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Sara Scalia celebrates during Indiana's win over Iowa on Feb. 22, 2024. (HN photo/Kallan Graybill)
Sara Scalia celebrates during Indiana's win over Iowa on Feb. 22, 2024. (HN photo/Kallan Graybill)

Three takeaways from No. 14 Indiana’s thrilling win over No. 4 Iowa  

Indiana's defense came to play, as did Sara Scalia

Another chapter of the Indiana-Iowa rivalry did not disappoint. The Hoosiers avenged their 27-point loss to the Hawkeyes earlier this season and did it through a strong defensive effort. The 86-69 victory improves Indiana to 14-0 at home this season, which is the longest active home winning streak in the Big Ten.  

Indiana is the nation’s leader in 3-point percentage for a reason 

In their first matchup with the Hawkeyes, Indiana struggled to find any rhythm from behind the arc. In the Jan. 13 matchup, Indiana went 5-for-20 from 3-point range, which was pretty low for a team that averages 8.4 makes per game. It did not help that the Big Ten leader in 3-point percentage, Sara Scalia, went 0-for-4 from beyond the arc in the game.  

As Taylor Swift has said, “shake it off.” This is exactly what Scalia, who went 3-for-8 from beyond the arc, and the other Indiana shooters must have done coming into Thursday’s game because they hit 9 3s. 

Scalia was not the only one who had a party beyond the arc: Sydney Parrish, Yarden Garzon and Chloe Moore-McNeil each sunk at least one 3.  

By shooting well beyond the arc, Indiana forced Iowa to cover everyone. This allowed Mackenzie Holmes, who became the program’s all-time winningest player in the victory, to get more open shots than she was used to. Getting Holmes, who is also the program’s all-time leading scorer, open shots where Iowa’s 5-foot-7 Molly Davis was guarding her is something she would take any day of the week.  

Sara Scalia continues to be Indiana’s X factor  

The first thing Iowa head coach Lisa Bluder said in the press conference was that Iowa had no answer for Scalia and she was right. Scalia did just about whatever she wanted to the Hawkeyes’ defense, finishing with a game-high 25 points on 7-for-14 shooting (3-for-8 from 3-point range). Whether it was beyond the arc or driving to the basket, Scalia showed how much of a multi-dimensional threat she is.  

Not only did Scalia blow by Iowa defenders left and right, but she got to the free-throw line and cashed in. She went 8-8 from the line and exhibited why she is the Big Ten’s second-best free throw shooter at 88.8 percent.  

Hoosiers limited the Hawkeyes’ supporting cast   

From the very beginning of the game, Indiana let Iowa know that they would not be getting déjà vu from their first matchup. Everybody within Assembly Hall knew who was going to get the ball — it was Caitlin Clark if you didn’t — and it was easy to tell how much emotion was being put on the line to make sure the NCAA’s all-time leading scorer would not have an efficient night.  

IU v.s Iowa WBB-20.jpg
Caitlin Clark drives during Indiana's win over Iowa on Feb. 22, 2024. (HN photo/Kallan Graybill)

In their first game against Iowa, Indiana tried to double Clark, but this led to her using her assisting skills to get the ball to her teammates. On Thursday, Clark said the Hoosiers used more man-to-man defense and threw a bunch of people at her. This physicality bothered Clark and forced her to take shots in the spots where she was not as comfortable.  

Another thing that helped Indiana was their emotion-filled block party. The team had a season-high nine blocks, led by four blocks from Holmes. The reigning Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year clearly wanted to let the Hawkeyes know early this was her house and she was not going to let anyone beat them in their second-ever sellout.  

Keeping this competitive mindset in each and every game is what head coach Teri Moren said is needed for this team. 

“We are capable of a lot, and with that means that we gotta bring it every night,” Moren said. 

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