BLOOMINGTON — IU women’s basketball has faced plenty of tests this season.
But the 14th-ranked Hoosiers hadn’t been tested on their home floor this year quite as hard as they were by Michigan State on Thursday. The Spartans came into Bloomington and forced IU to play their way for a majority of the game.
But Indiana is a battle-tested, veteran team, and turned the tide when it mattered most. The Hoosiers flexed their clutch genes in the fourth quarter, and they flexed hard. Sophomore wing Yarden Garzon hit several big shots. Fifth-year guard Sara Scalia drilled a huge 3-pointer to give IU its first lead since the first quarter.
And ultimately, Indiana (19-3, 10-2 Big Ten) came up with enough plays on both ends in crunch time. Graduate student Mackenzie Holmes hit a shot in the paint to put IU ahead for good with 1:12 left. And the Hoosiers came away with a 94-91 win.
The game opened at a frenetic pace in the first quarter, with very little defense on either side. The teams combined for 59 total points through just the opening period, as Michigan State (17-6, 7-5 Big Ten) took a 32-27 lead into the second. The Spartans dictated the pace by exploiting any possible fastbreak opportunities and running a full-court press to try and speed up IU’s offense.
Both teams slowed down in the second quarter, and IU got within one point of MSU after a 7-0 run in the middle of the period. But the Spartans answered back, and Julia Ayrault hit her fourth 3-pointer of the half at the buzzer to make it a double-digit advantage.
IU methodically clawed back from a 10-point halftime deficit in the third quarter. The Hoosiers got just enough defensive stops to support its offense, and got Holmes rolling in the post. The forward scored 10 points in the quarter, and Indiana entered the fourth quarter down just two points.
Senior point guard Chloe Moore-McNeil played a strong, well-rounded game — she dished a career-high 11 assists, grabbed 10 rebounds, and scored 10 points on a 4-of-8 line. It’s IU’s first triple-double since Grace Berger in 2021, the fourth in program history
Holmes shot 11 for 15 for a team-high 28 points. Scalia went 5 for 9 from 3-point range, and 6 for 10 overall for 21 points. Garzon shot 8 for 11 for 20 points Sophomore guard Lexus Bargesser, starting in place of senior Sydney Parrish for the fifth straight game, scored 10 points on a 4 for 5 clip, and added six assists.
Indiana is back in action on Sunday against in-state rival Purdue in Bloomington.
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