BLOOMINGTON — After playing a sluggish first half on Wednesday at Maine, Indiana women’s basketball came alive much earlier against Stetson on Sunday.
The Hoosiers pulled away in the first quarter and rolled to a 72-34 win at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall.
Indiana (7-1) shot a blistering 69 percent from the field in the first quarter, as Stetson (2-7) just had no answers for really anything IU did offensively. The Hoosiers led 24-9 at the end of the opening period.
The Hoosiers lit up the Hatters in transition all game, with 24 fastbreak points and 17 points off turnovers. Meanwhile, the Hatters struggled to get anything going on the other end, shooting just 19 percent from the field for the game. Stetson shot 13 percent from 3-point range.
Senior guard Sydney Parrish said the Hoosiers knew they had to improve on defense after the Maine game, and that their strong defense Sunday helped lead to the transition opportunities.
“Going into this game, we knew that they were really athletic drivers. So we made it a point before the game that we needed to be in our gaps and needed to get stops early. And I think we did a really good job with that. We pushed it really hard,” Parrish said. “And I think that our stops on defense just led to offensive runouts. We had 26 points on fastbreak. So I think that our defense just led to those 26 points.”
Parrish scored eight points and grabbed a team-high 10 rebounds.
Graduate student Mackenzie Holmes led the way for IU, as she often does. The All-American forward put up a team-high 17 points on a typically efficient 7-of-9 line, and she added two blocks, three rebounds, and an assist. Stetson frequently tried to play very physical defense against Holmes, but it didn’t make a difference.
Indiana’s student section, and many other fans around the arena, sported blue shirts with “Shalosh Garzon” on the back in support of Israel native Yarden Garzon. And the sophomore enjoyed a strong afternoon in front of that support. She scored 14 points on a 6-for-12 clip, including a 2-for-6 mark from 3-point range. The forward grabbed two rebounds, dished four assists, and picked up one steal.
Garzon was extremely appreciative for the extra support.
“It means a lot to me. With everything that’s going on at home, it means the world to know that so many people support me and my country, and know how hard it is to my people in Israel, it means the world to me,” Garzon said. “I talk with a lot of friends who play for other sports or coaches, and no one gets the support I get here. And I’m so grateful for that.”
Sara Scalia scored in double-figures again, as she has in every game to start this season. The fifth-year senior shot 3 for 6, including 2 for 4 from 3-point range, for 10 points, and she added five rebounds.
Senior Chloe Moore-McNeil filled the stat sheet with a steady performance. The point guard scored seven points, grabbed five rebounds, dished six assists, and swiped three steals.
Indiana’s big early lead allowed head coach Teri Moren to give her starters additional rest throughout the game and get her reserves additional playing time. Freshman Lenée Beaumont capitalized and scored seven points.
Moren expressed some frustration with her team’s rebounding, as Stetson grabbed 15 offensive rebounds. IU was out-rebounded by Maine for much of Wednesday’s game as well, and she’s hoping this isn’t a burgeoning trend.
“Some of it is positioning. We talk about rooting and pushing people back. And then you’ve got to pursue it. You’ve just got to go get it. We didn’t have that problem when we played Tennessee. And that’s what is irritating. You’ve got to show up, no matter what the name on the uniform looks like, and you’ve got to have the same sort of intensity and intent,” Moren said. “We knew that in order to win the game against Tennessee, we had to win the boards. And we looked far different than we looked against Maine, and when we were in Maine, we looked far different than tonight. And that’s on me. Good teams show up on nights where you’ve got to be special. The great teams show up every night, no matter who the opponent is. And so I’ve got to get them thinking differently in terms of their mindset.”
IU wore its red away uniforms Sunday in recognition of ALS Awareness. The Hoosiers hold an ALS Awareness Day every season. Moren recorded a personal video message that played on the scoreboard before the game about her family connection to the cause.
Indiana hits the road on Saturday to open Big Ten play at Rutgers.