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IU women’s basketball takes down Maryland, advances to Big Ten semifinals

No. 4 seed Indiana defeated No. 5 Maryland 62-51 in the quarterfinal round of the Big Ten women’s basketball tournament in Indianapolis.

The Hoosiers were led by Mackenzie Holmes with 17 points.  Grace Berger added 16 points and 11 rebounds.  IU’s defense limited Maryland to 31.4 percent from the field for the game, 21.1 percent in the fourth quarter, and forced 14 Terrapin turnovers.  Maryland was 0-of-12 from behind the 3-point line.

Coming into the season Indiana had never defeated annual conference power Maryland, but their Friday afternoon victory was the Hoosiers’ second over the Terps this year.

“I thought they were the tougher team, they punched first,” Maryland coach Brenda Frese said of Indiana’s effort.

Indiana went on a 14-6 first quarter run and never relinquished the lead from that point on.  The margin hovered between four and ten points for most of the game until IU started to pull away late, earning its biggest lead at 62-49 with just :26 second remaining.

The constant for the Hoosiers was their defensive intensity.

“Our goal going into the game was to be as disruptive as we could,” IU head coach Teri Moren said.  … “I’m just so proud of these guys in executing the game plan, sticking to it.”

“It’s a fantastic win for our program today.  We have so much respect for Maryland and what they have done in the Big Ten for some time. So we knew that we were up against a great basketball team and we knew that we had to bring it for 40 minutes and I thought our kids defensively showed up in a big kind of way.”

Indiana (21-7) will next face No. 1 seed Ohio State at 3:30 p.m. Eastern on Saturday at Gainbridge Fieldhouse.  It will be Indiana’s second appearance in the semifinals in the last three seasons.  The Hoosiers defeated the Buckeyes 86-66 in Columbus on Dec. 12.

The win also likely secures a top-four seed in the NCAA Tournament for Indiana, meaning they should host for the first two rounds of the event.

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