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Saturday, March 2
The Indiana Daily Student

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COLUMN: Indiana women’s basketball’s road struggles continue at Ohio State

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Indiana graduate student forward Mackenzie Holmes caught the ball in the post and went up only to be blocked by Ohio State graduate student forward Rebeka Mikulášiková.  

On the ensuring Buckeye possession, sophomore forward Cotie McMahon finished a layup through contact from Indiana sophomore guard Lexus Bargesser. That sequence around the midway point of the third quarter gave Ohio State a lead it never relinquished. 

It was ultimately a lot of the same for the No. 10 ranked Hoosiers: turnovers, poor shooting and letting opponents get their way on offense.  

Starting with individual offensive performances, McMahon, Mikulášiková and graduate guard Jacy Sheldon accumulated 56 of Ohio State’s 74 points.  

Defensive lapses have continually followed the Hoosiers on the road. Nov. 12 versus Stanford, Indiana could not control Cardinal forwards Cameron Brink and Kiki Iriafen, who combined for 48 points. 

The struggles reoccurred Jan. 14, when the supporting cast of Iowa, knowing senior guard Caitlin Clark was going to show out, did a good deal on the Hoosier defense. The other four Hawkeye starters combined for 45 points — just 13 short of the Hoosiers’ game total. 

The next big problem that re-surfaced Sunday was bad shooting in road environments.  

The Hoosiers shot 46% from the field including 37% from 3-point range. For the season, Indiana’s shooting 51% and 39% in those respective categories, but against top 10 teams, those averages need to be exceeded nonetheless. 

Against Stanford and Iowa, the Hoosiers were serviceable from the field, shooting 34% and 42%, respectively. But like Sunday, Indiana was dreadful from downtown in both, shooting 15% and 25% from beyond the arc. 

The Hoosiers have had games where they’ve shot well on the road. Against Nebraska on Jan. 7, Indiana shot 60% from the field and 60% from beyond the arc, resulting in 14 3-pointers.  

What they had in Lincoln, however, was absent in Columbus. Senior guard Sydney Parrish, who went 7-of-11 and 6-of-7 from three against the Cornhuskers, missed her fourth straight game with a foot injury.  

Parrish did, however, hint at her return on social media Feb. 2, captioning a post with “soon...”.  

Finally, the turnovers must be addressed. Iowa and Stanford feasted on points off turnovers with 13 in both. Ohio State had 21 on Sunday, charged by 23 Hoosier turnovers.  

“21 points off of our turnovers, that’s the game right there,” Indiana head coach Teri Moren said postgame. “You can dissect it any way you want but that’s the game.” 

If this Indiana squad wants to play that mid-March Sunday in the Big Ten Tournament at the Target Center, let alone the second weekend of the NCAA Tournament, turnovers need to be at a minimum. 

There are too many good offenses standing in the way of the Hoosiers’ Big Ten and national championship hopes to give up more than 15 turnovers — the total at both Stanford and Iowa.  

Moren did not leave the press room on a somber note. There was some good for Indiana and it seemed as if the Hoosiers had a path to victory but just ran out of time.  

“All of these (losses) have been really hard lessons but we have taken every lesson we have learned and become better because of it,” Moren said. “And we will be better, hopefully, come this week when we play Michigan State.” 

Indiana and Michigan State will tip off at 7 p.m, Thursday on Peacock

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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