Indiana women’s basketball got the job done in their first and only public dress rehearsal, doubling up Kentucky Wesleyan by a score of 86-43 Friday night in Assembly Hall. Here’s three things:
The Old Guard
IU’s returning stars looked as good as ever against KWC. 5th-year guard Grace Berger went for 16 points, 5 rebounds, and 9 assists in 24 minutes. Senior forward Mackenzie Holmes scored 22 points with 5 boards and an assist in 19 minutes. Holmes went off in the second quarter, scoring 8 points in less than two minutes of game time. Both preseason All-Big Ten selections seemed to be in full form, check this out:
Now they're showing off. @grace_berger34 ➡️ @kenzieholmes_ pic.twitter.com/waWJ8JU5Rq— Indiana Women’s Basketball (@IndianaWBB) November 5, 2022
Flashy, but effective. Expect a lot more of Berger to Holmes this season.
I was impressed by the chemistry we saw in the second half from the backcourt pairing of Minnesota transfer Sara Scalia and freshman Lex Bargesser. With 4:45 remaining in regulation, Bargesser ripped the ball out of the hands of a Panther forward and raced up the court, quickly hit Scalia for an easy layup. Then, 14 seconds later, Scalia returned the favor. She intercepted a KWC pass, looked up, and fed an in-stride Bargesser for another easy basket. Scalia finished with 14 points and Bargesser looked like the defensive pest she’s expected to become, recording 3 steals on the night.
There are definitely some kinks to work out like spacing in settled sets and three point shooting (IU shot just 26% on the night), but the newest Hoosiers looked the part in their first game wearing the cream and crimson.
Other notable newcomer stat lines:
F Lilly Meister 12 points, 1 rebound, 1 assist
G Yarden Garzon 3 points, 4 rebounds, 5 assists
G Sydney Parrish 6 points, 2 blocks, 3 steals
Everyone had fun!
All 13 Indiana players that dressed got into the game, and all twelve of whom are completely healthy scored at least one basket. IU ran quick shifts and subbed liberally, both pace and energy seemed to be up compared to last season when only 7-8 players would get into each game. The fresh legs also helped increase Indiana’s tenacity on defense, the Hoosiers totaled 16 steals and scored 22 points in transition. They looked fast.
I know it was just an exhibition and I know KWC is a DII opponent but still! It’s always fun to see the entire team get opportunities to showcase their talent... they’re all so freaking good.
Hopefully the first few games of the regular season will bring similar rep shares, as head coach Teri Moren will be using those matchups to learn what the rotation should look like come conference play. Tuesday night it all gets real.