In the weeks leading up to the matchup, Purdue Athletics heavily promoted that it had sold out Mackey Arena for the home game against Indiana. But a sellout doesn’t mean all Purdue fans, and it definitely doesn’t mean those clad in black and gold are loud either.
Indeed, the bowl surrounded Keady Court was full of Boilermaker faithful with a few substantial patches of Hoosier Crimson. One section, just above court level, was filled to the brim with Indiana fans, many of whom took buses from Bloomington to West Lafayette to get to the game.
The stage was all set with the usual pregame hype video to get fans on their feet and loud in an arena notorious for the latter.
Then the game started.
It was competitive for a while. Each team went through stretches of stifling defense and Purdue managed to take an early lead in the second quarter. Indiana mostly lacked flow on offense as the Boilermakers sold out in the paint to prevent Mackenzie Holmes from going to work, daring the Hoosiers to hit some threes. So they did.
Chloe Moore-McNeil, Sydney Parrish, Yarden Garzon and Sara Scalia all took mostly open looks from the arc and knocked down enough to end the first half with the lead. Even the post-dominant Holmes had an attempt from the arc, which helped spark a 19-2 run in the third quarter to put the game out of reach with over ten minutes to play.
When Indiana needed them most, Parrish and Moore-McNeil were there.
Parrish, a graduate of Fishers High School, is the sole member of the Hoosiers roster who is from Indiana. In her first in-state rivalry matchup, Parrish said the rivalry is personal for her as a result.
“I had to kind of step up and be that person on our team to show who the best team in Indiana is,” Parrish said.
Moore-McNeil’s 13 points, 3-8 clip from the arc and 4 rebounds helped the Hoosiers stay in the game and reclaim the leading in the closing minutes of the second quarter. Moren heaped praise on Moore-McNeil after the game, lauding her for developing over time and stepping up during Grace Berger’s absence.
“When Grace got hurt, she was my MVP,” Moren said. “She gives us that two point guard punch out there on the floor.”
Those fans that Purdue lauded for the sellout? Glued to their seats throughout the second half. The patches of crimson out-cheered those in gold and black with ease as the Hoosiers just kept on adding onto their lead in a dominant win.
The 19-2 run started immediately thanks to Holmes. Indiana found ways to get her the ball under the rim between drawing attention on drives and the need to defend the arc. The Hoosiers weren’t letting Purdue get too many chances either, beating the Boilermakers on the boards 41-34.
When the final buzzer sounded, the Hoosiers celebrated by waving to their fans and handing out high-fives.