Indiana set a high bar with its record-setting performance in last week’s season opener.
Even so, the Hoosiers managed to meet it on the defensive end in Game 2 on Thursday night.
No. 13 IU allowed the fewest points of the Teri Moren era while finishing four players in double figures in Thursday’s 71-26 runaway win over Samford at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall.
“I thought our defense was really good,” Moren said. “Obviously, to hold them to 26 points is fantastic.”
And that’s the thing. Regardless of the skill level of IU’s first two opponents, Samford and Eastern Kentucky, the Big Ten favorite Hoosiers are doing exactly what you’d want to see them do. They’re rolling.
On Thursday, they held Samford to 20.8% shooting, while rattling off first-half scoring runs of 14-0 and 18-0. Across all four quarters, Samford never scored more than 10 points in a period.
IU’s previous opponent scoring low under Moren was the 32-point showing that Oakland had during the 2018 season. Thursday’s output by Samford stands as the fifth fewest points by an opponent in program history, and it’s the 17th time in IU women’s history that the Hoosiers have held another team under 30 points
“We were tremendously prepared,” point guard Ali Patberg said. “Our coaching staff had us ready for everything that they threw at us and we had a lot of energy and executed our game plan. I think our defense was awesome. It was fun just to go out and execute like we did. That was really exciting.
Moren’s squad has now outscored its first two opponents by more than 40 points in each game, while shooting 52% from the field. Mackenzie Holmes and Grace Berger each posted 13 points on Thursday, while Patberg added 12 and Aleksa Gulbe had 11.
“(There were) some individual pieces that I thought stood out tonight,” Moren said, “but we still have a lot of work to do.”
Indeed, it wasn’t the cleanest offensive game. Holmes found herself in early foul trouble, and the Hoosiers turned the ball over 15 times. IU also struggled at the free throw line, going 10-for-18 on the night.
“Not good enough and won’t be good enough,” Moren said. “We are too good of free-throw shooters. We spend too much intentional time on free-throws in practice, so it is another frustrating area for us.”
Still, when you have a defensive effort as suffocating as this one, it’s hard to complain.
“It was a really solid win,” Moren said.
We’ll see how IU looks against better competition in a few days. The Hoosiers head to No. 11 Kentucky on Sunday at 4 p.m. ET. You can watch that game on ESPNU.