#1 seed Indiana University Women’s Basketball hosted the #16 Golden Eagles of Tennessee Tech on Saturday morning in front of 13,607 at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall in the First Round of the NCAA Tournament. The Hoosiers would pull out a 30-point victory and move on to the second Round. IU will play Miami, who advanced as well, beating Oklahoma State in Bloomington’s Saturday double feature.
Freshman Forward Lilly Meister, filling in for All-American Senior Forward Mackenzie Holmes, started off strong, scoring the first IU bucket, plus the ‘and 1’, tying up the game at 3 in the opening minute. Holmes was listed as limited for the game, as she has been recovering from a strain to her knee during the last game of the regular season.
“[Holmes] was limited . . . available [if IU needed her], and very optimistic to play on Monday,” said Indiana Head Coach Teri Moren, after the game.
All-American Graduate Guard Grace Berger was on point from the onset, both literally and figuratively. The IU Point Guard scored 9, rebounded 3, and assisted on 2 in the first quarter. But TNTU is a great shooting team, hitting four 3-pointers in the first 6 minutes of play, and keeping it tied up at the end of the first quarter, 18 apiece.
There was no scoring for the first 2 and a half minutes of the second quarter, but at the 5:30 mark, Indiana went on a 6-0 run, forcing the Golden Eagles to call a time out. The time out did not help, as the Hoosiers pressed on the accelerator and expanded to a 17-0 run over the next several minutes. Indiana had caught on to the Tennessee Tech offensive set and shut them down with tight perimeter defense. They handled the high ball screens with ease, forcing the Eagles to use more of the shot clock than their style desired. The midway score was 39-27, Indiana.
Indiana started the 4th quarter with a 7-0 run before Tennessee Tech called a timeout to regroup. The Hoosiers were on cruise control at this point, beginning to sub in several players off of the bench. Other than Holmes, the other 11 available Hoosiers each saw action. Junior Forward Kiandra Browne was unavailable for the game, rehabbing a hip injury. The Hoosiers had 17 points and 9 rebounds coming from their bench.
Indiana was led by Junior Forward Sydney Parrish with 19 points and 8 rebounds. Also in double digit scoring was Berger with 17 points and 7 boards, and Freshman Guard Yarden Garzon knocking down 12. Collectively, IU shot 58% from the field, 31% from the 3-point line, and 78% of their free throws.
Tennessee Tech was led by Senior Guard Maaliya Owens with 17 points and 9 rebounds. As a team, the Golden Eagles only converted 27% of their shots, a significant decline from the 46% they shot against Monmouth in the Play-in Round.
Next up, Indiana will play Miami on Monday night (TBD) for the opportunity to advance into the Sweet Sixteen.
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