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The Indiana Daily Student

sports women's basketball

Assembly Hall elation fuels No. 14 Indiana women’s basketball to win over No. 4 Iowa

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For more photos, see PHOTOS: No. 14 Indiana women's basketball basketball finds first top ten win against Iowa.

With 4:27 remaining in the third quarter, senior guard Sydney Parrish drilled her second 3-pointer in a 20-second stretch, which sent a crowd of over 17,000 into an ear-piercing roar. Parrish’s shot gave No. 14 Indiana women’s basketball a 17-point lead over No. 4 Iowa on Thursday night.  

The final whistle blew with the Hoosiers on top 86-69, defending their home-court once again with help from a sold-out Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall. 

“Our fan base has continued to come out and support us,” Indiana head coach Teri Moren said during her postgame press conference. “We're once again really just grateful for that.” 

The Hoosier faithful were treated to an all-around offensive master class led by fifth-year senior guard Sara Scalia and graduate student forward Mackenzie Holmes. 

Scalia led the Hoosiers with a game-high 25 points against the Hawkeyes and dominated the perimeter with a trio of makes from beyond the arc. Holmes provided Indiana with an effective one-two punch, as she made a living inside the paint with an efficient 11-for-16 shooting. 

In Holmes’ penultimate regular season game at Assembly Hall, she put up an all-around stat-stuffer, tallying 24 points, nine rebounds and four blocks. The fifth-year Hoosier credited the home environment as a major factor for her performance during her postgame press conference. 

“We had an incredible crowd tonight,” Holmes said. “Hoosier Nation showed up for us in a big way and I was just embracing it.” 

The hectic Assembly Hall atmosphere was also beneficial for the cream and crimson on the defensive end of the floor.  

Iowa senior guard Caitlin Clark entered the game averaging an NCAA-best 32.8 points per game and recently became the all-time leading scorer in NCAA women’s basketball history. Indiana’s hopes of an upset largely depended on its ability to limit the dynamic Hawkeye guard. 

Clark finished the first half with 20 points and appeared to be positioned for a similarly successful performance out of the intermission. However, Indiana’s defense and a hostile Hoosier fan base combined to blanket her to only 4 second half points on 2-for-16 shooting. 

“They were just tenacious,” Clark said. “Obviously it helps them when there's 17,000 people screaming for you.” 

Regardless of Clark’s second half struggles, Iowa showed some fight midway through the third quarter. The Hawkeyes cut the lead to as few as eight after back-to-back 3-pointers made the score 62-54. However, the electric Assembly Hall provided Indiana with the energy needed to take back momentum. 

“When we have a crowd like that, it really pushes us through,” Holmes said. “Especially midway through that third quarter you're starting to feel a little bit of fatigue. The adrenaline you get from the noise and the fans in Assembly Hall, it's really incredible.” 

Indiana women’s basketball sold out a regular season game at Assembly Hall for just the second time in program history. The other instance was last season’s Big Ten title-clinching matchup with in-state rival Purdue. Holmes minced no words when showing her appreciation for the fanbase’s support. 

“I feel very lucky and grateful to play in front of a crowd like this who just show out for us night in and night out,” Holmes said. “Hopefully we continue to draw those types of crowds.” 

The Hoosiers’ 2023-24 campaign has set numerous attendance records, and support for the program shows no signs of slowing down. From an average attendance of less than 3,000 in 2014 to an at-capacity Assembly Hall on Thursday night against the Hawkeyes, support for Indiana women’s basketball continues to grow exponentially. 

Up next for the Hoosiers is their final road game of the regular season as they travel to Evanston, Illinois, to take on Northwestern. Indiana routed the Wildcats 100-59 at Assembly Hall in its Jan. 28 matchup and will look to sweep the season series Tuesday night. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. and the matchup 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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