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Tuesday, Feb. 27
The Indiana Daily Student

sports women's basketball

COLUMN: No. 14 Indiana women’s basketball's guards keep Purdue away from victory again

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No. 14 Indiana women’s basketball was back in action on Sunday. 13,304 fans entered Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall on Sunday afternoon to account for the third-largest regular season crowd for a women's game at the famed arena.  

The Hoosiers welcomed Purdue to Bloomington for a Super Bowl appetizer, pulling off a 95-62 victory. 

“The crowd was amazing, as we knew they would be on a Sunday against the great rivalry with Purdue and Indiana,” Indiana head coach Teri Moren said postgame. 

This victory marks the 11th straight win for the Hoosiers over the Boilermakers. 

As the past couple games have finished and the box scores settled, it was marked on the calendar that this would likely be the afternoon that history would be made. Graduate student forward Mackenzie Holmes broke Tyra Buss’ record. The magic number was 17, and that was the total for Holmes – a small 17 of 2,365. 

With the record looming over everyone’s head and being the main topic of conversation for quite some time, Holmes expressed postgame against Michigan State on Feb. 8 saying that winning this rivalry matchup was her number one priority. 

“The main focus is beating Purdue,” Holmes said after defeating Michigan State on Feb. 8. “I want to beat Purdue, I want to sweep Purdue for my career. [I] do not want to lose to them in Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall.” 

While the night belonged to No. 54, the game was won with excellent guard play against the Boilermakers. 

Senior guard Chloe Moore-McNeil and fifth-year guard Sara Scalia led the way with 41 combined points including nine total three-pointers — the Hoosiers as a team hit 13 total. Moore-McNeil was 5-of-5 from downtown. 

Moore-McNeil had a career-high of 22 points after previously setting her high with 20 points in the first matchup against Purdue on Jan. 21 

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

In addition to Moore-McNeil and Scalia, it has been apparent that sophomore guard Lexus Bargesser’s confidence, in accordance with her minutes, has increased heavily. 

With the absence of senior guard Sydney Parrish, who missed her sixth consecutive game due to an injury, Bargesser has seen a drastic increase in minutes while assuming a starting role.  

On Sunday, the Grass Lake, Michigan, native was a rebound shy of a double-double with 12 points on 4-of-8 shooting, along with nine rebounds and three assists. 

“She has grown up, she has done some really great things for us,” Moren said postgame. “And she is more than capable of doing everything you guys are seeing,”  

Moren also commented on the significance of just being out there, because Parrish is coming back soon and according to Moren, is making progress every day while Bargesser is getting better and better.  

With Sunday being a historic day for the program for a multitude of reasons, there shouldn’t be a hangover for this team because the Big Ten conference stops for nobody. The Hoosiers have two big road games against Iowa on Feb. 22. 

That said, the Hoosiers will take on Wisconsin at 8 p.m. Wednesday at the Kohl Center in Madison, Wisconsin. The game will be streaming 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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