically shifted with the addition of the transfer portal, Moore-McNeil remained bought in to the process. She never wavered.
With another offseason under her belt, Moore-McNeil saw the floor in all but two of Indiana’s games in her sophomore season as she averaged 5.2 points per game. Since then, she’s started all 52 games.
“They don’t make kids like Chloe anymore,” Indiana head coach Teri Moren said postgame. “By that I mean ... kids that come in as freshman and don’t play. But they believe in the staff. They believe in the process. She just knew it was a matter of time before it was going to be her team.”
It was her team Thursday. Although she didn’t enter the scoring column in the first quarter, she dished four assists and brought in one rebound.
In the second frame, Moore-McNeil did a little bit of everything. She notched 6 points and hauled in three rebounds alongside a pair of assists, but the Hoosiers trailed by 10 at the break. While she also had 6 points at halftime against Ohio State on Feb. 4, the Hoosiers stumbled in the third frame, turning the basketball over 11 times in the loss.
Thursday was different. The Hoosiers didn’t fall victim to their opponent surging in the third quarter. Instead, they surged.
“Our third quarters have been not very good,” Moren said. “After the Ohio State game, I talked to them about right now the Achilles heel is our third quarter starts.”
It wasn’t against Michigan State, though.
The Hoosiers outscored the Spartans 23-15 in the frame, going on a 6-2 run over the first 2:08. While Holmes racked up 10 points, Moore-McNeil scored just 2. She grabbed three rebounds and two assists in the quarter, but Indiana still trailed by 68-66 at the end of the frame.
By the 5:53 mark of the final quarter, Moore-McNeil picked up her fourth foul of the contest. She didn’t commit another foul after that.
“She was playing with four fouls for most of that fourth quarter and she did a great job staying solid, not bailing the other team out, staying in the game for us because she knew that we needed her in there to do,” Holmes said.
Just seconds after her final foul, Moore-McNeil assisted sophomore guard Yarden Garzon on a midrange jumper to take a 3-point lead.
While she may not have made a hefty impact in the scoring department in the final quarter, she contributed in every other way. With 1:55 remaining and the officials at the scorer’s table reviewing a foul call on sophomore guard Lexus Bargesser, Moore-McNeil took over the huddle, instructing a group consisting of Holmes, Garzon, Bargesser and fifth-year senior guard Sara Scalia.
“I love her leadership,” Moren said. “I love her heart. I love how hard she plays. Her teammates respect her because of the process. They’ve watched her sit, they’ve watcher her work and they’ve watched her be committed.”
With the game tied at 86, Moore-McNeil assisted Holmes on a layup with just over a minute left, giving Indiana the lead — one it didn’t relinquish.
While the Spartans trailed by 4 points with 11 seconds remaining, they had an opportunity to cut their deficit to just one possession. But when Michigan State junior guard DeeDee Hagemann missed a layup with seven seconds left, Moore-McNeil was there to haul in her 10th rebound and was immediately fouled.
Now with double-digit rebounds and assists, all that was left to do was make a pair of free throws to get to 10 points. Moore-McNeil sank them both, sealing the victory and the first triple-double of her career.
Hagemann drained a 3-pointer with three seconds left, but the Hoosiers emerged with a 94-91 victory.
Moore-McNeil's triple-double is just the fourth in program history — the first by a Hoosier not named Grace Berger.
“It’s great to see,” Moren said. “Hopefully it’s not her last one.”