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Indiana beats Evansville, 109-56: Three things we learned

Oh man. They let Yarden into her Gar-Zone again.

Evansville v Indiana Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Indiana scored in the triple figures for the second time this season en route to a 109-56 win over Evansville in Assembly Hall earlier tonight.

The victory bumps the Hoosiers’ record on the year up to 9-1 with just one game remaining in the nonconference slate. Indiana notably shot a blistering 71.1% from the field against the Purple Aces, good for the best clip of any D-I team in a single game this year.

Here’s three things:


Yarden Garzon: Go Get a Bucket

The biggest concern Indiana faced this offseason was replacing program legend Grace Berger.

Berger’s departure left Indiana without a slasher and with no clearcut answer as to who’d step up. After a summer of hard work, it’s looking like sophomore guard Yarden Garzon is the answer.

Garzon set the program record in 3-pointers made by a freshman (70) last year. She is an elite shot-maker, but spent most of her rookie campaign hanging out on the perimeter. That’s not the case this season.

Garzon scored a career-high 30 points tonight. She stayed hot from the outside of course, going 3-4 from deep, but was most dangerous off the dribble.

Garzon shot 9-10 from the inside and drew three fouls driving to the rim. She’s becoming a true difference-maker as a ball handler and looks more comfortable in the new role with each game.

Indiana as a whole has been better than expected off the bounce this year. Chloe Moore-McNeil continues to win most matchups, Lexus Bargesser makes great entry passes on the move, and Sara Scalia’s become a very well-rounded, end-to-end guard.

This trio, along with Garzon, have put the slasher concerns to rest.

Foul City, USA

Felt like this game dragged on at times but that’s to be expected with both teams combine for 41 (!!!) personal fouls.

Indiana tied its season-high with 18 fouls committed and attempted more than 30 free throws for the first time since the Big Ten quarterfinals versus Michigan State last year. The Hoosiers went 24-34 (71%) from the line. Five of them took four or more.

Mackenzie Holmes got fouled so much she didn’t register a field goal attempt until the second half.

The All-American post, who finished with 22 points and ten rebounds, was sent to the line five times in the first twenty minutes alone and went a season-best 10-13 (77%) from the stripe.

(Holmes also shot 6-7 from the field once she started getting shots off. Hack-a-Mack or not, Holmes is gonna get hers.)

Drawing 23 fouls is great and proves the offense is becoming more versatile by the day. Again, fans should be very, very happy with how successfully Indiana’s attacked the rim as of late. Garzon, Scalia, and CMM have all stepped up.

The Youth

As we touched in this evaluation of the underclass guards earlier, Indiana head coach Teri Moren’s got some young talent to work with in the backcourt but played a tight rotation in the Hoosiers’ first Big Ten game against Rutgers.

There have been (and will continue to be) growing pains, but this crew took another step forward tonight. Freshmen Lenée Beaumont and Jules LaMendola especially.

Beaumont finished with nine points and was 3-4 from the field in 17 minutes. The former Illinois Miss Basketball did this, too:

Win off the bounce, win off the bounce, win off the bounce.

LaMendola, a shooter still finding her shot, made the first three of her career in the second quarter and had another solid day on the glass with five rebounds. The former Texas Miss Basketball also blocked three shots and seemed to really frustrate her covers.

The duo’s flashes are slowly getting brighter. Legit time with the starters now will pay off down the line.

“I think nights like these are when they can get really good experience,” said Moren, when asked about the first-years. “I think that both of those guys have a real chance to help us win Big Ten (games.)”