After an upstart Illinois team jumped ahead in the first quarter, Indiana women’s basketball took control of the game and ran with it.
The No. 6 Hoosiers pulled away with an 83-72 win Wednesday over the No. 21 Fighting Illini at the State Farm Center in Champaign, Illinois. With this win, Indiana matched its best start to a season in program history, at 17-1. The only other IU women’s basketball team to start a season 17-1 was in 1971-72 — the program’s first season. Teri Moren also became the winningest head coach in IU women’s basketball history with this victory.
Illinois (15-4, 5-3) led by as much as nine points in the first quarter, and IU head coach Teri Moren called timeout to calm her team down. The Hoosiers picked it up from there, though didn’t actually take the lead until 3:39 left in the first half. IU (17-1, 7-1) cleaned things up on both ends, and Illinois didn’t lead again for the rest of the night. The Fighting Illini didn’t go down easily, with an 8-0 run in the fourth quarter to make things interesting, but Indiana stayed strong and closed out the win
Mackenzie Holmes starred once again for Indiana, with her second 30-point game of the season. The senior forward shot 12 of 20 for 30 points, along with 10 rebounds, six steals, and two blocks. This was her eighth double-double of the season.
Holmes was getting almost anything she wanted against the Illinois defense. The Illini tried to prevent any entry passes and deny Holmes touches early in the game, but as IU’s offense got rolling elsewhere, more and more opened up for the All-American. Illinois forward Kendall Bostic battled foul trouble for much of the game, and that helped Holmes take over.
Grace Berger also enjoyed a strong night, with 18 points on a 7-for-10 line, with six rebounds, three assists, two steals, and a block. She did commit six of Indiana’s 10 turnovers.
Yarden Garzon (13 points, 3 for 6 from 3-point range) and Chloe Moore-McNeil (12 points) also finished in double-figure scoring. Moore-McNeil dished a team-high six assists.
Indiana continues its run of big games next week, with a road battle at No. 14 Michigan on Monday. The Hoosiers host No. 2 Ohio State next Friday in a showdown between the Big Ten’s top teams.