There was confidence on the floor, with Indiana sharing the ball with ease on offense. The Lady Vols respected the new Hoosier offensive dimension, their perimeter shooting, by defending deeply with man to man. This opened up IU to set the pace and control the dynamics of the game. That control would determine a 79-67 win on the road in this battle of two top twelve ranked teams.
Indiana came out strong on the boards, pulling down 15 in the first quarter, including 6 offensive rebounds accounting for 11 second chance points. Both Grace Berger and Sydney Parrish exploded for 7 points in the first 10 minutes of play, while the Hoosiers led 22-14.
Tennessee moved to a full court press in the second quarter, which was a testament to the flexibility the Hoosiers demonstrated on offense in the first quarter. The Hoosiers successfully broke the press on three consecutive plays, leading to 7 points. But the Lady Vols would get more aggressive, doubling their rebounding efforts. UT would be silenced for the last 2 and a half minutes of the half, however, with Indiana exploiting a 5-0 run. IU would shoot 40% in the half and go up 40-29 at the end of 20 minutes of play. 7 different Hoosiers got in on the scoring of their 40 in the first half, 17 of which were second chance points.
That IU half-ending run continued into the 3rd, with Chloe Moore-McNeil, a Tennessee native, shining on offense, scoring 5 points in two consecutive plays to start the quarter. She would score 10 consecutive Hoosier points, driving the Indiana lead to 50-40, with 5:43 to play in the 3rd.
Tennessee would shoot and defend better in the second half of play, even getting as close to within 4 points with 4 and a half minutes remaining in the game, but Indiana would elevate their game to hold on for the win.
Indiana was tough on defense tonight, with 6 blocks, 9 steals, and 35 total rebounds. Indiana Head Coach Teri Moren and her staff prepared the Hoosiers effectively for their contest tonight, and forced the 5th nationally ranked team to play their pace and style of game.
“We out rebounded them tonight by two, and I don’t care if that’s one or two – we out rebounded Tennessee, and that was the most important key to the game tonight,” said Coach Moren during her remarks following the win.
Coach Teri Moren was pleased with the performance of her Hoosiers, praising the team effort. “. . . the 21 assists, the 10 turnovers. We had 3 kids take charges tonight.”
Whether it was Mackenzie Holmes getting open in the low post, Grace Berger directing traffic on the offense, Sara Scalia nailing from beyond the arc, Sydney Parrish forcing 3 Tennessee fouls late in the fourth, or Chloe Moore-McNeil putting on a shooting demonstration against her home state . . . this Hoosier team is impressive, and looks to be on a collision course with a top ten ranking.
“We knew it was going to be a tale of 2 really good teams going at it,” added Coach Moren. “We were on the road in what we knew would be a hostile environment. I am just really, really happy with how we handled ourselves.”
Next up, Indiana takes on Bowling Green, 7pm at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall on Thursday, November 17th.