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Indiana women’s basketball beats Purdue 74-68: Three things we learned

Hoosiers keep the hardware.

Syndication: The Herald-Times Rich Janzaruk/Herald-Times / USA TODAY NETWORK

#16 Indiana women’s basketball retained the Barn Burner Trophy for a seventh-straight year with a 74-68 victory over Purdue at Mackey Arena earlier today.

Multiple players stepped up to help the Hoosiers pull out road victory as they were without Sydney Parrish, who spent the afternoon on crutches in a walking boot after suffering an injury during practice on Friday. We will know more about Parrish’s timetable later on this week.

The win is Indiana’s tenth-straight versus the Boilermakers and improves the Hoosiers’ Big Ten record to 7-1 and 16-2 overall.

Here’s three things we learned:


This is Chloe Moore-McNeil’s team

When talking leadership, anyone following the team usually jumps to Mackenzie Holmes and Sydney Parrish, Indiana’s two most-outspoken vets. After today, Chloe Moore-McNeil needs to be listed in the same breath.

With Parrish out, Moore-McNeil had to play as a scorer more than usual. Sophomore Lexus Bargesser, another ball-dominant guard, earned her first collegiate start in place of Parrish, but Moore-McNeil ran the offense throughout and played all 40 minutes.

Moore-McNeil finished said 40 minutes with a season-high 20 points plus four assists, two blocks, and two steals.

Moore-McNeil hit three of Indiana’s season-high 15 3-pointers* yes, but truly took over as a slasher to start the second half.

CMM called her own number on three possessions in a row to open the half and sparked an 8-0 Hoosiers run while doing so. There are players with flashier moves off the bounce, but Chloe is IU’s most decisive ball handler.

The team responds to her energy quite well, too. Moore-McNeil called IU’s defense “soft” at one point earlier this year and the Hoosiers answered by holding Lipscomb to just 44 points in their next contest.

An underrated Moren culture-builder, the ball needs to be in #22’s hands in crunchtime.

*Mackenzie Holmes made her first 3 of the year today as well. That was nuts lol

Sara Scalia can sling it

Scalia, CMM’s backcourt running mate, also stepped up tonight and scored 20 points of her own off 6-9 (67%) shooting from the perimeter.

When on, Scalia is Indiana’s best 3-point shooter, and is becoming one of its best passers too.

The fifth-year guard only finished with three assists but all three were off shots created by her passing. No “one-more”s here, whether its Mackenzie Holmes down low or Chloe Moore-McNeil across the court Scalia continues to throw her teammates open.

Back to the shooting though. The best moment of this game was Scalia hitting a triple to ice it with 1:10 left in regulation. The normally-stoic guard then let a bit of a smile crack through as she dropped back on defense— it was great to see some emotion from another of Indiana’s quieter leaders.

In addition to Scalia and CMM (and Mackenzie Holmes), Yarden Garzon also showed out from deep and tied her season-high with five makes on eight 3-point attempts.

Getting up off the mat

Winning on the road in the Big Ten is tough, especially against a team like Purdue. This game was tied seven times and the Boilers looked prime to take it at a couple different points.

Indiana’s struggled with rebounding and complementary scoring throughout. Purdue won the battle on the glass 32-26 and a tough Lenée Beaumont layup was the only basket made by a Hoosier not named Garzon, Holmes, Moore-McNeil, or Scalia.

Teri Moren-led squads aren’t short on grit, though, and the Hoosiers overcame all that plus each Boiler run well.

Purdue shot 12-19 (63.2%) from the field and led by seven after ten minutes. Indiana responded by buckling down and holding the Boilers to eight (8) points in the second to take a 39-37 lead into halftime.

Indiana then increased its lead with CMM’s early-third takeover but never pulled away. A 10-0 Boiler run, capped off by a Rashunda Jones buzzer-beater 3 to end the frame, got the Mackey crowd going. 54-51 Purdue after three quarters.

The Hoosiers leaned on Mackenzie Holmes and Sara Scalia, who combined for 15 points and didn’t miss a shot in the fourth quarter, to pull it out.

Getting outrebounded 11-1 in a quarter, which Indiana was in the first, is never acceptable and speaks to how impactful Sydney Parrish is. An extended absence from the lineup would be crushing, but Indiana proved it could win without one of its stars tonight. Fingers crossed they don’t have to do it again.