Photo by Indiana Athletics
by Skip Daley, South Central Indiana News
In a game that was tight to final buzzer, #16 got out of Mackey Arena in West Lafayette, Indiana with a 74-68 win, to retain the Barn Burner Trophy. Indiana climbs to 16-2, and 7-1 in the Big Ten, while the Boilermakers fall to 9-9, 2-5 in the Big Ten. With their win coupled with Iowa falling to Ohio State this afternoon, IU is back in a tie for first place in the conference.
“We found a way to win, and I’m really proud of my guys,” said Indiana Head Coach Teri Moren after the game.
Now this doesn’t mean Coach Moren was happy about the team’s overall play, as the Hoosiers turned the ball over an uncharacteristic 18 times and had a hard time rebounding the ball. Purdue grabbed 32 rebounds, and 14 of those were on the offensive side, accounting for 13 second chance points. Indiana had only 26 total boards.
“If we want to win [moving forward], we need to lock down, and rebound a lot better,” added Coach Moren.
The game was back and forth early on, with 12 lead changes throughout the day. Purdue led the game at the end of the first and third quarters, but Indiana successfully held out this physical contest to pull ahead when it counted.
Indiana had to play even tougher than imagined in this contest because Senior Forward Sydney Parrish was out with a foot injury. She appeared on the sidelines in a walking boot and crutches, cheering od n her teammates. She appeared in good spirits and is currently listed as day-to-day.
The Hoosiers shot well from the field and amazingly from beyond the arc. IU hit 53% of their shots and knocked down 15 of 23 attempts from three-point land. The perimeter success was important, as Purdue did a nice job applying pressure on All-American Graduate Forward Mackenzie Holmes. They held Holmes to 15 points and 6 rebounds, both well below her season averages.
Indiana offered some quality balance in their offense. Even though they lost the ball more than regularly, they maintained poise and found some open shots. The Hoosiers had several players step up offensively. Guards Sara Scalia and Chloe Moore-McNeil sank 20 points each, Sophomore Guard Yarden Garzon had 17, and Holmes added 15 points.
The Boilermakers were also well balanced, and had 5 players in double-digit scoring, Forward Caitlyn Harper led the way with 18, Forward Ashley Stevenson and Guard Rashunda Jones each scored 13, while Guard Abbey Ellis and Forward Madison Layden dropped in 10 apiece.
“Indiana didn’t look rattled,” said Purdue Head Coach Katie Gearlds, describing the maturity of “this championship” veteran IU squad. Whether they were up, down, being pressed on the full court, or struggling in any way, this Hoosier team kept their composure and found a way to win.
Next up, Indiana hosts Northwestern University, 2pm at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall, on Sunday, January 28th.