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Saturday, March 2
The Indiana Daily Student

sports women's basketball

Moore-McNeil puts No. 10 Indiana women’s basketball at ease down the stretch at Maryland

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All it took was 18 seconds.  

Senior guard Chloe Moore-McNeil wasted no time getting No. 10 Indiana women’s basketball on the board, sinking a 3-pointer to give the Hoosiers an early 3-0 lead over Maryland on Wednesday. 

Moore-McNeil’s opening long ball was only the beginning of the action from beyond the arc in the first quarter. Fifth-year senior guard Sara Scalia and sophomore guard Yarden Garzon each nailed a pair of 3-balls in the frame, alongside sophomore guard Lexus Bargesser’s third 3-pointer of the season. 

The rest of the Hoosiers combined to make eight 3-pointers in the first half — Moore McNeil went 0-of-4 in her subsequent attempts in the first half. Behind its 3-point barrage from Scalia and graduate student forward Mackenzie Holmes notching 12 points in the first half, Indiana went into the locker room at halftime with a 52-30 advantage. 

But the contest was far from over — and Indiana head coach Teri Moren knew that. 

“We knew that Maryland was not going to go away,” Moren said postgame. “It’s just not how they’re coached, and they have too much tradition and pride and they’re too well coached. We knew that there was going to be a run made by them.” 

In the Hoosiers’ four prior conference road games, they’ve been outscored 78-72 in the third quarter. While the Terrapins shot 41.4% from the field in the first half, compared to Indiana’s 59.4%, they hadn’t given up yet. 

While the opening stages of the second half saw the squads trade baskets, Maryland took over. Going on a 10-0 run over nearly two minutes, the Terrapins found themselves within 13 points with just over six minutes remaining in the frames. 

Maryland went on a 9-1 run to close out the third quarter, while the Hoosiers went just 5-of-15 from the field. Now within 9 points and cutting their deficit to single digits for the first time since the opening quarter, the Terrapins looked to be in control heading into the final 10 minutes of play. 

The Hoosiers were reeling after the third quarter, seemingly losing control of a game they once led by 23. Huddled as a team just moments before the fourth quarter began, Moore-McNeil delivered a calming message. 

“Chloe told them that we were going to stick together and we’re going to stay connected,” Moren said. “We had to get stops. We were going to win the game and so I just listened, and I think it was Chloe and the rest of the guys that were out on the floor, and they believe in each other.” 

While she scored just 1 point in the fourth quarter, Moore-McNeil stepped up vocally — providing veteran leadership to put the Hoosiers at ease and “give them good juice.” 

Indiana did just what Moore-McNeil said they were going to do. While the two ballclubs traded baskets in the opening stages of the final quarter, the Hoosiers strung together stops and went on a 10-0 run to take a 17-point advantage. 

Although Moore-McNeil registered just 10 points in the contest, it wasn’t what she finished with in the box score that demonstrated her impact — it was reconnecting the Hoosiers and guiding them to victory. 

“Chloe has been a really good leader for us throughout the entire year,” Scalia said postgame. “She’ll calm us down in moments we need it, but then she’ll also get on us when we need to get stops and stuff like that. I think it really just comes down to, I mean experience helps us a lot, but we also have really good leaders on this team that keep us at ease when things get a little crazy.” 

Behind Moore-McNeil’s leadership and 23 and 22 points from Holmes and Scalia, the Hoosiers emerged victorious at the XFINITY Center for the first time in program history.  

“We made history for our program in terms of being able to win at Maryland,” Moren said. “That just tells you how good Maryland has been and what a fabulous job Brenda has done in her time here.” 

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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