For the first time in program history, coach Teri Moren’s No. 8 Indiana Hoosiers beat the No. 6 Maryland Terrapins on Sunday in Assembly Hall. Indiana had lost the first 11 matchups in the series before pulling away in overtime for a 70-63 victory over the Terrapins.
Indiana defended well for the entire game, holding Maryland to just 36.9-percent shooting, and the Hoosiers nearly pulled away towards the end of the fourth quarter before the Terps came back to tie it at 61 with 21 seconds left in the fourth quarter. Indiana gave up just two points in the overtime period, holding the Terrapins to their third-lowest point total of the season. Only No. 1 South Carolina and No. 5 NC State have held Maryland to fewer points.
Indiana is now ranked sixth in the AP poll, higher than any other Big Ten team after Maryland dropped to 10th and Michigan rose a spot to eighth. Indiana’s struggles to beat Maryland up to this point may have been the last obstacle preventing Indiana from being the outright favorite to win the conference.
At this point, it’s almost old news that a Teri Moren-coached team is achieving at such a high level. With six straight seasons of more than 20 wins, three NCAA tournament appearances, and an Elite Eight run, she has already brought the program to new heights. Making the NCAA tournament this year, as Indiana is sure to do, would mean that half of the program’s all-time NCAA tournament appearances have come during Moren’s tenure.
Still, a conference title would be yet another step up for Moren, after finishing second in the Big Ten regular season last year. She’s yet to win a Big Ten title, be it in the conference tournament or regular season, so the fact that the Hoosiers appear to be the favorite at the moment is not insignificant for this already well-decorated coach.
It strikes me as odd and a little bit depressing that Moren’s team, who is essentially doing all of the things the men’s team is currently failing at, gets so little attention. If all goes according to plan, Woodson will have a roster of guys who can play in his offense within a few years, and the way he’s recruited, they will be in contention for a conference title. But there’s no reason to wait for Big Ten contender to come to Bloomington - Teri Moren has already built one. Her team can score, defend, and as Sunday demonstrates, end losing streaks; all things that Indiana fans online have lamented over the men’s team failing to do in year one of a new coach.
Do yourself a favor, and make time in your life for the 2021-22 Indiana Women’s basketball team. You can follow @ByLCNorton, @mattsebree, and @amandafoster_15 for all of the IDS coverage of the women’s team, who play tomorrow in Madison. It’s worth it, I promise.