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The Indiana Daily Student

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No. 14 Indiana women’s basketball pulls away, defeats Caitlin Clark, No. 4 Iowa

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No. 14 Indiana women’s basketball returned home to a sold-out Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall on Thursday, taking on Caitlin Clark and No. 4 Iowa. Despite losing by 27 points Jan. 13 at Carver-Hawkeye Arena, the Hoosiers reversed course and emerged with a 17-point victory in front of a white out crowd. 

Graduate student forward Mackenzie Holmes won the tipoff for the Hoosiers, but senior guard Syndey Parrish committed an offensive foul just nine seconds into the contest. Clark led the Hawkeyes to an early 2-point lead just over three minutes in, but Indiana responded with a 6-0 run over 50 seconds to take a 4-point lead. 

The Hawkeyes went on a 7-0 run of their own to regain the lead in the back-and-forth first quarter with each squad taking the lead three times. 

Entering the second frame with a 23-22 lead, the Hoosiers began the quarter on a 14-5 run to take a 10-point lead. Indiana held Iowa to just 11 points in the quarter as sophomore guard Lexus Bargesser ended the half with a mid-range buzzer-beater to give Indiana a 44-33 lead at the break. 

Although the Hoosiers began the second half on a 7-0 run, the Hawkeyes went on a 6-0 and 9-0 run later in the quarter. With Iowa within 9 points, senior guard Chloe Moore-McNeil banked a 3-pointer at the top of the key to halt the Hawkeyes’ run.  

Iowa responded with a 3-pointer of its own moments later to pull within 8. While the Hawkeyes had the final possession with just over five seconds remaining in the quarter, Bargesser swiped the ball from Clark to end the third quarter. 

While the Hoosiers have struggled in middle quarters this season in their losses, they avoided doing so Thursday, entering the fourth quarter with an 8-point lead. 

Indiana led by as many as 15 points less than three minutes into the final quarter, but Iowa remained resilient. The Hawkeyes pulled to within 9 twice, but the Hoosiers notched timely buckets time and again. 

After Moore-McNeil drained a free-throw to go up 10 points, fifth-year senior guard Sara Scalia and Holmes delivered the daggers. The former drained a 3-pointer while the latter laid the ball in the basket to take a 15-point lead with just over a minute remaining en route to an 86-69 victory. 

The Hoosiers held Clark to 24 points on 8-of-26 from the field, including 3-of-16 from 3-point range. Scalia led all scorers with 25 points while Holmes finished with 24.  

Indiana (22-4, 13-3 Big Ten) will now hit the road Feb. 27 to take on Northwestern at Welsh-Ryan Arena in Evanston, Illinois. The second matchup of the season between the squads will be televised on the Big Ten Network. 

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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