The Indiana Hoosiers faced the UMass Lowell Riverhawks on Friday night at Assembly Hall and were easily able to grab their second win of the season. With the early dominance of Mackenzie Holmes along with a strong defensive showing, the team held UMass Lowell to just 37 points.
Let’s take a look at what went right for the Hoosiers:
Mackenzie Holmes made her presence known
The Hoosiers were struggling to make shots in the first half, with just two buckets from beyond the arc, both coming from Sara Scalia.
But that didn’t matter.
While this was a lopsided matchup to begin with, Holmes took over in the first half, scoring the first seven points of the game and ending the first half with a team-leading 15 points, along with five boards and two blocks.
The Hoosiers got ahead fairly early in the game, and the game was almost certainly decided by halftime, so Holmes got to rest for most of the second half.
Chemistry is moving in the right direction
With seven new additions to the team this season, chemistry was not likely to be immediate. We saw a few breaks in the chemistry during the season opener, where there were several miscommunications early on between the newcomers.
On Friday, the team looked a bit different. Maybe it was the on-court experience of the first game, or it may have just been the opponent they were facing, but the Hoosiers looked significantly calmer and more connected, and it showed in Friday’s game.
“I think that it’s moving in the right direction,” head coach Teri Moren said. “I think only time will tell as we move forward.”
There were countless plays where the communication led to smooth, successful plays in the paint. With only four turnovers in the first half compared to the 14 that occurred in the first half of the matchup against Vermont, it’s clear that the chemistry within this roster is growing.
“I think we have so many people who have bought into what we do and what we’re about that it’s made the transition pretty seamless,” Holmes said.
The defense remains a strength
The Hoosiers are known for their defensive abilities, and Moren continues to stress the importance of a full-team effort on both sides of the court.
On Friday, the defense did its job, and did it well. Indiana forced 25 UMass Lowell turnovers and held the Riverhawks to 26.5% shooting. They also only allowed UML to score two second-chance points the entire game, which is something they’ve stressed working on throughout practices.
In addition, the Hoosiers excelled at grabbing offensive boards on Friday night. They finished the contest with 45 rebounds total, 18 of them on their own side of the court.
The Hoosiers now move to 2-0 on the young season and will face No. 5 Tennessee in Knoxville this Monday for their first road game.
“This is going to be our first true test,” Moren said. “It’s going to be early, which is tremendous. I think there’s going to be a lot of great lessons learned from it.”