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Indiana women’s basketball 80, Michigan 59: Three things we learned

The Hoosiers took down the formidable Wolverines at home.

Michigan v Indiana Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Indiana women’s basketball defeated Michigan, 80-59, on Thursday at Assembly Hall.

The Hoosiers were perfect in the first quarter, hitting all 13 of their attempts from the field including 6 3-pointers. Sydney Parrish picked up 14 quick points while Sara Scalia added 11, each hit all three of their attempts from deep. Mackenzie Holmes added 8 on top of that.

From there, the Wolverines started to chip away with some looks inside the arc. Indiana always seemed to be at least one step ahead, keeping Michigan a firm arm’s length away.

Indiana was always firmly in control, even when things got... weird in the third quarter.

Let’s talk about it.


Sydney Parrish (first quarter)

Parrish started the game on fire, scoring 14 points with three makes from deep. On top of that, she fold Holmes under the rim to add 2 more.

“Sydney brought a lot of great energy to us, especially in that first quarter,” Holmes said postgame. “Kind of got our momentum going from the start.”

It looked like the beginning of a big game for the home state star before the whistle kicked in. She picked up two fouls in the first half, getting subbed out for stretched, before picking up two more.

She spent nine minutes of that first quarter on the court. Then six in the second, five in the third and five more in the fourth for a total of 24 minutes in the game. She didn’t get another scoring opportunity after that first quarter.

It ended up being enough, Indiana never relinquished the double digit lead it built.


Indiana’s depth on defense

All the calls made Indiana test its depth. Mind you, that massive cushion is a ton of help for getting minutes, the kind you’d get in a buy game.

But all of a sudden Moren had to sub in her freshman against a team that was undefeated in the Big Ten heading into tonight. Beaumont and LaMendola combined for just 5 points, all from the latter, on four combined attempts.

The task was defense though, and the two held up admirably against some great talent. Moren said after the game that it’s good to see, but didn’t come as a shock.

“It’s nothing that I’m surprised by,” Moren said. “We guard every day, they understand the importance of getting stops and making it difficult on the opposing team. I would expect nothing less than what we saw tonight from all those kids.”

LaMendola in particular was asked to hold down the low block. She was giving up considerable size to her assignment, but held up.

“The thing about Jules is that she’s super competitive, she’s really strong, and I thought she did a great job,” Moren said.


Officiating

The game featured a pretty liberal whistle on both teams. Both of Indiana and Michigan ended the first half with at least three players picking up two fouls, with the Wolverines’ Elise Stuck earning three.

At the end of the game, the teams combined for 44 fouls with seven total players on the verge of fouling out.

Officiating is always a particularly hot topic in women’s college basketball, especially after it dominated the discourse around last year’s national championship game between Iowa and LSU.

On Thursday, the officials were booed as loudly as I’ve ever heard at Assembly Hall. Game flow completely went out the window in the third quarter with a whistle or monitor review cutting off a possession.

The crew sent the wrong Michigan player to the foul line in the fourth quarter, but only tried to correct it after she’d attempted a shot. It didn’t go in, but the Wolverines got two foul shots out of it anyway.

Moren seemed baffled herself, looking for answers. Michigan’s Kim Barnes Arico let the officials hear it after a few questionable calls and non calls too.

It was weird, to say the least.