No. 6 Indiana women’s basketball got their third win over a top-ten team this season last night, defeating No. 9 Maryland in Assembly Hall. The victory was significant for multiple reasons, none bigger than the fact that it helped the Hoosiers maintain second place in the Big Ten standings. Here’s three things from a very competitive, and very physical game:
Sydney Parrish won Indiana this game. The Oregon transfer and early season Sixth Player has earned herself a permanent starting role by hitting threes and making “juice” plays and that’s exactly what she did last night.
Parrish recorded a team-high 18 points on 7-13 shooting and was 3-7 from beyond the arc. She’s solidified herself one of Indiana’s most lethal options from deep by shooting 35% on the year, which is second-best on the team. Defenses are starting to catch on and have been picking her up further out in recent games, but it didn’t matter all that much against Maryland. Two of her threes were from the parking lot, Parrish has got some serious range.
#33 also recorded four rebounds and four steals while imposing herself physically on Maryland’s guards. Despite being knocked over at one point, Parrish continued to crash defensively whenever IU needed her to, committing multiple “good” fouls to prevent easy Terrapin points. She actually ended up fouling out with ten seconds left, walking off the court to raucous applause from all the Hoosier faithful in attendance. It is very cool to cover a basketball team whose fans Know Ball.
Oh, Parrish had a big block that effectively iced the game too:
Sydney Parrish just sent a ball to the shadow realm. IU leads 66-59 with 13 seconds left #iuwbb— miles regan (@MilesRegan) January 13, 2023
We still don’t know where that ball went.
Big 4th Quarter
Indiana found itself leading 48-42 heading into the final frame, but they had some difficulty putting Maryland away for good. The Hoosiers shot just 12-21 on free throws and committed 19 turnovers, giving the Terrapins ample opportunities to make it a game, which they did.
Maryland’s star guard, Diamond Miller, capped off an 8-2 Terps run with a big layup that tied things up at 50 with 6:12 remaining. Despite the momentum beginning to shift, Indiana didn’t waiver.
A Yarden Garzon three and a Parrish layup sandwiched a Chloe Moore-McNeil block to put IU up five with 5:22 left. Maryland missed a three on their next possession, making way for Grace Berger to hit a vintage Grace Berger shot:
Hoosiers up seven. Timeout Maryland.
Both teams matched possession results for the next few minutes until Berger again found herself with the ball with 1:45 left. This time, however, she passed:
Dagger. Imagine leaving Yarden Garzon, the Big Ten’s second-leading three-point shooter, wide open with the game on the line. . . couldn’t be me!
My biggest takeaway from Indiana’s fourth quarter stand is how composed they were throughout. The moment never got too big, and a newcomer in Garzon cemented herself as a solid crunch time option. In her postgame press conference, head coach Teri Moren mentioned that proud she was of the team’s toughness and resilience and she should be.
Now feels like a good time to cite Indiana’s overall defensive efforts, too. They recorded a dozen steals as a team and were very active on-ball. Chloe Moore-McNeil especially did a great job neutralizing Diamond Miller.
The nature of Big Ten play
It’s hard to win in the Big Ten. Everyone is good, the basketball is physical, and the officiating is uh. . . polarizing. Indiana had to overcome a lot to pull out a win last night and they did. That’s a big deal, and it all happened in front of a lot of people. Assembly Hall was rockin’ throughout the game and press room was the most full I’ve ever seen it. This should be the standard for all things off the court.
On the court, last night proved just how dangerous this team is at full strength. Last night was just the second game of the season in which all 13 players on Indiana’s roster were healthy and dressed. Only eight of them actually played, but the increased availability allowed Teri Moren to be more flexible down the stretch.
Grace Berger and Sydney Parrish had each accumulated four fouls by the late stages of the fourth quarter. Instead of playing scared or being sat to avoid fouling out, however, both players continued to play “all systems go” basketball because Moren knew she had a handful of guards to replace them with if needed.
Indiana is at their best when they play undaunted, and they are most able to do so when healthy. They’ll be one of the favorites in the conference tournament and beyond if they can stay at full strength.