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Tuesday, Feb. 27
The Indiana Daily Student

sports women's basketball

Indiana women’s basketball’s historic afternoon encapsulates Moren-era culture

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No. 14 Indiana women’s basketball defeated in-state rival Purdue 95-62 Sunday afternoon in Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall. The blowout victory was Indiana’s second win over the Boilermakers this season and extended the Hoosiers series winning streak to 11, showcasing the cream and crimson’s dominance under head coach Teri Moren.

The blowout victory over Purdue gave the Hoosiers their ninth straight 20+ win season in Moren’s 10 campaigns with Indiana. Moren’s tenure with the cream and crimson has been nothing short of incredible, especially her resume against the Boilermakers.  

The former Purdue player holds a 16-3 record against her alma mater as Indiana’s coach and has never lost a game to the Boilermakers inside Assembly Hall. That dominance was a dramatic turnaround for the Hoosiers, who were 1-9 in the 10 games against their rivals prior to Moren’s arrival. 

“It’s really amazing the culture that coach Moren’s built,” graduate student forward Mackenzie Holmes said. “Everyone’s supportive of each other and everyone’s happy for each other.” 

Much of the anticipation for the matchup revolved around Holmes’ pursuit of the program’s all-time scoring record, rightfully so as she entered the game only 17 points away from taking the No. 1 spot.  

Midway through the fourth quarter, Holmes reached that mark and received a standing ovation from more than 13,000 fans in attendance.  

“It’s just a really special thing to wear Indiana across my chest every single day and play in Assembly Hall,” Holmes said. “It’s just been one of the greatest blessings in my life.” 

Moren opened her postgame press conference with a similar sentiment. 

“Such a special day that Mack could become our all-time leading scorer here at home in front of her fans and against our arch-rival as well,” Moren said. “But she had help.” 

In addition to the Maine native’s historic record, senior guard Chloe Moore-McNeil and fifth-year senior guard Sara Scalia had high-scoring performances against the Boilermakers, tallying 22 and 19 points, respectively. 

Moore-McNeil’s two highest-scoring games have both come against Purdue, as she netted 20 points in the Jan. 21 74-68 win over the Boilermakers in West Lafayette. 

“Against Purdue, it just means more,” Moore-McNeil said. “I’m always competitive but I think it's just different when it's a rival team.” 

It’s a rivalry the Hoosiers have dominated since Moren took over — and the Boilermakers aren’t alone in their struggles against Indiana. 

In less than a decade, Moren shifted the program from a bottom-tier Big Ten team that consistently failed to reach the NCAA Tournament, to a powerhouse program annually discussed in conversations of the conference’s best. Last season, Indiana earned its first Big Ten regular season championship in four decades. 

“I think our culture has evolved and our fan base has definitely grown a lot,” Moore-McNeil said. 

That growth in fan-base is evident by the chart-topping attendance the Hoosiers have had at Assembly Hall in the past few years. Last season’s conference title-clinching home victory against Purdue was the first ever sell-out crowd in program history and Indiana nearly reached full capacity in its’ pair of hosted NCAA Tournament games. 

Sunday’s win over Purdue had top-5 attendance in program history and the Hoosiers will once more sell-out Assembly Hall in their next home game, a rematch with No. 2 Iowa. 

The Hawkeyes, led by senior guard Caitlin Clark, are currently tied with the Hoosiers for second in the conference standings after Nebraska came back from a 14-point deficit to stun Iowa 82-79 Sunday afternoon. Therefore, Indiana’s home matchup with the Hawkeyes may have serious implications on the final Big Ten standings. 

While the showdown with Iowa stands out on Indiana’s remaining schedule, Moren remains focused on the Hoosiers’ upcoming road matchups.  

“The Big Ten doesn’t do us any favors and it puts us back on the road on Wednesday so it will be a quick turnaround,” Moren said. “Anytime you go on the road in this league you better be ready.” 

Indiana (20-3, 11-2 Big Ten) will look to carry its momentum on the road Wednesday night as the Hoosiers head to Madison to face the struggling Wisconsin Badgers (11-11, 4-8 Big Ten). The matchup is set to tip off at 8 p.m. and will be broadcast 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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