SIMON SKJODT ASSEMBLY HALL (IUSTV Sports) – No. 16 Indiana women’s basketball desperately needed a strong response to their defeat in Iowa City on Saturday. They got exactly what they needed with a dominant 85-62 win over the Minnesota Golden Gophers.
“This is a really good basketball team when they’re connected,” coach Teri Moren noted after the game. “When you have performances like we had the other night at Iowa, the best remedy for that is to get back on the floor as quickly as you can.”
“We hate losing more than we like to win, so I think that hearing that and having that loss woke us up,” said Mackenzie Holmes. “The Big Ten doesn’t wait for anybody. We’ve got to move on, game after game.”
Holmes was once again the star, putting up her second 30-point performance of the season, and the team’s fourth this year. Holmes scored 32 points off of 15-of-17 shooting from the floor. She added to the season-high in scoring with a pair of blocks and steals on the defensive end.
Two years ago Sara Scalia scored 26 points in Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall as a visitor with the Golden Gophers. On Wednesday, the Minnesota native scored 22 points, off of five three-pointers, in her second career game against her former side. 14 of Scalia’s points came in the Hoosiers’ scintillating second quarter.
“I was just happy to go out there with the team that I’m on now and come up with the win,” Scalia said. “Minnesota’s always going to be home to me. That’s where I grew up. It’s special to me for sure.”
Indiana finished the first quarter with a five-point advantage but blew the game wide open in the second period. The Hoosiers outscored Minnesota 24 to 11 in the quarter, at one point going on a 19-2 run spanning over five minutes. In addition to Scalia’s outburst, Indiana’s defense held the Golden Gophers to just four buckets in the quarter and forced six turnovers.
Minnesota’s star guard Mara Braun entered the day averaging 19 points per game as one of the most prolific scorers in the conference. At halftime, though, she was relatively anonymous. Braun was yet to score and had only taken two shots. While the sophomore would turn things on in the second half, finishing with 14 points, Moren praised the work of Chloe Moore-McNeil and Lexus Bargesser guarding Braun.
“I thought, for the most part, we did a really good job at keeping her as quiet as we can because she’s had some unbelievable performances for them. She’s a really nice player,” said Moren.
In addition to Scalia, Sydney Parrish had the hot hand from behind the arc. Parrish made five threes of her own, accounting for all 15 of her points. The senior guard has shot 58% from deep in five games in January.
The win was the Hoosiers’ seventh straight against the Golden Gophers. Indiana moves to 15-2 on the season and 6-1 in conference play.
Next up for Indiana is a trip to West Lafayette on January 21st to take on rival Purdue.