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Sydney Parrish celebrates after Indiana's win over Iowa on Feb. 22, 2024. (HN photo/Kallan Graybill)
Sydney Parrish celebrates after Indiana's win over Iowa on Feb. 22, 2024. (HN photo/Kallan Graybill)

‘This is a great environment to come and play basketball in’: Assembly Hall crowd propels No. 14 Indiana to win over No. 4 Iowa

Indiana got a statement win in front of a sold-out crowd

Indiana senior guard Chloe Moore-McNeil passed the ball to senior guard Sara Scalia with 2:09 to go in the fourth quarter.

Scalia then drove into the right side of the floor and with 2:06 to go, she found sophomore guard Yarden Garzon. Garzon immediately dished the ball back to Scalia.

A step to the left, Scalia set her feet at the top right of the arc. She banked a typical 3-point shot for the Hoosiers with 2:03 left in the game.

It was at that moment when Indiana head coach Teri Moren realized that shot was the dagger, and her team secured the win.

After one month of soul searching, No. 14 Indiana women’s basketball got its statement win over No. 4 Iowa 86-69 on Thursday in front of a sold-out crowd of 17,222 electrified fans at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall.

“We made everything very difficult for (Iowa senior guard) Caitlin Clark tonight,” Indiana head coach Teri Moren said. “That’s hard to do. She’s a phenomenal player.”

Indiana shot 51.6% from the field, 42.9% from the arc, scored 16 points off turnovers, 13 second-chance points, 34 paint points and outrebounded Iowa 42-33.

As for the Hawkeyes? They looked out of sorts and shot 38.8% from the field, 17.9% from the arc but notched 40 points in the paint as a team.

Scalia led the Hoosiers in scoring with a game-high of 25 points while shooting 7-for-14 from the field with three 3-pointers made. She also had four assists and rebounds and shot 8-for-8 from the free-throw line on the night.

“They (the Hoosiers) had a great game plan,” Iowa head coach Lisa Bluder said. “I think they frustrated Caitlin at times. We didn't have an answer for Sara Scalia.”

Indiana graduate student forward Mackenzie Holmes had 24 points, nine rebounds, four blocks and shot 11-for-16 from the field in the game that made her the program’s winningest player.

Garzon had some big shots throughout the night that got her to 15 points, five rebounds and assists, two blocks, three 3-pointers made and she shot 6-for-14 from the field.

After missing six games and coming off the bench against Illinois, Indiana senior guard Sydney Parrish made her first appearance as a starter since returning from injury. She notched six points on two 3-point shots, six rebounds and three assists. Moore-McNeil had six points, five assists and rebounds.

“We had to come in here confident, too,” Moren said. “We talked a lot about confidence coming into this game, right before we tipped it off. I wanted them to be confident that we could get the job done. They performed at a really great level for us tonight.”

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Indiana head coach Teri Moren walks the sideline during Indiana's win over Iowa on Feb. 22, 2024. (HN photo/Kallan Graybill)

Clark once again put on a clinic the Hawkeyes with 24 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists at Assembly Hall. However, the Hosiers held her to an unusually inefficient 8-for-26 from the field and 3-for-16 from outside.

"This is a great environment to come and play basketball in,” Clark said. “The crowd is incredible here."

Graduate student guard Kate Martin had 19 points and five rebounds. Sophomore forward Hannah Stuelke had 10 points, six rebounds and shot 4-for-9 from the field. The rest of the roster combined for 16 points during the contest.

Holmes won the opening tip but an early offensive foul on Parrish was called, and Clark got the first bucket. Then, the quarter became a game of runs, as the Hoosiers went on a 6-0 run and the Hawkeyes went on a 7-0 run right after. Both Holmes and Moore-McNeil had eight points to lead the Hoosiers in scoring.

However, through the opening quarter, Scalia found a groove and made two 3-pointers, which was more than the zero she had in the entire game at Iowa on Jan. 13. Her two 3-pointers were the only makes from the team’s six attempts. Iowa, however, made only one 3-pointer on eight attempts in the first quarter.

After a continuous battle between the two programs, Indiana sophomore guard Lexus Bargesser hit a buzzer-beating layup to take the late 23-22 lead at the end of the quarter.

The second quarter rolled around, and the Hoosiers started it off with a 14-5 run to take a 10-point lead. Garzon had eight points to lead the team in scoring while Holmes had four rebounds to give Indiana eight second-chance points. Garzon’s three with 35 seconds to go.

The Hawkeyes were held to 11 points in the frame with Clark being held to seven points in the quarter and down 44-33 at halftime. The Hoosiers had nine points off turnovers, 10 second-chance points and eight bench points compared to Iowa’s two, four and two, respectively.

Scalia led Indiana in scoring at halftime with 15 points followed by Holmes’ 12. Clark led Iowa with 20 points followed by Martin’s six.

The third frame started the Hoosiers began it on a 7-0 run with two 3-pointers from Parrish. The Hawkeyes wouldn't go away, as they went on a 6-0 and 9-0 run later in the quarter.

With the Hawkeyes within a single-digit deficit, Moore-McNeil drilled a 3-point shot at the top of the arc to stop the Hawkeyes from clawing back.

A 3-pointer of Hawkeyes’ own moments later to pull within eight. Although the Hawkeyes had the final possession with just over five seconds remaining in the quarter, Bargesser snagged the ball from Clark to end the third quarter with a 62-54 Hoosiers lead despite being outscored 21-18.

"When we have a crowd like that,” Holmes said, “it really pushes us through."

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Indiana fans cheer following Indiana's win over Iowa on Feb. 22, 2024. (HN photo/Kallan Graybill)

In the final quarter of the game, Indiana put the game away by outscoring Iowa 24-15. Holmes went a perfect 5-for-5 from the field for 10 points and Scalia went 2-for-2 from the field, 1-for-1 from the arc and 2-for-2 from the free-throw line for seven points.

The Hoosiers shot 81.8% from the field as a team in the quarter while Iowa shot 30% from the field and 10% from outside.

“You could see it brewing the last two days in practice,” Moren said. “You could tell there was a different feel in terms of their focus, how they came in. Probably a little more stoic and serious. You could tell they were going to come out and give everything they had.”

Indiana is now 22-4 on the season with a 13-3 Big Ten Conference record after its marquee win against Iowa. IU moved half a game ahead of Iowa for second place in the conference, still trailing Ohio State by a game and a half with two games remaining.

The Hoosiers will now hit the road to take on the Northwestern Wildcats this Tuesday at Welsh-Ryan Arena in Evanston, Illinois. The matchup will be televised on the Big Ten Network.

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