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Monday, March 4
The Indiana Daily Student

sports women's basketball

No. 14 Indiana women’s basketball looks to remain dominant in rivalry with Purdue

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On Feb. 19, 2023, Indiana women’s basketball defeated Purdue 83-60 in front of a record-breaking sold-out crowd at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall, clinching its first Big Ten title in four decades. While the Hoosiers can’t clinch that title Sunday, they’ll look to extend their winning streak against their rival to 11 games Sunday afternoon. 

The two teams have had contrasting seasons up to this point. Indiana is sitting comfortably at third in the conference standings, with its sole conference losses coming at the hands of No. 2 Iowa and No. 5 Ohio State. Purdue (10-12, 3-8 Big Ten) has a much different season, losing seven of its last eight games. The Boilermakers are one of four teams in the Big Ten with a negative point differential and are last in the conference on the glass, averaging 35.0 rebounds per game. 

One positive note for the Boilermakers is that they are coming off a 77-72 overtime win over Illinois. Additionally, the win against the Fighting Illini came on Feb. 5, giving Purdue nearly a week of preparation for Sunday’s matchup in Bloomington.  

Indiana’s busy schedule could give the Boilermakers a slight advantage in a rivalry dominated by the Hoosiers as of late. The cream and crimson are 14-1 dating back to Jan. 19, 2017, having not lost at home to Purdue since 2012. However, the Boilermakers have come close numerous times during that stretch.  

On Jan. 21, Purdue led 54-51 at the end of the third quarter before the Hoosiers’ perimeter shooting helped overcome the deficit to win 74-68 at Mackey Arena. Indiana shot 15-for-23 from the 3-point line that day — a season-high in 3-pointers made for the Hoosiers. Four Indiana starters scored 15 or more points in the first matchup with the Boilermakers in a balanced attack without a key player. 

The win was Indiana’s first game without senior guard Sydney Parrish, who injured her foot just two days before the contest. Parrish’s availability won’t be announced until a few hours ahead of tipoff, but the former Oregon transfer hasn't touched the court since Jan. 17. Therefore, regardless of her status, expect sophomore guard Lexus Bargesser to continue playing a key part in Indiana’s starting rotation as Parrish eases back into her role.  

Bargesser has stepped up as a starter in Parrish’s absence, being a key facilitator in the starting lineup. The second-year Hoosier had a season-high six assists in an 87-73 win over Maryland on Jan. 31 and continues to be a key playmaker in a dominant Indiana offense. The Hoosiers’ attack is led by graduate student forward Mackenzie Holmes, who needs 17 points to pass Tyra Buss and become the all-time leading scorer in program history. 

The Hoosiers have already secured the Barn Burner Trophy this season with their victory in West Lafayette. 

Indiana will seek an eleventh straight victory against Purdue as the rivals finish their season series in Bloomington. Tipoff is set for 2 p.m. and will be broadcast on Big Ten+. 

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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