8,600 on hand to cheer IU past Rutgers, 91-68

Grace Berger (34) shoots against Rutgers on 1/29/2023 at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall (Photo by Jeremy Hogan/The Bloomingtonian)

#6 Indiana (20-1 / 10-1) welcomed Rutgers (9-14, 3-8) to Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall on Sunday afternoon for a 2pm tip-off. 8,600 came out to celebrate Girls and Women in Sports Day, the third largest crowd to watch a regular season IU Women’s Basketball game at the Hall. Indiana would keep their streak alive, winning their 8th in a row, and remaining undefeated at home for the season. Today’s final score 91-68.

The Hoosiers cheer after Sara Scalia (14) shot a three pointer against Rutgers on 1/29/23 (Photo by Jeremy Hogan/The Bloomingtonian)

Rutgers came out firing, scoring on their first four possessions, but Freshman Guard Yarden Garzon had plans of her own, knocking down 2 triples in the first 3 and a half minutes of the game. The Scarlet Knights were determined in this contest, offering a ¾ trap against the Hoosiers and challenging IU’s efforts to dump the ball into Senior Forward Mackenzie Holmes.

The first quarter was back and forth, but Rutgers would not miss their shots, hitting 58% from the floor. They also rebounded well, winning that battle off the boards 8-6. At the end of the first 10 minutes of play, Rutgers held the 22-17 lead.

The second quarter was when Indiana turned it around, scoring 33 points, with seven Hoosiers contributing to the offense. Rutgers started strong with an 8-0 run, but Indiana changed the pace with their own 11-0 run, and never let up from that point.

Like so many times throughout this season, we have seen the Hoosiers turn a few defensive stops into phenomenal momentum. There are so many players on this Indiana team that can make big plays on either side of the court, and they have such amazing chemistry, building upon each other’s on-court successes.

Early in second half Rutgers was able to get within 5 points, but that would be as close as they came for the remainder of the game. At the end of 3, Indiana led 71-61.

IUWBB Coach Teri Moren in disbelief after a foul on 1/29/23 at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall (Photo by Jeremy Hogan/The Bloomingtonian)

The 4th quarter was more of the same, Indiana playing Indiana basketball. The defense was strong and the ball movement was flowing smoothly. Indiana would produce 21 assists by game’s end, coupling nicely with their almost 63% field goal success.

This selfless IU team doesn’t seem to mind which players step up at which point, as all of them seem to at the right moments. Tonight, it was All-American Graduate Guard Grace Berger’s time to shine, producing 21 points, 3 for 3 from the 3-point line, and adding 7 assists. Mackenzie Holmes also had 21 points, adding 6 boards and 3 assists. Parrish had 17 points, going 3-6 from beyond the arc, and adding 6 rebounds. And Garzon put up 14 points, 12 of which derived from triples. Indiana moves into sole leadership of the Big Ten Conference with the win.

Rutgers falls to 9-14 on the season and 3-8 in the Big Ten. Big Ten Freshman of the Week Kayline Smikle led the Scarlet Knights in scoring with 23 points with 4 rebounds, followed by Kai Carter who scored 13. Rutgers shot 45% from the field, pulled down 28 rebounds, 8 assists, 6 steals, and committed 14 turnovers.

Next up, Indiana will visit Williams Arena in Minneapolis to take on the Minnesota Gophers (9-11 / 2-7) at 8pm on February 1st.

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